Moms and Maids

Adults Only Reception

So.... I have already had my share of FMIL drama because she is DEMANDING that her 3 daughters be part of the bridal party. NOW, I am having issues with the future Step Mother..... she has 2 kids (12 and 14) and she emailed me the other day claiming that she wanted to start making travel arrangements and asking if the kids were invited. I said that everyone will be invited to the ceremony, and then I will be providing a sitter armed with more age appropriate food, movies, video games etc. so that all the kids can hang out and have fun. Well, she got nasty with me and said that I clearly do not value family since I am not including everyone because that is what she did when she got married (mind you she had 2 kids, her husband had 3 and it was their 3rd and 2nd weddings, respectively). I explained that unfortunately there are quite a few kids that will not be included from the reception for many reasons that I did not need to get into. She said my FI father would be attending alone. (real mature!)
We have made this choice because of the number of children in our immediate family (20+) will likely take over the dance floor and it is a huge financial burden for that many additions. We want this to be about our friends coming together and celebrating our time with everyone we love. There will be an open bar and I simply do not think it is appropriate for that many kids to be around for that. I feel like I have made a great plan for kids if their parents bring them to the ceremony, but I am wondering if there would be any other suggestions??

Re: Adults Only Reception

  • tidetraveltidetravel member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_moms-maids_adults-only-reception?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:357Discussion:f214e490-0c5f-41be-9507-e2e15f9e7bfbPost:5010ece0-c906-49c8-9185-ccec061697ff">Adults Only Reception</a>:
    [QUOTE]So.... I have already had my share of FMIL drama because she is DEMANDING that her 3 daughters be part of the bridal party. NOW, I am having issues with the future Step Mother..... she has 2 kids (12 and 14) and she emailed me the other day claiming that she wanted to start making travel arrangements and asking if the kids were invited. I said that everyone will be invited to the ceremony, and then I will be providing a sitter armed with more age appropriate food, movies, video games etc. so that all the kids can hang out and have fun. Well, she got nasty with me and said that I clearly do not value family since I am not including everyone because that is what she did when she got married (mind you she had 2 kids, her husband had 3 and it was their 3rd and 2nd weddings, respectively). I explained that unfortunately there are quite a few kids that will not be included from the reception for many reasons that I did not need to get into. She said my FI father would be attending alone. (real mature!) We have made this choice because of the number of children in our immediate family (20+) will likely take over the dance floor and it is a huge financial burden for that many additions. We want this to be about our friends coming together and celebrating our time with everyone we love. There will be an open bar and I simply do not think it is appropriate for that many kids to be around for that. I feel like I have made a great plan for kids if their parents bring them to the ceremony, but I am wondering if there would be any other suggestions??

    I hope that you're providing more than one sitter for "20+ kids."  Also - make sure your sitters are credible, licensed and insured if you are providing them.

    You are fully within your rights to have an adults only wedding, however,the risk that you take is that some people will be offended that their children are not invited and may decline because of it.
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  • edited December 2011
    I assume that not all 20 kids will show up. Most everyone local is going to use their own sitters at home. The point is, that with that many kids it could easily be overwhelming. I know some people may not come over this, and I am alright with that. If their intent is to celebrate with us then I hope they make it... if they cannot make it then I completely understand that as well.
  • tldhtldh member
    2500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I wouldn't consider a 12 year old and 14 year old to be kids.  I was babysitting at 12. 
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  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited December 2011
    You are in a no-win situation so I suggest you do what works best for you and not worry about it.  People tend to focus on "the moment" rather than past or present situations. 

    When my brother married for the second time, the majority of his siblings (myself included), had small, school aged children.  My brother chose to marry on a THURSDAY night DURING the school year!  Not only were the children NOT invited....try getting a babysitter on a school night!  Her logic was: her night-her way.

    I have two points.  Those of us with children at the time did the best we could, figured it out, attended without kids and life went on.  Hard at the time but not impossible and certainly, forgivable.  We made choices, dealt with them, and moved on.  No grudges, no fuss, no muss.  Now, BRING TO CURRENT DAY.....my daughter also wants a no-children wedding.  My brother and his wife now have 2 14 year old boys.  You guessed it------the first words out of their mouths were, "How could you NOT include your cousins in the wedding?"

