No kids – am I wrong?

posted 2 months ago in Family
Post # 61
Member
319 posts
Helper bee

I don’t understand people who WANT to bring children under five years old to a wedding. Who is that for, really? Toddlers aren’t fighting it out for awesome wedding invitations. When the relationships with the children are close, it makes sense to have them there if you want them but you’re not close to these children. Rando cousins who are unwilling to get babysitters will be missed. 

Post # 62
Member
1163 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 1995

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@katebluestone:  that is not what her op says. Paragraph 2 says they are welcome at the wedding. 

Because of the above we decided that it’s best for us to not include any children, other than my young step-sisters (18 & 17) at our reception. We simply don’t want to pay $200+ A plate for children and don’t want them to take up seats for other adult friends/family. Of course they are welcome at the ceremony/cocktail hour as there is no guest limit for those.

 

Post # 63
Member
319 posts
Helper bee

Ooh, wait. Have you already told the Rando Cousins that their kids can come to the ceremony but not to the reception. Holy Awkward Batman! Are the parents supposed to take them home to a sitter or leave? Yeah, let’s either exclude or include the kids.

Post # 64
Member
13777 posts
Honey Beekeeper

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@fearlesstravelbee:  “As for inviting them solely to the ceremony, I had only suggested it as they are close to my FH and I figured it would give them time to get the kids home to bed after cocktails and a drink or two. I never invited them solely to the ceremony, they were always welcome at the reception just no kids. At the end of the day it’s their porogative.”

You want these relatives to drive children home in a car after a couple of drinks? Seriously? Bad suggestion. 

Child guests ARE guests. The etiquette is not different. You don’t properly invite any guest to a ceremony and not the reception.

When my own children were very young we sometimes did send them home from extended family evening weddings after the ceremony and family photos.  But that was completely our own choice. They were either invited at that age to an entire wedding and wedding reception or not at all. 

 

Post # 65
Member
2154 posts
Buzzing bee

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@abeecee:  
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@sablescorpion22:  

I’m also in the UK, and most of the weddings I’ve been to have had more people invited to the ceremony than to the reception.  Often, light refreshments are served at the ceremony venue for those who are not invited to the reception.  I’ve only ever seen this done at religious weddings though, not civil ones.  Possibly because those choosing a religious ceremony view the ceremony as the most important part of the wedding?  I don’t know.

 

Post # 66
Member
64 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: March 2025

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@teaandcake:  Do you mean that they are giving invitations to the ceremony only, or do you mean that they serve light refreshments for people why attend without an invitation? The way churches work is that wedding services are public services and technically anyone can attend. It is still somewhat common for parishioners to attend without an invitation, and sometimes light refreshments are provided by the bride and groom at the church for those people, while they leave with their invited guests for the actual reception. I’ve never attended or heard of a wedding where some people get an invitation to the service only and some get an invitation the the service and reception. I can’t imagine it would be seen as anything other than incredibly rude.

Post # 67
Member
2154 posts
Buzzing bee

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@abeecee:  The invite is more informal and you’re not expected to RSVP, but yes, I’ve been invited to just the church ceremony.  I don’t see it as rude.  (You aren’t expected to provide a gift if you are not invited to the reception, so it’s not like it’s costing you anything).  They have all been local ceremonies apart from one – I must admit, I did think the bride who sent me a ceremony-only invite when I was living 5 hours away was a bit rude though!

I know that pre Covid, wedding ceremonies had to be open to anyone to attend who wished to, but I think most people would still feel a little uncomfortable turning up to one they hadn’t been invited to.  (During Covid, the regs were changed so that only invited guests could attend)  So I think it’s nice to give people the opportunity to attend if they want to.

Post # 68
Member
64 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: March 2025

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@teaandcake:  Thanks for sharing your experience – I had never heard of that in my life, but that’s interesting. Yes, C of E don’t refuse anyone because they serve the community rather than the bride and groom, but might not allow it during covid. A few people turned up to Pippa Middleton’s a couple of years ago and it made the news. It used to be really common when towns and villages were smaller/more close-knit that local people would attend the ceremony to show support, neighbours would stand in their front gardens to applaud and see the bride off when she left for the wedding, but those traditions seem to (sadly) be dying out in my experience.

