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Etiquette

children at wedding

I'd like an adults-only reception.  I don't mind if children are at the ceremony because it's short and they won't get as restless, but I would like to hire a babysitter for them for during the reception.  What's the best way to inform parents or get to word out?
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Re: children at wedding

  • lovesclimbinglovesclimbing Alaska member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited November 2012
    I think it would be ok to have a kids' room, with kid-friendly food and activities with a baby-sitter.  I think the kids would enjoy it much more than the actual reception.  (And  the parents too!)

    ETA:  Sorry, I just realized I didn't answer your question.

    I think the best way to let them know is to just contact the parents with kids via phone or e-mail and let them know the arrangement.

  • You should not invite people to the ceremony that are not invited to the reception.  That includes kids.  If you don't want them at your wedding, address the invitation to just the parents.  If the parents RSVP and include the kids, apologize for the confusion and tell them the invitation was just for the parents.  

    It's fine to have a kids' room available, but you cannot require parents to put their kids in it.  If you want to tell people about this option (not requirement), I think the wedding website is the best spot for the info.  

  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    Ditto Jessica. Also, many parents are not comfortable leaving their children with a stranger like that. 
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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  • In Response to Re: children at wedding:
    Ditto Jessica. Also, many parents are not comfortable leaving their children with a stranger like that. 
    Posted by AddieL73
    I second this. Just don't invite the kids. Some parents will see it as a night out for themselves (some might be mad- be prepared for them to decline) and will find their own sitter. I think you having the kids room is a waste of money. 

  • i would simply not invite children to anything.

    i guarantee you people wont leave their kids in teh kids room, and i also guarantee the ones that do will have kids running back and forth to their parents all night long.
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    In Response to Re: children at wedding:
    I find it interesting that you want the kids at the serious, important part of the day - the wedding. This is where kids can really interrupt things. But you don't want them at the loud, fun part of the day where they can run around on the dance floor and not bother anyone.
    Posted by scribe95
    Good point. We allowed children, and apparently one of the babies cried the whole time during the ceremony. I didn't know it b/c the waterfall was loud and I couldn't hear anything behind me, but someone mentioned it to me later. He didn't cry at the reception. 
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    About all you can do is not invite the kids-and even then, someone may show up with kids.
  • Children running around on the dance floor is something I'd like to avoid, in fact, it would bother me,  which is why I was considering children at the ceremony and not reception.  

    It seems like the best way is to just address the invitation when that time comes to the parents only.  I've also read that it's best to not make any 'exceptions' because then you get the "why could so and so bring their kid and I could not?"

    Thanks for the advice.
  • What do you do if someone shows up with their uninvited kids?  
  • In Response to Re: children at wedding:
    I find it interesting that you want the kids at the serious, important part of the day - the wedding. This is where kids can really interrupt things. But you don't want them at the loud, fun part of the day where they can run around on the dance floor and not bother anyone.
    Posted by scribe95

    THIS!!!  I will never understand what people have against children.  And when did it all start- I was invited to weddings as a child and I don't remember people making a big deal about it.  We're inviting children to our wedding and several people have been shocked about it.

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  • In Response to Re: children at wedding:
    In Response to Re: children at wedding : THIS!!!  I will never understand what people have against children.  And when did it all start- I was invited to weddings as a child and I don't remember people making a big deal about it.  We're inviting children to our wedding and several people have been shocked about it.
    Posted by melb2013

    It's nothing against children, it's just personal preference.  I don't feel that weddings are a place for children.  

  • melb, what are you doing about the children at the reception as far as dinner?  Are they getting the same and everyone else or is there a 'kid-friendly' option?
  • In Response to Re: children at wedding:
    Children running around on the dance floor is something I'd like to avoid, in fact, it would bother me,  which is why I was considering children at the ceremony and not reception.   It seems like the best way is to just address the invitation when that time comes to the parents only.  I've also read that it's best to not make any 'exceptions' because then you get the "why could so and so bring their kid and I could not?" Thanks for the advice.
    Posted by FloridaMichelle
    I think there are some instances where exceptions need to be made. The only kids we planned on having at the wedding are my two nephews and FI little sister because they are in the wedding party. But I have a ten year old cousin who will be invited because her two older sisters (18 and 21) are invited so I can't split them up.

    If someone questions you, quite frankly, I don't think its any of their business and you don't owe them an explanation as to why their children are not invited to the wedding.
  • In Response to Re: children at wedding:
    melb, what are you doing about the children at the reception as far as dinner?  Are they getting the same and everyone else or is there a 'kid-friendly' option?
    Posted by FloridaMichelle

    I've never attended a wedding with a kid-friendly option.  We're having a stationed meal, so everyone will have a large variety of main-courses and side dishes to choose from.  The only separate arrangement we have to make for children is to arrange for high chairs and booster seats.