    I think you are being very gracious to make accommodations for those with children.  We are not even doing that.  We try to stress that the children will be bored......and potentially ruin the fun for their own parents.  We tell those with kids that 1) they should consider it a date night, and 2) they have TONS of lead time with which to make babysitting arrangements.  If they choose not to attend, then it is their choice.  Hope that this is merely a first reaction, and that saner and cooler heads will prevail.  There are very few legitimate days one gets to be "a little selfish".....your wedding day being one of them.  You do not sound unreasonable, nor does it sound that you are doing this with any ill intent.  Good luck!


  • banana468banana468 member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited December 2011
    I have to say, at 12 or 14, I WAS a babysitter and I didn't need one.  I understand where you're going with the 'no kids' rule, but can't you make an exception for the children of the step-parents?  It's an easy cutoff to say that children of immediate family are included (siblings and/or nieces and nephews) and the young cousins or children of cousins are not).  But the 12 and 14 year old w/ a babysitter is insulting to them.

    It's fine to want the adult reception but keep in mind that some people may dislike it.

    And please don't use the "there will be alcohol there" excuse as a reason to not include the children.   I was around booze from the time I was an infant.  Every event in my family or DH's family has alcohol and there was never an intoxicated child.  Again, it's fine that you want the adult event but to say that you're not inviting children because there will be alcohol is a bogus reason.
  • bablingbrookebablingbrooke member
    5000 Comments 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    Kids are around alcohol all the time.  If you foresee your reception as a rip-roarin'-pants-on-the-ground-barfight kind of affair as a result of alcohol, sure, use that as an excuse.  But to say "there's alcohol so we shouldn't have kids"?  Please.

    I would suggest a cut-off: Either have a minimum age or cut of beyond, say, first cousins.  That way you aren't inviting your boss's children or people with that nth degree of separation.I agree 12 and 14 year olds aren't kids and don't need babysitters.  If you're staring down the barrel at 20 under-5s I wouldn't blame you.  But you're not.

    Kids taking over the dance floor is great.  The youngest kids at our wedding were 9 and they must have stayed on that dance floor all night with the 11 year old RBs and their teenage cousins.  They danced with their parents, other relatives, even DH's relatives they'd never met before.  It was great!  The adults still found a place to dance and hang out and be adults while the kids partied too.

    You're not under any obligation to invite all the kids, but I suggest you think about the long-term implications of doing so.  If it's going to offend family, invite kids in the family.  If a baby cries during the ceremony or some kids start dancing, will it REALLY ruin your day?  If it does you need to re-evaluate the meaning of a wedding and a marriage.  Putting too much emphasis on the wedding can hurt the marriage that follows.
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  • trix1223trix1223 member
    5000 Comments 25 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    It's a banana-brooke genius fest.  OP:  Please read both banana's and brooke's advice.  Because it's very very good.

    As for the alcohol thing:  that's an excuse, not a reason.  I spent the day yesterday with my niece and her 3 month old son.  Oops: we had wine.  I guess we should have kicked out the 3 month old, huh?

    I've been at family BBQ's where there have been a variety of tubs:  one filled with beer, one filled with soda, one filled with water. Everyone figured it our just fine, and we didn't have a single drunk 9 year old in the back yard.

    If you don't want kids at your wedding, don't invite.  But at least be woman enough to say that you don't want kids at your wedding.  Don't make up lame excuses that you think will appease people who are going to be p!ssed that their little snowflake isn't invited.  Because that will never, ever happen.

    FWIW"  My DD and SIL, and my son and DIL both had child free weddings.  It was because they didn't want kids at their wedding.  It all turned out fine. 
    "Trix, it's what they/our parents wanted. Why so judgemental? And why is your wedding date over a year and a half ago? And why do you not have a groom's name? And why have you posted over 12,000 posts? And why do you always say mean things to brides?" palegirl146
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited December 2011
    "Kids taking over the dance floor is great".    SORRY----could not disagree with you more!  It gets old and obnoxious fast IMO.
  • bablingbrookebablingbrooke member
    5000 Comments 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    If the kids are brats who don't know how to act appropriately, I agree.  However DH and I are blessed with kids in our families who know how to have fun without being obnoxious or rude.
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  • edited December 2011
    Okay... maybe I'm being kinda rude in this but I totally agree with you.  My FI and I are 24 and 25.  We're having an open bar and inviting a lot of friends our age and they like to party and have a good time... not to say they can't control themselves... but I can't see a kids (yes even well behaved 12-14 year olds) in the mix with drunk/dancing 20-somethings.  It just doesn't feel appropriate.  So alcohol is NOT an excuse... but a legit reason to me. 

