Post # 16
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.
Really? You can’t say that everyone you know with children would have someone available to look after their kids for a week. A week is a long time and I find it hard to believe most of your friends would want to go on a week long vacation without their kids. A kids free wedding if one thing, but a kid free destination wedding when you have a number of friends with kids is probably going to lead to a high decline rate.
Post # 17
I would be fine with it, if I had someone to watch my kids (my imaginary ones at this point ), but be warned, I tried to have a kid free wedding locally and people were shitty about it right away, the people I wouldn’t have expected to be.
Post # 18
Not trying to be snarky, but you do realize that you are asking for a lot with a kid-free destination wedding, right? You’re not only asking your friends to choose your wedding as their vacation, but you are telling them that they have to impose on family/friends for at least a week, as well. The times I have chosen to go on vacation without my kids are somewhat stressful because I need a backup plan in case my original family/sitter falls through. Travelling internationally and leaving my children at home (unless they are with their father, my ex) is even more hairier, because if something happens to one of my kids, it’s not an easy/quick flight back to sign off on medical treatment, etc…
Just something to think about.
ETA: You said that some of your friends are currently pregnant or have small children. If they are nursing their kids, they are even less likely to leave them behind to come to your wedding. I did not willingly leave my children overnight until they were weaned.
Post # 19
We had a destination wedding in Mexico, and I also wanted a kid free wedding. I love kids, but just really wanted a kid free wedding. However, once we decided to do a destination wedding, that just didn’t make sense any more. Most of our friends have children, and asking then to come to Mexico for a long weekend, but to leave their kids at home was just not something we could justify.
Almost everyone brought their kids, with the exception of my cousin and one of my bridesmaids. We had 70 people, and 12 of those were children. It turned out fine, the kids had a blast, and we actually enjoyed spending time with all the kids(everyone stayed at the same resort).
Post # 20
I’m dealing with something similar. Among your potential guests who have kids, are there any of them you feel close enough with to talk this through? I’ve been chatting this through with one of my close friends who will be in my wedding party. It was good to talk potential options through with her. She seemed to think kid-free was ok if there were childcare options available. We’re going to investigate both babysitters at the hotel as well as using a separate room in our venue for children with a provided babysitter, food etc. Childcare does seem to be the standard among destination weddings among those we know, but obviously whatever is normal among those you know impacts things. In our case though I don’t know if it’s a little different because the destination isn’t quite so far and I would imagine much less expensive so our guests may be opting for a long weekend and more comfortable leaving kids at home or with a sitter for part of it.
Post # 21
the whole wedding sounds unreasonable.
Post # 22
Our wedding was destination for about 80% of our guests because we live far from our families and have moved around a lot. Only locals left their kids behind and made a night/weekend out of it. You will have a lot of declines of you make it childfree.
That being said, you will likely end up with more declines than you expect. It all sounds great until people have to start booking tickets and hotels and then they rethink the trip.
Post # 23
You are entitled to the childfree wedding you want.
Parents always have options. They can leave the kids at home, or bring a sitter with them. They can also decline your invitation.
You too have options. You can have your childfree wedding and gracipously accept the fact that some of your nearest and dearest will have to decline. Or, you can extend an invitation to include the children.
The ball is in your court.
Post # 24
mollyfromseattle : If you only have 80 chairs, and they are already filled with all of your family, except their kids, why are you worried about your friends with kids anyway? As it appears you have no more space?
I’m all for child free weddings myself!
But I think you are being unreasonable to expect families to pay for international travel and leave their children behind. Because:
A) they’re using vacation time and a lot of money to fly to Greece
B) going to a new country is something families enjoy doing together
C) you really do NOT know that ALL of your friends have a reliable babysitting willing to watch their child for that long, and that’s assuming each friend would even be comfortable leaving their child with a babysitter that long. Let’s say that each friend lives in a town with their parents and their in-laws. You DON’T know that the grandparents are reliable babysitters who respect the rules put in place for the grandkids. You DON’T know that each couple is comfortable trusting their parents with the grandkids safety. You also DON’T know that every couple you know can afford to pay a babysitter for that long.
So it’s a huge assumption on your part that “everyone” has somebody they can dump their kids on while they fly to Greece for your wedding.
Do what you want, but don’t be surprised if you get a lot of declines.
Post # 25
I’m having a destination wedding in Greece too. I don’t have any relatives or friends who are coming with kids, but our venue is on a cliff and near a pool. They suggested I tell anyone with kids that information, that it would be dangerous for children and let them decide for themselves. I would invite their kids, most will probably decline anyways and you won’t have to worry about it.
Post # 26
To address the specific issue at hand, you have 3 options: 1) Change nothing and plan for some declines due to childcare issues; 2) invite kids, but cut your guest list so that all families are accommodated, but you have fewer families overall; 3) change your venue.
A destintation wedding will surely be smaller than one you would have planned locally. I’m impressed that you have 80 people who can travel to Greece. I wish you luck. It sounds beautiful.
Post # 27
When you say that you have already filled the 80 seats, does that mean people have already RSVP’d yes and bought their flights? Or is your guest list at 80 people?
Because while I would jump at the chance to have an excuse to return to Greece, I can guarantee you that you will be lucky to have 50% of your guests actually follow through with plans to attend.
I got married in the USVI and at first everyone was 100% going (their words) and then slowly but surely, people started realizing the price of the flights, hotels, time off, etc. And I didn’t even care about kids joining, but most of my friends didn’t want to pay for flights for their kids.
Unless you are inviting well over your 80 guest max, I wouldn’t worry about a couple kids attending. You will have some declines.
Post # 28
“you really do NOT know that ALL of your friends have a reliable babysitting willing to watch their child for that long, and that’s assuming each friend would even be comfortable leaving their child with a babysitter that long. Let’s say that each friend lives in a town with their parents and their in-laws. You DON’T know that the grandparents are reliable babysitters who respect the rules put in place for the grandkids. You DON’T know that each couple is comfortable trusting their parents with the grandkids safety. You also DON’T know that every couple you know can afford to pay a babysitter for that long.”
I love when Bees take facts given by an OP and passionately insist that they are wrong. I didn’t realize so many of us know the personal lives of other Bees even better than they know themselves. Impressive. I remember a post where a Bee said her sister had volunteered to help her with the wedding (make favors, etc.). People angrily insisted that the sister was actually pressured into this, hated every minute of it, and was seething with resentment for the OP. Another post where the OP premised that close family members were not struggling financially. Bees insisted that they probably were and were hiding it from the OP.
Maybe this OP DOES know that all her friends have reliable babysitting services. Surely she would know better than you?
Post # 29
If I got an invitation to a destination wedding that suggested I leave my children with a sitter for a week, or with a strange babysitter in a foreign country for the night of your wedding, after flying all the way to Greece to support you, I would think you were joking! My wedding was kid-free (except infants- you really can’t expect anyone to leave their nursing baby), but the only friends who had kids at the time either had their ex-spouse or grandparents who could watch them for the night (they weren’t traveling).
Post # 30
Local child free weddings are reasonable. I enjoy a night off from my kids and my mom is happy to watch them. However, if it was a destination wedding where I’d need to leave my kids for a week, my mom would laugh at me. My mom would watch my kids for a week if I was in the hospital or something, but not so I can go galavanting halfway around the world. Your friends must have amazing babysitters who have no life!