Post # 1
So we just got engaged and are starting to think about what we want the wedding to be like. We are thinking adults-only, so that the parents can relax and not worry about the little ones.
However… many of our friends/relatives will be traveling from various parts of the country for our wedding, and many of the Out of Town guests have children. I’m less worried about communicating that this is adults-only if we go that route, more worried about the burden that will put on people.
Ideally, I would love to provide babysitting at the hotel or something, but I’m not sure if we’ll be able to fit that into the budget (not sure how many kiddos it will be). Should we offer to help parents coordinate with a babysitter (but not pay for it)? Assume people will leave the kids with relatives and make the trip solo? Something different?
I am not opposed to having kids at the wedding, but I can see FH’s point that that will make the parents busy with taking care of them.
Post # 3
@Almost Mrs.P: I would pay for a sitter, otherwise your Out of Town guests will probably not come. Unless the Out of Town guests are not as important as your local guests. But I think they will already be paying a lot to travel to the wedding, so I think if it is at all possible you providing the sitter would be ideal. You can have them “RSVP” for the children, by stating on the card how many kids will need the sitter so that you know how many people you need to hire the sitter(s) for.
ETA: As a theoretical Out of Town guest, I would not know a sitter. I would not want to leave my kids with a stranger, but I would feel much better about it if I knew all the children of people you have at the wedding are at the same place, because I would think you spent more time to vet the sitter. Plus the kids will probably have more fun with other kids to play with.
Post # 4
- Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry
A lot of this depends on the age of the children. We’re having an adults-only wedding, because if we opened it up to kids, we could have eleven there, and the oldest would be five- most would be around 1-2, and I’m not having a temper tantrum during my wedding vows. Our venue, a museum, isn’t kid-friendly, and it’s right on the water, so that’s another reason we aren’t having kids there- a bit of a liability issue.
For all of our Out of Town guests, I’ve told them I’ll help with babysitter contacts. There may be a few couples who chose not to come based on this, and that’s their choice to make.
Post # 5
I was thinking that too, about not knowing a sitter but at least knowing that the kids were in the same place and could play together.
Post # 6
I *think* I’ve been a child at a wedding with a sitter. And if I’m remembering correctly I had fun because all of my cousins were there. If there was no sitter, than we were all in one corner doing our own thing during the reception.
Also I think the ages matter too. Someone who is breastfeeding is going to want to be able to visit their kid during the reception (which would require an “onsite” or nearby location for the sitter). But if the kids are a little older than that I think the location can be offsite at a hotel or something like that.
Post # 7
Ditto- I would not leave my kids with an unknown sitter and I probably would feel even more uncomfortable leaving them with an unkown sitter with a group of other children. With a large group of children and technically an unqualified person looking after them (since you said you don’t really have the money to pay for it) it would be easy for a child to wander off looking for mum and dad or get hurt.
I would prepare for a lot of disgruntled relatives and a lot of RSVP’s that say no.
Post # 8
@j_jaye: I meant that I would be more comfortable with the group sitter than an individual one. I assume that if there are a ton of kids more than one sitter would be hired. However, in any of the cases, there will still be Out of Town guests who RSVP no purely because the kids can’t come regardless of what accoodations are provided.
Post # 9
If we decide that we need to pay for it, we will do everything possible to ensure that a) the babysitters are qualified, and b) there is adequate supervision for the number/ages of children.
Just did a quick count and it looks like we have 23 kids. Plus any that are conceived and born between now and then. Yikes!! The kids will range in age from babies to 12-13ish.
Post # 10
If you dont want kids there and people are coming from out of town then I would pay for a sitter, or like PP said they will not come
Post # 11
I always hate to be “that” person, but even if sitter services were provided, I’d probably have to decline. Leaving my child with someone I don’t know in a place I’m not at all familiar (not near home) is something neither my husband or I would be comfortable doing. I love the excuse to party and don’t take my child to weddings, but in this case I’d have to decline if I couldn’t bring her and it would be nothing personal.
Post # 12
@Almost Mrs.P: Personally, I’m of the opinion that this is the parents’ responsibility. I think that it’s really nice that you want to try to arrange childcare during the wedding, but I think that’s a bonus.
It’s up to the parents to decide whether they can arrange childcare or, failing that, decline.
You probably should make an exception for babies who are only breastfeeding because they really aren’t able to be left alone for very long, but other than that, invite who you want, understanding that they might not be able to come.
Post # 13
I think you can offer the service (and pay for it), but still expect a lot of people to not take you up on it.
I would probably not leave my child (an older child I may, but definitely not under 6) with an unknown person. I would probably just decline the invitation.
Post # 14
Yes, it is up to the parents to make arrangements for their children. That being said, this is your wedding and you want people to come. If there are 23 kids, sounds like a lot of your firends would be put in a difficult position where they will probably decline to attend. Is that what you want? If you are not ok with a gaping hole in your guest list, maybe you could arrange for a kids area at your venue. Can you rent another room in the hall? If you cannot rent a space at the venue, maybe section a corner off with fabric curtains and hire a few sitters. Give the kids who are old enough their own tables to eat at and make it a kids club. This way, the parents can check up on their children from time to time and the kids will be out of your hair
Post # 15
We had this same dilemma and ultimately decided that we’d rather have the people with their kids there than not have them there at all. Many of our Out of Town family have small children and we felt that it would be a bit much to ask them to find a weekend sitter in their town or day/overnight sitter in ours after traveling 8+ hours in a car. We also knew that many people would simply be unable or unwilling to come. We’re thinking of hiring someone to nanny the kids on site–keep them occupied and supervised as a group within the reception so parents can have a good evening without having to actively watch their kids.
Sure I’m giving up on things like satin tablecloths and real flowers (feather bouquets what what) and whatnot but to me, it’s worth it. I’d rather have plainer decor and the people I love.
Post # 16
I would not attend a wedding if my children were not allowed, unless there was on-site childcare that would be both paid for and with caregivers I knew personally or could speak to extensively in advance. I’m not paranoid, but I work in childcare. Additionally, my children are far more important to me than “having a good time,” and frankly, I probably wouldn’t have a good time withOUT them. I can say I’d attend, possibly, with a childcare option provided, but honestly? I’d probably be so offended at the idea of a child-free wedding that I wouldn’t even want to go.
My own wedding will be kid-friendly, with about 30% of my guests being in the 12-and-under category. We’ve made sure to have a great location with plenty for them to do. “Having to actively watch kids” is part of HAVING kids and including them in life’s important events. Beyond the potential screaming infant at a wedding ceremony (which personally wouldn’t bother me), I don’t even comprehend this mentality.