Post # 1
My fiance and I have decided to not allow children under the age of 5 at our wedding ceremony. We like kids, but my biggest fear is that our ceremony will be interupted or unable to be heard because a parent will not be responsible enough to take their young child outside if he/she makes noise. We will be having a full catholic mass (about an hour to an hour and 15 minutes long – no kid wants to sit still and quiet through that!). This only effects a few of our family members and one close friend. Everyone elses children are over the age of 5. We do not have any children in our wedding party. The people with kids under 5 are close relatives that would have attended no matter what (like my brother and sister, my best friend, his cousin, etc.). The problem is that we didn’t mention it on the invitation or anything. All children are invited to the reception, regardless of age. But just for that 1 hour ceremony we plan to hire a babysitter to provide childcare for the under 5’s. Since it was only one hour and we are paying for and providing a babysitter and the kiddos are still welcome at the reception, neither of us thought to include this information on the invitation or our wedding website. r Oops, I know. Our bad. So now, we need to go back and inform those few people with young kids that their child will not be able to attend the ceremony.
Well, my fiance’s parents seem to think this is a terrible idea and that we will horribly offend everyone and that if we do this people will never talk to us again. Now, I’m all for hearing advice and opinions, but this advice was unsolicited. I feel like now that they’ve said this we can’t say no-under 5’s because if I do, I will be the b*tch of the family. I feel like once someone has told you that if you do something that it will ruin eveything, that the decision has already been made for you because you don’t want to cause problems or hurt anyone. I’m just really upset that someone would say something like that, therefore leaving me no choice really unless I want to cause deep family rifts apparently. I thought this was supposed to be our decision. But now I feel like I HAVE to allow kids under 5 or everyone will hate me. I wouldn’t dream of telling someone else what to do or not to do on their wedding day. I’m just frustrated. Any advice? I can be flexible and compromise on a LOT of wedding things, but this is probably the one thing I am not willing to give on because I think the ceremony is so sacred and special that if it is interupted during the vows or something by a babbling child with a parent who refuses to take him/her outside I would be deeply disappointed to miss such a special moment. Any advice on how to handle this? We want to do the right thing, but this is really important to us.
Post # 3
Honestly, the “right” thing is for you & Fiance to go with what works best for you two. BUT, be prepared to deal with the consequences. No one can say you should feel the need to cave, but then you can’t feel like people *should* understand where you’re coming from.
Everyone is different…for me, I’m disappointed my sister isn’t coming because my 2 year old nephew was going to the be ring bearer and Fiance and I were hoping he’d do something totally random and hilarious. But then we’re not having a formal church ceremony either.
Kids are special (and not just to their own parents either). Some people don’t know to control their kids, I’ll give you that. But I *personally* don’t think a kid can “ruin” a wedding ceremony. Perhaps, if you’re really bothered and considering allowing the kiddies, you can have mom or whoever is appropriate, have a convo with the parents before hand asking them to PLEASE exit if their little one gets restless. Just a thought.
Post # 4
And just saw that you’re providing sitting at the ceremony. Problem solved. Have the ushers or a sign posted directing parents to the child care location…
Post # 5
I think since you’re graciously providing childcare during Mass and the kids are welcome at the reception, anyone who would be offended is just unbelievably touchy. It’s all very well to say, oh kids can’t possibly ruin a wedding ceremony … but there was a bride on here not too long ago that had a kid screaming all through her vows! Was she somehow wrong to be upset? I don’t think so. The kids will have a much better time playing under the supervision of a babysitter than having to sit through something they are too young to understand anyway. The parents won’t have to leave at a crucial moment to deal with a fussy child, and will be able to give their full attention to the Mass and the ceremony. I say it’s a win-win.
Post # 6
I have no advice but I look forward to hearing the suggestions from other bees. I went to a wedding recently and a family in front of me had two small children (both under 3) and the kids were fussy and babbling the whole time. Loud enough for the Mother of the groom to turn around during the vows to watch the cute kids! Don’t know if she was really like “Aww how sweet!” or (fake smile) “Get up and take you kids out of here!” I personally think if you offer a sitter for the Mass then people would be rude to decline and bring their kids in anyway.
Post # 7
All I can say is what I would do. If it were me I’d just call up those few people it is going to affect and kindly just inform them that I can’t wait to see them at the wedding and I just wanted to let them know that there is a childcare service available for them to entertain their children during the service as we (Bride and Groom) don’t want them to be bored during the ceremony and it’s going to be 1 hour+ long.
Post # 8
I wish we had done this. It was really cute for all the kids to take part in our ceremony, and all but one of them was well behaved. The offendor was our 2 year old niece who screamed through our entire ceremony. it was really bad. And it made me mad because her parents did nothing to stop her at all. She threw toys into the aisle, asked loudly for chocolate and was screaming because she couldn’t have any. We had made the decision not to do it because all of the kids were nieces and nephews and their parents were in our wedding party AND our ceremony was only 15 minutes so we figured it wasn’t enough time for kids to act up. We were wrong.
Since it was your in-laws who have given you this ‘advice’ what you need to do is have your Fiance enforce the no-kids law. All of the instructions need to come from him. You can’t give your in-laws a reason to be mad at you, and I promise they will never be mad at your Fiance for it.
Post # 9
i completely agree with ms. charisma’s advice. while some couples could prefer an ‘adult only’ reception (which is totally fine!), i think the reasoning — because a child could “ruin” the reception — is a little ridiculous. i think if you’re worried about a particular child’s behavior, there are plenty of appropraite & polite ways of mentioning to the parents before the ceremony, as to not disturb the rest of guests if they get fussy.
my fiance & i went back and forth about whether to have kids or not at our wedding, who to make exceptions for etc. we both realized the amount of family drama we would be dealing with to not invite children, and the amount of family & friends who would probably NOT show up otherwise if their children weren’t included, was not worth it to us.
i know there will be some people who advise you to “stand your ground because it’s your day” — and while i see the value in that, and yes, it is your day, consider if whether or not of dealing with the drama over small children, who will probably be just fine, is really worth it …