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Another how to handle children question?

We've decided that we only want to invite about 60 people to our event which is a vow renewal. Keeping in mind we are mid 30's and all of our friends have children the same age as our children read ahead. 

Originally I wanted to include my friend's children, however once I started the list the kids ate it up and we could only invite about 20 friends. Yikes! So we decided no children was a better bet. We changed it to "circles" so only our own children who will be part of the ceremony, and my niece and nephew would be in attendance. However we then realized there are quite a few friends that live out of state we'd like to extend an invitation. We honestly don't expect anyone out of town to fly in since this is NOT a wedding but we honestly think a few people we are very close with will.

But on top of that is the "ulterior motive" acceptance. If we lived anywhere else these people might be willing to come in and not think twice about the invite leaving their children out. But of course since we live in Orlando the majority of our friends from out of state are going to decide "Hey, perfect chance to get in a Disney vacation!". Everyone wants a chance to justify coming to Disney ;)

So I decided to come to a compromise. With our venue we get a bridal suite which is really just a small house next to the banquet hall. I thought we could hire two of those professional baby sitters/nannies from a licensed/bonded website, order pizzas, included some games and movies and provide a free babysitting service. There is also a huge playground since our venue is at a public park. 

This way guests in town and out of town can make their own decision whether they bring their child or not. In town they can either get their usual sitter (or Grandma or Sister) to watch their kids OR from out of town make the decision on whether they want to bring their kids for a vacation or not. They can stroll over and check on their child at any time so it isn't too mysterious and everyone feels nice and safe. Children under 2 can stay with mommy because I think that is usually a rule or else in my circles it is. My kids will like this because they will get bored with the party very quickly so as soon as the ceremony part is over I'm sure they'll be like "What, kids are over there playing on tablets and watching a Disney movie...see ya!"

How does this sound? Am I doing the right thing or should I just not worry about it and leave my invites as just the adults and not worry about making people upset by not including their children.
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Re: Another how to handle children question?

  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    What you want to offer is very nice of you.  But what will you do if someone with a child over 2, wants to bring them to the wedding, but not use your babysitting service because they don't know the babysitters?  Are you ready to allow the children to stay at your reception?  It will be difficult to word your invitations, without sounding rude, about letting Timmy & Suzy come, but only to the bridal suite.
  • I am not sure. I guess I'll come ask ask of you when the time comes. I was thinking of an extra insert that says something like "While this will be an adults only party I am providing on site child care with license and bonded sitters. If you would like to take advantage of this offer please let me know. Food and fun will be provided for all of our little ones age 2 and above. Children 2 and under are welcome to stay with mommy during with ceremony and reception."
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  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    I think you should save yourself the headache and just have the largely child free wedding as you originally planned. You can include your own children and your neices and nephews.

    Many here will tell you that while providing a child care option is nice, many parents won't leave their kids with a stranger, and logistically having the kids in a separate room on site doesn't work because there is really nothing to prevent them from coming into the reception.

    If you want a smaller wedding and excluding other ppls children is the way to keep your guest list down, then don't invite them. Your OOT guests will figure child care out on their own.

    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."

  • theartistformerlyknownastheartistformerlyknownas peaced out. member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers First Anniversary
    I would stick with your original plan. If people try to foist their kids on you just because they want to turn your VR into a Disney vacation, that's super rude of them. Non-foisting, polite parents are perfectly capable of making their own plans.

    Guests can ALWAYS make their own decision as to whether they bring their kids to an out of town event or not, they're just still responsible for finding their own childcare when they get there, same as if they were home. A lot of my friends bring Grandma when they go to Disney, so they can still have some grownup time while still having a sitter for the kids.

    Logistically speaking... a sitter being licensed and bonded doesn't mean that they're capable of taking care of one or two dozen kids of varying ages and behavior levels, who don't necessarily know each other or get along. Whatever license the sitter has still won't protect you from kids getting into fights or just being bored and wandering back over to the reception because they're not having a good time. 

    And FWIW, I would not leave my (future, hypothetical) kids with anyone I hadn't met and gotten to know myself, or with that many other strange kids in a party/play-type atmosphere. I don't even board my dog for this reason.

  • emmaaaemmaaa North Carolina mod
    Moderator 2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary
    While it is nice to offer, I would stick to your original plan. There are many parents that would be uncomfortable leaving their children with babysitters that they don't know. If people decline because their children aren't invited, sorry. Or if they really want to come, maybe they can find an overnight sitter at home or bring their kids and a sitter with them. They are the parents and it is up to them to make the decision on whether or not they want to use a sitter at all and especially WHO watches their kids.

    Invite in circles.

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