Post # 69
Member
1970 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2009

I am pro what the bride and groom want for their wedding.  If it doesn’t work for me, whether it be schedule, daycare issues, location, etc., I would gracefully decline my invite, send a gift and leave it at that!

OB, you are not wrong!  I will never understand why people feel the need to make a big deal about things like this.  If it is a childfree wedding and you either can’t get daycare or don’t agree with childfree weddings, then don’t go!  

I had people in DH’s family make a big stink because we were getting married in a location (the city I lived in ) where 99% of the people had to travel to (8hr drive at most).  Honestly, I had to not let it get to me.  Because I only had 5 days post wedding with my DH until he left again for another 10 months (he was in the military at the time) and I was NOT going to spend what limited time I had with him trying to please everyone else.  It was very important for us to have our post wedding days at our home, spending time with eachother rather than traveling.  

OP, you can’t please everyone.  The best thing you can do is be gracious about those who can’t make it and move on!

Post # 70
Member
7972 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

i have a 3 and 5 year old.  husband and i attended a saturday night bat mitzvah a few weeks ago.  my mom wasn’t available so we paid for a babysitter. i even commented to my husband how much more we can enjoy ourselves without our kids.

we had a childfree wedding.  no regrets.  DH’s cousins were the flower girls and then they left with their younger sister with the babysitter or stayed in the hotel room.  i can’t remember.  i know the parents got a hotel room even through they live 10 minutes away just to have a night out.

$275/ per plate sounds crazy expensive.  what kind of food are you serving? or are you calculating the cost of music/centerpieces/etc in to that cost.  because some costs like music isn’t going to change whether you have 10 guests or 200 guests. so then $275 isn’t really the cost per person.

Post # 71
Member
1058 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

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@abeecee:  I’m also UK. I think there may be some confusion in the UK conversation about what constitutes the reception?

The vast majority of weddings I’ve been to have had a ceremony, a meal (commonly sit-down with three courses waiter-served ending with speeches), and then a party (often including cutting the cake, commonly a disco or ceilidh and often with a buffet).

I’ve been to loads of weddings where some people were invited to the ceremony and party, but not the meal. Generally if it’s a church ceremony. Civil ceremonies I think would be more likely to invite people just to the party bit. 

Post # 72
Member
2154 posts
Buzzing bee

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@abeecee:  Oooh, no, I hated the idea of uninvited people turning up to my wedding.  I hate being the centre of attention and my biggest dread was having a load of people we hadn’t invited turn up to our wedding because I get really nervous in a big crowd and our invitees were the maximum number I felt ok standing up in front of!!!  Early on, we had a few people say they were going to come whether we wanted them to or not because it was ‘their right under UK law’, so actually Covid did us a favour in that we were allowed to keep the wedding to invited guests only!!!

Post # 73
Member
2072 posts
Buzzing bee

I think it’s totally fine to have a no kids wedding.  But, as the mom of a one year old and two year old I always find the comments on these threads that suggest if the parents really cared they would get a baby sitter and attend annoying/offensive. For a variety of reasons it isn’t always that easy.  

Post # 74
Member
579 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

Totally agree with PPs saying it’s rude of them to try and give their kids roles at your wedding! And given they live 20minutes away from the venue they can definitely make it work. Hell, they could even come just the one person and swap half way through the reception if they felt like it! 

Definitely don’t give in and I don’t think this is rude of you. If they really want to be there then they’ll figure it out.

Post # 75
Member
811 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

When I adopted a child (as a single woman on a limited budget), I knew that life was going to be very different and my ability to go places and do things would be affected. That I would need some sort of childcare arrangements on occasion. I used trusted relatives and my child’s godmother, a trusted friend.

I was never offended by being invited to childfree adult occasions. Nor did I ever expect a bride and groom, busy planning their wedding, to try to make childcare arrangements for me.  Of course, there may be times when it is not easy for parents to make those accommodations. But frankly, this isn’t your problem. 

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