Post # 1
I need advice. My fiance and I (along with the rest of my family) are home for the holidays. Last night, I was asking my fiance if he thought we needed to invite all of my cousin’s girlfriends/boyfriends to the wedding, because I hadn’t really planned on that many extra people.
My sister came into the room and said that “social etiquitte” dictates that I have to let them bring a date. Anyways, then she randomly says, “you need to decide what you’re going to do about kids.” My sister has a 7 month old baby who will have just turned one by the time the wedding rolls around, and my fiance’s cousin will have a 6 month old baby at the time of the wedding. My worst nightmare is a random crying outburst during the ceremony. I’ve expressed my fears about having children at the wedding to my mother, who was on board until she said that my sister’s feelings would be hurt if we didn’t invite her baby.
After my sister brought up children, I said, “I’d rather not have childern at the wedding. I don’t want them randomly crying. I think when children are old enough to communicate their needs and be well behaved, then they’re old enough to go to a wedding.” Everyone kind of looked at me, my mother suddenly said she was going to bed and left, and my sister asked what they’d do with their baby, and I said, “I’ve talked to Chris about getting a babysitter, but we’re not sure.” She said “I’m not leaving my baby with someone I don’t know, and if she’s not going, I’m not going.”
My sister has some emotional/mental issues, so my mother tends to side with her. I’m the middle child, and I’ve tended to keep my emotions to myself and “be in the shadows” growing up because of my sister’s issues. I don’t want to cause a rift in my family, but I don’t want young children at the wedding. My niece will be one year old, and isn’t going to remember the ceremony.
Post # 3
Wait is she saying that social etiquette requires that you have to let every single family member bring a date? Because that isn’t true….
As for babies, if that is something you really do not want then she will have to respect your wishes. To avoid the drama though, I would make an exception for your sister only. I had a strict no children policy, but ended up relaxing on that a bit so that a few people could come. It didn’t turn out to be so bad, I did not even notice them there….Other people whose children did not come were very understanding about it and saw it as excuse to get away from the kids and enjoy themselves.
But it is YOUR wedding, so that is entirely up to you.
Post # 4
Ok … no your cousins don’t all get a date, maybe the ones that are engaged already. As for your sister, if her child was still breast feeding I could see bringing it, but your niece will be a year old by then. If f you don’t want kids there then don’t have kids there. I can understand not really wanting to leave your kid at that age with a babysitter, but what about her in-laws or one of her friends watching her child?
Post # 5
I don’t know… I would not even consider going if my baby was not invited, personally! I would be very put-off by that. I would be drastically offended. I think of a baby as a package deal for the mother.
Post # 6
This is always the risk you run when you throw a “no kids” wedding. You’re basically making every parent choose between being with you, and being with your kids, and not all of them will pick you.
Just like you’re not required to invite every person you’ve ever known, every invited person is not required to accept.
Only you can decide if preserving the child-free atmosphere is worth the risk of conflict this creates. While providing child care is a great solution for many parents, not all will like leaving their kids with strangers, so it only softens this conflict and doesn’t completely eliminate it for all. If your sister or any guest declines your invite because they can’t bring their kids, then accept that as gracefully as you can, and move on.
Post # 7
@ssmith05: You can google wedding etiquette from Emily Post regarding plus ones. Only those married, engaged, and living together are social units. Everyone else depends on budget and space. I would emial it to her or pint it out and give it to her.
Furthermore, as the guradian of a 2 year old and 8 months pregnant, I AM NOT OFFENDED by by child free weddings. I had one.
She has the option of a babysitter or not coming. Please do not give in to her whatsoever. This is your wedding and your money.
My 2 year old can not sit thorugh Dora the Explorer. I would NEVER take her to a wedding until she is like 5.
Post # 8
@cbee: As a mother who is currently 8 months pregnant with a 3 year old niece I’ve taken in, I humbly disagree.
I’ve already been invited to a wedding in April that is adult only. My daughter will be a month old. I am not offended because it’s not my money nor my wedding. I will either pump milk for her and leave her with her godmother or grandmother, both who already know about the wedding,or I will leave formula. I’ve already taken into account on how to deal with potenital breast engorgement and postpartum bleeding.
Post # 9
@ssmith05: I get the impression your sister is throwing a bit of a tantrum to get attention. I have never attended a wedding with children, And to be honest I think most weddings are not appropriate events for children.