    May 2013 February Siggy: Invitations

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  • And for the record, I think wedding receptions are the perfect place for children- they get to run around, dance, talk loudly, be somewhat independent, there's cake, and no one cares how much noise they make because it's already loud.  I've also found that they get the party started nicely because kids have no fear and love to dance regardless of if others have started to dance yet or not.

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  • In Response to Re: children at wedding:
    Children running around on the dance floor is something I'd like to avoid, in fact, it would bother me,  which is why I was considering children at the ceremony and not reception.   It seems like the best way is to just address the invitation when that time comes to the parents only.  I've also read that it's best to not make any 'exceptions' because then you get the "why could so and so bring their kid and I could not?" Thanks for the advice.
    Posted by FloridaMichelle
    If you invite children to one part, they have to be invited to both. I must say, though, I would fear more the running around the ceremony space than the dance floor....

    I also would prefer an adults-only reception, but everyone has their preferences.

    If you have kids in the WP, they must be invited to the reception. If you do invite kids, you can pick and choose which ones you want there, but it's polite to invite in circles (don't invite all of your combined neices and nephews except FI's sisters sons because they're trouble sorta thing).
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  • In Response to Re: children at wedding:
    In Response to Re: children at wedding : It's nothing against children, it's just personal preference.  I don't feel that weddings are a place for children.  
    Posted by FloridaMichelle
    Then why did you even ask about inviting them?
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  • In Response to Re: children at wedding:
    melb, what are you doing about the children at the reception as far as dinner?  Are they getting the same and everyone else or is there a 'kid-friendly' option?
    Posted by FloridaMichelle
    It depends on your venue.  Ours had a kids meal option that was $50 less than the adult option!  Yay!  I never considered not having our nieces and nephews at the wedding and have never understood the idea that it's not a good place for them.  I actually printed out little coloring books & had stickers for them, and all of the kids over 5 didn't even leave their tables until after dinner and when the real dancing had started.  People got a kick out of the little kids all dancing while we were doing table rounds and eating salad.....they didn't hurt anyone.  And actually one of my H's nieces walked up during our wine box ceremony of our ceremony.....no real problem but it made for funny pictures.  In my experience, kids have never "ruined" a wedding.  In fact, usually they are so much fun!

    This is just my opinion about no-kid weddings, but there is nothing wrong with having that preference.  Address the invites to the parents only and deal with it when people write their kids in.  (We actually had a couple do this! It seems to be common).  Also, the only hardfast exception to not having kids invited is if you have FG & RB....you have to invite them to everything.

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  • In Response to Re: children at wedding:
    In Response to Re: children at wedding : It's nothing against children, it's just personal preference.  I don't feel that weddings are a place for children.  
    Posted by FloridaMichelle
    But the ceremony is the wedding.  And you said that you don't mind having them at the ceremony.  No one will want to leave between the wedding and reception (this assuming you are not having a gap between them) to arrange childcare.  And like PPs said, many people are not comfortable leaving their children with a stranger (the babysitter you would arrange for at the reception).  Just don't invite any children to either part of the event.  Address the invitation to the parents only, and if they write their child(ren) in on the RSVP you or FI can call and explain.
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  • i went to weddings as a child too - but the difference was that kids then were taught proper behavor and more importantly their parents didnt tolerate it if they did misbehave.  i was not allowed to run around wild at a wedding (or anyone's home, church or other public place other than the playground) or be out on the dance floor by myself with out my parent.

    this generation of parents lets kids call all the shots and is generally just lazy about discipline.  ive seen weddings where there are kids running around and even poking at the cake!
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    You shouldn't even be worrying about the kid situation right now. Don't you have your hands full with your "bridesmaids gone sour"? I'm not really trying to be snarky in saying that. I just think you seem to be creating a lot of potential drama about your wedding. 
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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  • When I sent out invites I did it to parents only, but I was prepared that some people might bring their kids to the ceremony because of scheduling we had a large gap between the ceremony & the reception. If people had to arrange for sitters from noon - late in the evening, it could get really expensive if they were  paying someone hourly.

    I would invite just the parents to the wedding/reception and you can put on your website that if you don't have a baby sitter available you will have a kids room at the reception to provide sitter services. One thing to take into consideration is that if someone's kid has a tantrum and they have to go tend to their child, they may end up bringing them into the reception room for a bit to be with them and settle them down.

