(Closed) no kids etiquette?

posted 5 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 31
47209 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Sometimes it isn’t about what you SHOULD do, but instead about what you should WANT to do. Making arrangements for a sitter for family members coming from overseas to your wedding should not be such a big deal. It may be difficult to find someone, but you could also consider a professional service and hire someone for the night.

Yes, you are being irritational in the thought that they should just leave the reception when it is their child’s bedtime.

Post # 32
309 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

melienstuey:  The reason why you are called sellfish and irrational is because…

well the people who write it a) allow kids at their weddings b) pay for babysitters.

How dare YOU get away with it?


That’s the tone I have seen a lot here. If I am paying 3000 for my dress surely your ebay thing will not be as cool. If I am paying for 4 course meal your buffet guests will starve and leave early.


Every situation is unique. Especially now I read your comment that they have not actually bothered to invite you or your kids to theirs, seriously? THAT is ridiculous. They meant that if you have kids stay at home, no option for YOU to decide?


I do not know why you even worry about it, their child, their problem.

Post # 33
1243 posts
Bumble bee

melienstuey: Could your Future Brother-In-Law leave the 18 mo. at home with it’s mother so he could go to the wedding? Probably not ideal for them, as I’m sure they’d both like to attend, however it’s not unheard of that one parent stay back to watch the kids if they can’t find someone to watch them.

Post # 34
2480 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I’m replying warily here because you seem so determined to take offence, OP! However, I would second what pps have said in that this guest is your Future Brother-In-Law, your FI’s brother who has travelled from overseas to attend your wedding. Now I realise you are holding a grudge because of your lack of invitation to his wedding but two wrongs don’t make a right.

Be the bigger person here and at least offer alternatives. Provide a sitter. It may well be that your FBIL’s wife decides to take their 18 month old back to whereever they are staying and sit with the child rather than have him babysat by a stranger. But you will have done the right thing by offering alternatives. Suggesting that they both go home when it is the toddler’s bedtime is not an acceptable option in this case. Also, it is reasonable to make exceptions to a no-child rule when there are exceptional circumstances. This would quality. 

  • This reply was modified 5 years, 4 months ago by  .
Post # 35
1039 posts
Bumble bee

I’m actually in a similar situation – we have having zero children at the wedding since no one in our immediate family has young children.


I do have a cousin coming from overseas and she asked about what we could do to accomodate her 1 year old. As someone without kids and who has had zero exposure to babysitting, I talked to a few people and gave them the option of having a babysitter stay with her son in the on-site bridal suite, a babysitter come to the hotel or having him at the reception if that was the option they were most comfortable with.


I think she appreciated the fact that we were trying to accomodate her and they went with leaving the little one with a sitter for the night and going to the wedding without him. I also asked friends of friends who live near our venue (we lived in a different state) who have little kids which sitters they used and liked and just passed on the info to my cousin for her and her husband to decide.

It wasn’t too difficult AND it’s win-win. We still get to have a child-free wedding and they get to enjoy a night out knowing their son is being looked after by someone who is qualified and has routinely babysat for close friends’ kids.

Post # 36
1987 posts
Buzzing bee

Steampunkbride:  +1.  Accommodating the brother’s need for childcare will make the OP look most gracious, and isn’t that the best sort of revenge anyway?  😉

(Please note that I don’t actually believe that one should be motivated to be gracious in order to get revenge on someone else.)

Post # 37
1465 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

melienstuey:  I agree with PPs. But this is your FI’s family, so since you are stressing over other things, have him find the babysitter and get everything set up for your FBIL!

Post # 38
11578 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2015

I’m a bit stunned here. I get that you are still upset about not being invited to their wedding, but you are getting married,which means that you’ve chosen to put someone else’s feelings above or equal to yours. I’m talking about your husband to be. This is his brother, and you need to support his brother attending the wedding if only to make your Fiance happy.

if you can’t find a sitter, ask Fiance or his parents to take on that task. You will look gracious and loving, and your Fiance will appreciate it. 

This act of kindness will pay dividends in a happy marriage, so it’s not a favor to the brother at all. This is all about you and your Fiance. 

Post # 39
98 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

I do think that you are coming across as a little unreasonable and selfish. While you may not intend to sound this way, saying that you “already have enough to deal with” that you cannot simply ask your Future Brother-In-Law (your FI’s FAMILY) what would work best for them after travelling overseas to attend your wedding, is selfish. I understand resentment, too but that doesn’t excuse it. I think you should 1) arrange for a sitter that can watch all 3 kids; 2) offer the sitter to mom/dad, and 3) let them then figure out when to pick up/drop off the baby. This isn’t too much to deal with – you already have to find a sitter! If you truly have too much to do, then you shouldn’t be bothered if the baby attends, but you cannot ask that they leave early. That’s up to the mom and dad. Good luck!

Post # 40
2573 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2009

I would suggest flipping the scenario around and putting yourself into their shoes…I think your attitude might change if you were the one having to find a sitter traveling overseas. 

Post # 41
938 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

She didn’t have to worry about finding a sitter overseas because she and her kids weren’t even invited to their wedding… only her husband.

Which is what you should have also did.

Post # 42
215 posts
Helper bee

melienstuey:  Do any of your guests have a reliable teenager that could look after the kids at the venue? Is there a private room like a bridal suite where the kids could watch a movie on a laptop or something?

Post # 43
197 posts
Blushing bee

I remember attending a family dance at a local hall when my cousin and sister were about 3, I was about 6. It was loud, there were laser lights and the DJ was booming, but the two younger ones ended up PTFO under a table when they got tuckered out. Slept through all the noise on just jackets on the floor.  I imagine you could do the same.

Snug N Safe noise isolation headphones are available for like $13 a pair. <br /><br />Get a couple $1 pool mattresses and stash them away until the reception, then put them either in a corner or under a long table somewhere that the kids would have to cross the room (and would attract the attention of adults) before being able to exit through any doors or wander off. Maybe ask anyone who isn’t dancing (the older folks) to keep an eye out for the kids.

Post # 44
4037 posts
Honey bee


melienstuey:  If they’re expecting you to make babysitting arrangements, maybe you’ve lucked-out, and they don’t expect to bring the toddler at all? I think that a babysitter – or team, can manage 3 preschoolers, 3 car seats, etc. It’s better to spend a few more $$$ so you don’t have the 18 month old at the reception, since your twins won’t even be there. If they get huffy about it, it can be the mother’s turn to stay home.

Post # 45
3 posts

I think I’m one of the few (if not the only) that kind of agrees with you. I am in a similar boat where we are having and adult only wedding, but have some out of towners joining us with little ones. I don’t think its selfish to want what you want for your wedding. However, while I know you are stressed and overwhelmed with wedding stuff, your soon-to-be family has asked for help so they can attend your wedding on your terms. I don’t think you CAN say no. I think you have options though:

1) When you find a sitter, offer to share with your future-in-laws. Either ask the sitter to take all 3 kids, or if they can refer someone that can take your in-laws child. Care.com is great for this. My friend asked the concierge at the hotel where her reception was – they had great referrals.

2) If your plate is full, can you ask a friend with kids, your Fiance, your friends that are your sitters to help you resolve this? Can they refer someone? I’m sure you have a great support system during all of the wedding planning. Ask for help.

3) Allow the 18 m.o. to stay. Our wedding rule is babes in arms can stay – 18 months could be pushing that threshold maybe? IDK – I’m not a Mom. But also, it’s your wedding – I’m sure your other guest would understand your predicament.

I hope this is helpful! Keep your chin up. I’m sure everything will work out and you’ll have an amazing, beautiful wedding!

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