Post # 1
I have 1 flower girl (age 6), 1 ring bearer (age 5) and 1 junior groomsman in my wedding party (age 11). All three children are my FI’s neices and nephews. We invited them to be part of our wedding party when we got engaged over a year ago. Since this time, the behavior of the younger children has gotten worse and worse. My bridal shower was this past weekend and only the flower girl attended. Guests were asking my mother who the obnouxious girl was (and this was coming from guests who are elementary school teachers and some of whom work with special needs children!). Due to her presence, my shower felt like a children’s birthday party. Friends and family were upset that they did not get to see my open gifts because the flower girl proceeded to rip everything open before I could. She ran around the hall bumping into guests, spilling her drink and food, and asking rude questions, meanwhile her mother (who is a bridesmaid) stood by and watched. She thought she was being “cute”. The flower girl did not leave the other bridesmaids alone, literally hanging on them and jumping on them. I was in tears after my shower. My question now is I know under most circumstances it would be incredibly rude to not allow the flower girl and ring bearer to attend the reception, but I don’t see how I could possibly enjoy the reception with them there? We have tried hinting to the parents that they would have a better time if the younger children went home (they are the only children that would be attending), but the parents make excuses about not having a babysitter. They have multiple family members living within 10 minutes of the church and there is a two hour gap between the ceremony and reception where they could be droppped off with someone. They would still be able to attend the rehearsal dinner, spend the day getting ready with us, partake in the ceremony and be in pictures. I am not sure what to do.
Post # 2
Pity that no one taped some of the escapades, but this is EXACTLY why I believe in the “no adorable little children at weddings” rule.
If you are REALLY stuck, and you MAY BE, offer to pay for a sitter “as your gift” to ride herd on Tiny Charmer, so that “mom and Dad should be able to enjoy themselves without cares about TC”.
Stupid, self focused, entitled style parenting.
Post # 3
that’s totally unacceptable behavior for a 6 year-old… wow, OP… that totally sucks. I agree you are kind of stuck… I dunno… did you have a chat with the mom?
What does your Fiance have to say?
The PP’s idea of a sitter on your dime is a great one, and may be your only way out. I do think it should be extended to th ering bearer too, though. Although your Jr Groomsmen is probably fine 🙂 Good luck, and keep us posted!
Post # 4
lol I came here pretty riled up, because I was asked to do a reading at my uncle’s wedding when I was 13, and the excluded from the reception (a was a nice quiet kid, his wife was just a giant B and quite obviously does not like kids).
In this case though, I’ve had the same thoughts as you. My tactics have been to hire a babysitter for a room in the hotel, and tell guests “feel free to drop kids with the babysitter so you can unwind!” I also know it’s not polite to do, but I’ve been pretty forthcoming about the cost of the venue, ie people will ask “did you get a good deal?” And I’ll say “well, it’s X for adults and X for children, so depends on your perspective!” (The child rate is about $40.00) so I’m hoping that the combination of those two (knowing I paid for a babysitter, and that I would be paying $40 for their kids to throw their chicken finfers at well-dressed adults) will encourage folks to send the kids to the babysitter. I won’t be mad if they don’t, but it would probably make the evening more enjoyable for everyone, and doesn’t create the same hurt feelings that a stricltly “no kids” wedding does
Post # 5
I, my mother, or Maid/Matron of Honor would have nipped that kind of behavior, in the bud, at the shower. I have zero tolerance, for children who behave like that. If I were you I’d be asking my Fiance to talk to her parents, and re-assess including the girl in your bridal party. I can just imagine what her behavior would be like, in the church and with the hours of photos, that bridal parties have taken. Your whole day will be consumed by her behavior, trying to control it, and your aggravation.
Post # 6
Plus, then the little snot will be in your photos. I’d talk to the mother and explain that because of her poor behavior at the shower I just couldn’t take the risk of her ruining the wedding.
Post # 7
This doesn’t really speak to your question, but you don’t need new flower petals to walk upon in the aisle and the officiant or the maid of honor/best man can hold your rings just fine. Keeping the junior groomsmen is another consideration.