I totally disagree with one of the comments above
-I don’t know… I would not even consider going if my baby was not invited, personally! I would be very put-off by that. I would be drastically offended. I think of a baby as a package deal for the mother. –
Althought very young the baby is a separate individual And I doubt very much will care About staying with Aunt/grandpa/cousin/babysitter for 6 hours. Does your sister always have the baby With her? What about all the mothers Who send their (often much younger) babies to daycare?
I think it’ s your big day And you shouldn’ give in. If she is so worried maybe her husband can stay at home with the baby.
Post # 10
@walnutgirl: I get the impression your sister is throwing a bit of a tantrum to get attention. I have never attended a wedding with children, And to be honest I think most weddings are not appropriate events for children.
I agree 100% with this. MANY weddings are adults only. I am not having a child-free wedding, mostly because I do not want to deal with the drama that I’m sure my Future Sister-In-Law will make if I do that (even though THEY had an adult-only wedding), and I honestly can’t say whether or not I’ve been to a child-free wedding, but this just sounds like she’s throwing a tantrum to get her way. I’m not encouraging people to bring children, mostly because our reception is right in the middle of a number of bars.
If you do not want children at your wedding, put your foot down. She does not have to leave her kid with a “stranger” (a stranger? ffs)–does she never, ever go anywhere without her kid? She doesn’t have ANYONE who can watch her for an evening? She NEVER wants to just have a night out, away from the baby sometimes? She’s being seriously dramatic here.
Post # 11
Your sister sounds a little high maintenance…but we’re talking about your niece (nephew?). If it were me, I’d invite the babies of family members that are this close.
I’d want a wedding photo with my precious little nice/nephew. I have pics like that from when I was a baby with my aunties and they are SO PRECIOUS. Now that I”m getting married all those photos come out of the woodwork.
Post # 12
@ssmith05: it’s your wedding, if you don’t want babies at your wedding, then no babies. i can’t believe someone would be offended by that.
i am a mother and have been to numberous weddings without my child. i’m good with it.
@cbee: I think of a baby as a package deal for the mother. i’m sure your employer would strongly disagree if you took your baby to work with you every day.
Post # 13
Not a parent, but the “mother” of a godson who I raised.
I am not offended by child-free weddings — I 100% get it and understand.
As the (at one time) sole guardian of my godson, I would not attend a wedding or event where he was not invited. Not because he was attached to my hip, but because he was so young and I would not trust anyone else with him.
Post # 14
My Darling Husband and I decided to invite all of our nieces and nephews to our wedding (including the children of my two best friends/matrons of honor — children who have considered me to be their aunt their entire lives.) I also invited any minor children still living at home with my first cousins. We did not invite any other children, and we had no problems because of that.
Although no couple wants to hear crying during their wedding, my precious ringbearer cried his little eyes out though large portions of my ceremony. He was only three-and-a-half, and it turns out he was crying because someone mistakenly took the ring pillow away from him (thinking that our real rings were on the pillow), and the poor little fellow was terribly upset that he wasn’t permitted to finish the important job for which he had repeatedly practiced.
Even though you could hear him crying loudly during our vows, and even though it’s on our video, and even though some guests were bothered by it, in hindsight, I still would not have chosen to have a child-free wedding. I am glad that my adorable nephew was there, in his little tux and tails, playing a special role in our wedding.
However, this choice clearly isn’t for everyone, and you and your Fiance certainly have the right to decide what you would like at your wedding, and your family and friends should respect that.
Post # 15
@ssmith05: You should give a plus one to everyone who is a social unit. In my circles that is married, engaged, living together, or together for at least 6 months. The cool girl your cousin is getting to know doesn’t need an invite, but his steady girlfriend does.
As far as kids, it is tough. We decided to have kids to make sure FI’s siblings could come. Most parents know not to let their kids misbehave and if they start to cry, they remove them. We have 230 people invited and 40 of them are kids under 10 (and 35 under 2). I am sure there will be crying, but I would rather my niece crying for 5 minutes than not having my sister there.
Post # 16
This is just the first of many decisions you will make that will have consequences – now that you are functioning as an “adult”.
You and your Fiance need to decide together how you will handle this and then follow through. THAT is more important than whether you decide to make exceptions for family members.
Being married is HARD. What makes it hard? Making decisions as a couple that make someone in your family upset. This is what you will have to deal with as a married couple and it starts now.
As an FYI – I just got married on 12.12.12. My sister has a 10 month old. I actually gave my sister instructions that if the baby got fussy she was NOT to leave my ceremony with the baby (unless it was an emergency). My ceremony was about joining family and having all of my family around me when I vowed to spend the rest of my life with the man I love. It was more important to have them with me than to hear one baby wail.
But you will have to decide what your wedding is about and what your limits are.