Post # 1
Okay – I need help: I’m having trouble deciding on whether to allow children at my wedding. There are so many conflicting factors!
My wedding is an overseas destination wedding in Greece (yay!) and honestly, I don’t want kids present. I don’t hate children, but I’m not a “kids” person. However, that’s not even the real issue. We only have 80 chairs to work with and my fiance and I both have large families. We’ve filled all 80 chairs (without kids) while having to cut a few people from the list. BUT, we’re in our twenties and thirties, so we have friends with small children, as well as friends who are currently pregnant, therefore will have babies when our wedding takes place. Some of the people with children are truly important to us and we’re happy to accomodate them, but I don’t really, really want to change my DREAM wedding venue just so their kids can join the party. We’re renting a small, beautiful, boutique hotel on the Aegean without any childcare service.
Mind you, all of our friends with children have parents and/or family that could care for them while on a week-long vacation, but still, it feels so unreasonable to ask them to do that.
WHAT DO I DO? Has anyone done this? How did it work out? Is there a top-secret third option that will solve this issue?
Post # 2
If you don’t want kids there don’t have them but you need to be prepared for people to not come.
I would say anyone with a baby under 1 would def not come so you might want to say babes in arms only (no chair needed)
is there somewhere else nearby for people to stay? I wouldn’t leave DS at home for a week to go to a wedding but I would bring a family member with us on holiday to watch him for the day.
Post # 3
mollyfromseattle : you can’t ask people to use their leave, a load of their money, attend your wedding in another country and to leave their kids at home. For some people, attending your wedding will mean them going without a holiday and so some of those people are going to want to take their children. Some might jump at the chance to get away alone but not all, maybe not even the majority. Whilst the guests have family that could look after their children, it doesn’t mean they feel comfortable asking their parents to.
I’d work out who you really want there. Understand that saying no kids, means a lot of people will not attend. Then decide which is more important celebrating with the people you want or in the venue you’ve picked.
Depending on where you are, you may find that 80 people are not willing to travel to your wedding so it may not be an issue but you still won’t have your important people there.
Post # 4
Does your venue have another area/room that you can hire for the kids and then out source a babysitter to look after them? Surely your hotel can recommend a reputable babysitting service. That way parents can quite happily attend the wedding with knowledge their kids are close by.
Post # 5
I personally feel if your guests are traveling to attend your weddding, the kids should be invited.
This isn’t a local wedding where the kids can stay with grandma for a few hours whilst they attend your wedding, this is a weekend (or longer) trip and the family should all be invited.
My wedding is in Spain (where I live and my Fiance is from) but my side of the family and some of my friends are coming from the U.K. I’ve invited kids (partly because I without a doubt want my nieces to be there. – who are also my flower girls) but also because I don’t want to put some of my family/friends in an awkward position of wanting to come but not wanting to leave their little one.
A friend of mine with a little boy messaged me saying it’s likely only her and her boyfriend will come and not her son. That’s her prerogative….he is of course invited.
Post # 6
If people are travelling that far then I think it’s only fair that they be able to bring their families. Are you really expecting 80 people at a destination wedding or is that just how many you’ve invited?
Post # 7
I wouldn’t spend thousands of dollars to attend anyone’s destination wedding if my kids weren’t invited. Easy pass. Heck, in reluctant to leave my dog for a week & you’re expecting people to leave babies & toddlers?!
Post # 8
Even where it is viable to leave children with grandparents at home, being separated may be enough to ensure that they can’t enjoy what may be the consumption of all or a large portion of their holiday time and budget. I would be inclined to allow young babies (definitely those being breastfed, and other young ones who won’t need a chair) and arrange babysitting at the location or nearby. Ideally at the location so that parents can have peace of mind. I think especially as a wedding people are travelling for this would be thoughtful to ensure that parents can enjoy your wedding as well as their time away.
Post # 9
I agree with the PP’s. I initially was dead set on a child free wedding and loved the sound of a destination wedding. Like you I like kids, but I also like to party and definitely want a fun, party vibe vs a family get together vibe where the littles steal the show.
But, my best friends daughter is my god daughter and I cant imagine her not being there, one of my best friends wife is preggo and another bridesmaid has a son and might have a second by that time and another bridesmaid also may be pregnant or have a young baby by the time the wedding rolls around next summer. Plus a handful more of guests with kids of varied ages – picking some arbitrary age cut off didn’t feel right, we just want everyone to come and be comfortable.
It came down to what mattered more and having all the important people in my life there was more important than having a destination or child free wedding. I really think if you want a good turn out of your most important people you need to flex a little here somehow. Maybe a compromise with hired child care on site if possible (maybe just in a hotel room?) or babes in arms only (will still get push back but you might look into if there’s an age that “counts” as a guest). Could you have someone do childcare for the ceremony and let kids join at the reception to minimize separation?
Post # 10
You are being quite presumptuous about people’s ability to leave their children for a week with others.
Bottom line–you have to decide if it’s more important to have your dream vision of a wedding without children or more important to have a lot of these people attend. Also be prepared that while everyone may think a week in Greece sounds great right now, when the time comes to actually commit the realities of cost, time away from work, etc. may significantly shrink your numbers.
Post # 11
You’re probably going to get a lot of declines, leaving plenty of chairs for the kids, but you should be prepared with a backup venue just in case. You can’t expect people to travel internationally and leave their kids behind, nor can you expect them to leave their kids with strangers at this faraway exotic destination. This may be your dream wedding, but once you invite other people, you have to be realistic about their needs and expectations.
Post # 12
I have no issue with kid free weddings. I don’t understand why people would want to bring a two year old to a wedding anyway. But with a destination wedding, people are likely going to have to be gone at least 5 days. Most people I know couldn’t/wouldn’t leave their kids for a whole week. That’s a lot different than leaving your kids for a night.
Have you talked to some of your guest list yet and get a feel for how many will actually be able to go? Destination weddings always have a ton of declines so I bet you’ll have plenty of space for children or other invites.
Post # 13
If you’re expecting people to use their vacation time and hard earned money to travel to Greece for your wedding, you should invite their kids too. That might be the only vacation that family gets.
And I agree with pp that you’re being very presumptuous about people being able to leave their kids with a family member. My mom can watch my daughter, sure, but would I leave her for an entire week or more to attend your wedding? Nope.
If you’re going to look into having child care on site it would need to be like, right there at the venue IMO. No way in hell am I leaving my child with some stranger in a foreign country.
Post # 14
You should definitely have a kid free wedding, but you should also be ok with parents not attending. I’m going to have my kid in a month or so. It’s a lot to ask my in laws who are three hours away to keep her for a week or two, and then also ask other friends to take my dogs.
My friends are getting married locally when she’s around six months old. I’m sure kids will be invited because the groom has a bunch of nephews and nieces. We will, however, be leaving our daughter with a sitter.
ETA: I definitely would not feel comfortable leaving my newborn for a week or two! That is asking for too much. Maybe when she can sleep through the night, but that’s months away.
Post # 15
NOT many people are willing to leave kids with granparents for a week. Especially if they are small. And not all grandparents take kids for a week. even if they are happy to look after kids. also the grandparents might still be working. I know my mom lover he grandkids and is retired. She said that once they can use bathroom on their own they are wleocme to stay as long as they want but in diaper phase there is 1 night max. She is older and runs out of energy.
I fully support childfree weddings and destination weddings but in those cases the couple has to accept that their wedding is not a priority. some of your friends might be happy to take a week off and go to Greece on their own where as others want to save the money for family vocation.