Best wishes, Bee!
Post # 8
Lra6989: remove her from the wedding altogether. You do not need a flower girl, and I’d be much more concerned about her being a holy terror during the ceremony (screaming, running around, etc) than I would be about the reception. And getting ready? no way! I see dresses ripping, juice being spilled on your dress, hair getting ripped out. Nope.
Post # 9
The child’s behavior is unacceptable (but also completely predictable for a 6-year-old who is bored), but so is inviting them to the ceremony and not the reception. Nothing says “you’re just a prop” like inviting the children to perform a service for you, then excluding them from the part of the day that is supposed to be the “Thank you” for the guests. If you don’t want the kid at the reception, then don’t have her in your wedding.
Post # 10
Don’t know if this is helpful or not, but I plan on hiring a kids entertainer for my reception for exactly this reason. FSIL’s little cousins were at her wedding and played football across the dancefloor, sure not for long and no one was majorly bothered by it (and they are cute kids otherwise), but I’m going to try and avoid that at all cost…
Maybe look into that as an option?
Post # 11
My sister’s kids are my flower girl and ring bearer; in addition, my Fiance and I have a 2 year old son together and he has a son from his previous marriage. All 4 kids are part of our ceremony BUT none of them are coming to the reception (ours included!) My future Mother-In-Law was upset at first, but I’m sorry – I know their limitations, and they are all under the age of 4 and a fancy sit down dinner is NOT their scene!
Post # 12
I seriously believe in “it takes a community to raise a child”. I would not have hesitated telling that child to sit down or there would be a time out outside immediately. A child needs to learn that they have to meet expectations other than their parents to successfully co-exist in this world. A disapproving look, a cautionary word to the child or the parent that the behavior being displayed wil not be tolerated is good for both the child and parent to learn. Sometimes the best lesson a child can learn comes from being embarrassed. I don’t understand why EVERYONE at the shower turned a blind eye. Why would the bridesmaids let her hang on them? Why did you let her rip open your gifts? Everyone of you had the right to set the boundaries of how this child interacted with you? What is wrong with our society when adults are afraid of a six year old?
Post # 13
If they are they only kids, perhaps a good “thank you for being in my wedding” gift would be for you to pay a responsible babysitter to take them to a movie or something (with all the trimmings) so they don’t “have to” attend the boring adult party? Make it a positive thing.
Post # 14
I think you are well within your rights to exclude the kids. Just notify people that you are happy to have their kids participate in the ceremony and that you have decided that the reception is now adults only. If anyone asks you amy questions you can let them know that flower girl helped you make the decision. If her mother has any questions I think you should be blunt and say that her daughter’s behavior at the shower wasn’t okay for you and you do not want her at the reception. There’s not really anything to discuss.
At this point, if you cave and allow them to be there and the girl does act out at your reception, it’s on you.
Post # 15
Thank you all for the advice!
My Fiance decided to speak with the FG’s mother and explain that we would like to have an adult only wedding reception, but would still like the kids to participate in the wedding ceremony (we had already agreed to pay for the Round Brilliant and Flower Girl outfits so the parents are not paying for anything). The Flower Girl mother pressed the issue and my Fiance explained that after the shower this weekend, we think it would be best to limit the guests to older children and adults and that we would help her find childcare. The FG’s mother (who is also a bridesmaid) has now told my Fiance that she will not have her son (the junior groomsmen) attend the reception since the Flower Girl will feel left out. The mother has also said that she will just leave with both of them after the ceremony since she doesn’t have a sitter and that she will not attend the reception (again we had just offered to help her find one! which she would be doing anyways if they weren’t invited to the ceremony). Wish I could have forseen this when I chose my bridal party! The rest of my bridal party and my family are more reserved and quiet and do not want to have to step in to discipline someone else’s child (especially when they do not know her that well).
Meanwhile the Round Brilliant mother has already let me know that after seeing the Flower Girl on sunday, she would be getting a sitter for her son after the ceremony.