  • misshart00misshart00 Oklahoma member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    In Response to Re:children at wedding:
    i went to weddings as a child too but the difference was that kids then were taught proper behavor and more importantly their parents didnt tolerate it if they did misbehave.nbsp; i was not allowed to run around wild at a wedding or anyone's home, church or other public place other than the playground or be out on the dance floor by myself with out my parent.this generation of parents lets kids call all the shots and is generally just lazy about discipline.nbsp; ive seen weddings where there are kids running around and even poking at the cake! Posted by Calypso1977
    This. I had almost no problems at my wedding because I knew that the people I invited knew how to handle their kids. The biggest problem I had was when a little girl almost touched my dress with chocolate on her hands. Her mom scooped her up and explained that she could talk to me but not to touch with dirty hands. She completely understood.
  • In Response to Re: children at wedding:
    i went to weddings as a child too - but the difference was that kids then were taught proper behavor and more importantly their parents didnt tolerate it if they did misbehave.  i was not allowed to run around wild at a wedding (or anyone's home, church or other public place other than the playground) or be out on the dance floor by myself with out my parent. this generation of parents lets kids call all the shots and is generally just lazy about discipline.  ive seen weddings where there are kids running around and even poking at the cake!
    Posted by Calypso1977
    Agreed Calypso! I LOVED going to weddings as a kid. I always had a blast. Dancing, cake, got to stay up late. But my parents kept me in check. 

    With the exception of a few most of the kids in our family or kids of friends just aren't very well behaved. I've seen them do some pretty rotten stuff.


  • In Response to Re: children at wedding:
    this generation of parents lets kids call all the shots and is generally just lazy about discipline.  ive seen weddings where there are kids running around and even poking at the cake!
    Posted by Calypso1977
    Not going to lie, I find this offensive as heck. I'm in my late 20's and have a 6yo son who would NEVER be allowed to run around like you mentioned above. We were just at a wedding last month, my FI, DS and FI's DS (age 4) and both boys were very well behaved.
    I know some parents suck, but I don't think it's fair to apply to "this generation," because there are many, many good parents included in this generation.
    Praying for a miracle!
  • s-aries8990s-aries8990 member
    Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments Name Dropper
    edited November 2012
    In Response to Re: children at wedding:
    i went to weddings as a child too - but the difference was that kids then were taught proper behavor and more importantly their parents didnt tolerate it if they did misbehave.  i was not allowed to run around wild at a wedding (or anyone's home, church or other public place other than the playground) or be out on the dance floor by myself with out my parent. this generation of parents lets kids call all the shots and is generally just lazy about discipline.  ive seen weddings where there are kids running around and even poking at the cake!
    Posted by Calypso1977
    Was this all kids? Every little boy and girl sat down with their hands folded on their sunday best and never made a peep? There have been rotten parents in every generation and each generation idolizes itself.  I'm not saying you or your family misbehaved, but there were kids your age that did.

    Sure, bad behavior publicized more and I've seen kids get away with a lot, but it also has to do with what's "promoted" in society.

    It's hard to find stories of kids behaving when all we hear about are kids misbehaving. I do think that kids have been given into a whole lot- there are more parents trying to appease their children than have their child do whats right, but it's only a marginal increase that I think is also due to fewer children in each family (1-2 instead of 5-6).

    Many children do behave well, but  parents don't say "Suzie behaved so well at Mary's wedding! She ate all her supper and never hid under any table once!" They say "Tommy was such a terror at Mary's wedding! He stuck his peas in the candles and was grabbing cousin Tillies shoes off her feet under the tablecloth!"  And now, with social media and youtube and the internets, that bad behavior news travels at lightening speed.

    I think the whole "take a video of Tommy being a brat" reinfoces that behavior on kids- they want attention and know they'll get it if they misbehave. Now, that said, I still think that kids who are well behaved outnumber the bad apples
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  • In Response to Re: children at wedding:
    In Response to Re: children at wedding : I agree with this, but I'm guessing maybe some people wouldn't come without their kids and this would be a compromise?
    Posted by Edie Bee
    Yes this is it.
  • In Response to Re: children at wedding:
    You shouldn't even be worrying about the kid situation right now. Don't you have your hands full with your "bridesmaids gone sour"? I'm not really trying to be snarky in saying that. I just think you seem to be creating a lot of potential drama about your wedding. 
    Posted by AddieL73
    I don't think this is creating potential drama.  Just getting a general consensus on children at a wedding, and giving my opinion on whether or not I'd like them at my own.  
  • mandi, its obviously a GENERALIZATION.  but it really does seem like its a majority these days, and unfortuantley because of that, your well  behaved child wouldnt be invited to my wedding either becuase i simply cant trust that he's well behaved (unless ive spent time around them) as i have to formulate my decision on the majority of what i see.

    also, i think well behaved is VERY subjective.  what one parent sees as "no problem" or "being good" can be the opposite to someone else. 

    when i actually do see a well bheaved child in a restaurant, ive often gone out of my way to say so to a parent.  its so rare tehse days that it doesnt take up that much of my time!
  • edited November 2012
    We had a child friendly room with a sitter. The adults were SO grateful, and took advantage of it. We had it nearby si they could slip out and check on them whenever they wanted. Honestly, if your reception is in the evening, parents are likely to just leave early with their kids anyway. And better to have kids on the dance floor than no one at all.
    Don't make me mobilize OffensiveKitten

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