    And yes, kids do "take over the dance floor" at weddings.  It's always super cute at the beginning of the night but then after everybody has a couple drinks... it's kinda old having a bunch of kids running around on the dance floor.  It changes the atmosphere.  Some people like it, some people don't.  Maybe it's because some of the adults in my family don't really watch their kids all that well and they let them behave like animals. 

    I think it's great that you're having the option of a sitter.  You also mentioned "age appropriate activities" which is great... just make sure you're REALLY considering age.  Just make sure that if you're making a "no kids" rule... it's universal!  Nothing makes parents more sensitive than their children.  It doesn't seem to me like you're trying to be rude... you just know what kind of atmosphere you're looking for... an adult night.

    The only thing that's a bit strange is... wouldn't these kids be your FI's step-siblings?  You can certainly make a "siblings only" rule that would allow these children and I don't think anybody would take issue with that.


  • edited December 2011
    12 and 14 year olds are not the same as 3 year olds!  Mine would have been insulted to be relegated to the baby room.  We had 10 kids that were 13 and under, plus 4 16 year olds at my DD's wedding.  We also had drinking, dancing, and no problems.

    We did offer a babysitter from a local agency.  My nephew and niece each have a rowdy 3 year old son.  We had a venue where the ceremony site was a huge dock in the lake and the reception site surrounded a swimming pool.  There were no rails around the water.  We explained that to everyone who had small children...and told them that if there kids go away from them and into the water...we were not going in after them, and not responsible.  Several with small kids...including my 2 rowdy great nephews, took us up on it.  We used my nieces hotel room as the base and we paid for the sitter.  Everyone was happy and no one got wet.

    Our children are part of our family, and while we did not invite children that were not relatives, it would not have been the same without them.

    of course...we have children that we have raised with manners  Wink
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  • edited December 2011
    Those are your fi's step-siblings...IMO, they should be an exception to the "no kids" rule.

    Also...12 & 14 are kind of old for a babysitter, don't you think?

    And FWIW...most people will not leave their children with sitters they do not know.  There's no way in hell I would.
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  • edited December 2011
    I think you have made the right decision by offering an aternative so that kids can still come, but bottomline its your wedding and if you want NO KIDS then have NO KIDS it is your day. 

    and just because someone is old enough to babysit does not mean they are not a kid and should be an exception.  Just say it is 18 and over. If people are offended that is just too bad.  They need to get over themselves and realize that the day is to celebrate you and your fiance. not to cater to their children.

    Best wishes
  • edited December 2011
    The decision is up to you what you do but if you want an adults only reception make a rule of no one under 18 years old.  I was excluded from many family weddings when I was 14 years old all though none were by siblings but in the end you have to do what makes you happy just make sure it is a decision that you and FI make together and won't regret later.
  • edited December 2011
    STICK TO YOUR PLAN! People can get all snotty about their children. If you allow one person to bring their kids then others will see it and think "well why aren't my kids good enough to be here." You are providing a baby sitter and more age appropriate entertainment. You aren't doing anything wrong by preferring that children not be at your reception. Again. STICK TO YOUR PLAN. Don't let one hateful, tantrum filled woman guilt you into breaking the budget. Giving into her tantrum is not the way to go. It will tell her that she can walk all over you and show other family members that you are making exceptions (this opens a big door). If she doesn't come it is on her...not you!
    Anniversary
  • bablingbrookebablingbrooke member
    5000 Comments 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    While I agree with most of what Suz says, I think there should be 1) an exception to her own step-siblings who are both over the age of 12 and 2) children aren't an all-or-nothing group.
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  • Sing2phinsSing2phins member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_moms-maids_adults-only-reception?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:357Discussion:f214e490-0c5f-41be-9507-e2e15f9e7bfbPost:5bde7503-3759-495c-90d5-4e93df7be2bb">Re: Adults Only Reception</a>:
    [QUOTE]I wouldn't consider a 12 year old and 14 year old to be kids.  I was babysitting at 12. 
    Posted by tldh[/QUOTE]
    Agreed.  Excluding kids this age from the reception is silly to me.  What do you think is going to happen just because you have an open bar?  Andid it's for their parents to decide if they think the setting is appropriate or not for their children.

    20 kids is not that many, and as a PP said, they probably won't all come anyway.  If it's really a money issue, then make your wedding no kids (you can even have a cut off, say, no kids under 16) and don't invite them to the wedding at all.
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  • dcbowmandcbowman member
    Eighth Anniversary 10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    "So.... I have already had my share of FMIL drama because she is DEMANDING that her 3 daughters be part of the bridal party"

    WHAT! If your FI is the one that really wants them to be apart of the wedding - well that is one thing - but really? Shame on her for demanding anything!

    Also  - I completely agree with an adults only reception - Kids dancing are cute for a few minutes during dinner - but that is about it . I've been to weddings where there are a lot of kids running around - it's a distraction - and prevents those who really want to boogie down from having a good time..

    If you have the babysitting/kid room close by then the parents could run over and check up on them periodically throughout the night. 

    Bottom line - it is your wedding not your FMIL or SMs- if you don't want kids there then don't have kids there. The 12 and 14 year old probably don't want to come anyway - plus if they are 'too old' for a babysitter then their parents can let them stay home or in the hotel room by themselves.

     
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  • edited December 2011
    You don't need a reason not to invite kids.  It's your wedding, and where I live weddings are for adults.  You've been extremely nice to organize a plan for the kids, which they will enjoy a lot more than watching a bunch of grown-ups get drunk.  She sucks.  Try to ignore her.
  • emjohn1019emjohn1019 member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I say invite the 12 and 14 year old because they are you FI's stepsiblingsand because they're too old for sitters. But, I agree with your plan to have sitters for the younger children. It's your day, do what you want.

    The only children invited to my wedding are my two half-brothers (ages 4 and 3). They should see their sister get married...and my dad's bringing the au pair, so she's going to take care of them during the reception.
  • edited December 2011
    Stick to your plan. We are also having an adults only (18 and up) reception. The only children that will be at the wedding are my fiance's sister, who is a junior bridesmaid and the flower girls and ring bearer. But they will be leaving early. Some people don't understand that there is a budget and 20 kids could add thousands of dollars to a reception. I know my fiance and I don't have a couple thousand dollars sitting around to use on kids that will run amuck and get on our nerves after 30 minutes. For us, we believe our friends should have a night out, sans kids, to eat, drink, and be merry. Do what you need to and DO NOT let your FMIL demand anything. That is utterly ridiculous. Have you tried to have your fiance talk to her about this? Some people just don't understand that it is your wedding, and they want it to be all about them. Good luck!!!!!!
    Mommy-to-Be
  • edited December 2011

    Thank you all for your responses. The 20+ number is for nieces and nephews (mostly mine) because I have 3 half siblings that are 12, 16, and 17 years older than me. We in fact do have a cut off age (guess I should have mentioned that), it is 16. My fiance and I are young and want to have fun with our friends. Anyone who has a child that is 16+ is welcome to bring them so that they can DD. As for the 12-14 year olds not needing a sitter, that is perfectly fine. They are welcome to enjoy several other things that the hotel has to offer where the wedding reception is being held. And yes, I did say that we are having an open bar. But, that is most certainly not the only reason why I do not want children there, nor is it the only reason that I pointed out in my original post.

    I would be more inclined to make an exception for his step siblings if he even cared that they were there. Ironically, he was the one that originally sold me on the idea of "no kids allowed." Beyond that, it is a simple matter of opinion as to what we each think of as "kids." I believe that as a woman with no children, I am entitled to draw the line where I want in the sand and I have chosen that line to spell out 16.

    I very much appreciate all of your thoughts and ideas... and also all of the support. You ladies rock, even the ones that told me I am wrong. Laughing

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