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Help! How do we pass this on to our guests!

Since my family has a lot of kids (around 75 all under 12) I have this feeling that many of them might not come since our ceremony is at 7 and reception at 8 or 830. We are having it so late so we can do cocktails and hor d'oeuvres to try and save some money. My FI and I thought that if we got a couple rooms at the hotel right by our reception site and hired some of my sisters friends to babysit that this would help everyone out as well as cut down the number of kids on the guest list.

How do we tell people that we will be providing childcare? My FI said we could just include something in with the invitations but is that tacky? I also would want people to tell me how many kids they wanted to put in the childcare. Or should we just have people spread the word since its almost all family?

Re: Help! How do we pass this on to our guests!

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    edited December 2009
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_pass-this-guests?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:c2e7e2fa-05a8-44f2-9f23-2916d0149516Post:140d86de-b99c-44d0-8f93-5391d714fbed">Help! How do we pass this on to our guests!</a>:
    [QUOTE]Since my family has a lot of kids (around 75 all under 12) I have this feeling that many of them might not come since our ceremony is at 7 and reception at 8 or 830. We are having it so late so we can do cocktails and hor d'oeuvres to try and save some money. My FI and I thought that if we got a couple rooms at the hotel right by our reception site and hired some of my sisters friends to babysit that this would help everyone out as well as cut down the number of kids on the guest list. How do we tell people that we will be providing childcare? My FI said we could just include something in with the invitations but is that tacky? I also would want people to tell me how many kids they wanted to put in the childcare. Or should we just have people spread the word since its almost all family?
    <p>Posted by mrsesterholm[/QUOTE]</p><p> </p><p>Personally, I don't feel that children should be getting an invite to a cocktail style reception in the first instance, as I don't see it as particularly child-friendly. I would think the best solution would be not to invite kids at all, and let parents source their own babysitting arrangements with trusted sitters.</p><p> </p><p>My main concern with your plan is the number of kids that you're talking about... although obviously not everyone will take you up on your offer, 75 children require a lot of supervision. Even if only half accept the childcare you're offering, you're looking at 35+ children requiring care... that will take a lot of babysitters in order to ensure that these kids are safe and well. Not to mention, it will be sleep-time for most of them and you'll need room for mattresses etc for the vast majority of the kids- I don't imagine that you'd have that amount of space in the 'couple of rooms' you're talking about hiring. If you do provide childcare, you'll also need to provide some food for the kids as well, so I'm not sure that it will cut down the costs as much as you're thinking. All in all, I can't imagine with the sheer number of children you're talking about that this would be likely to run smoothly if you're only hiring two rooms and a few of your sister's friends.</p><p> </p>
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    edited December 2009
    I do think, though, that if you have evaluated all of the logistics and still want to do this, I'd call the parents individually and offer... although I would imagine that if the kids are invited to the wedding, many parents would rather their children come to the event and stay with them rather than leaving them in a hotel room and entrusting their care to strangers.
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    sorry i just saw that it said 75 it was suppose to say 45! I know it seems like a lot of kids for a few high school kids to watch but its actually pretty normal for my dads side of the family (which has all but 10 of those kids) They usually have a few of the older kids in the family watch all of the younger kids at my grandmas house when they have something to go to and dont want to bring them. I originally thought a hotel because my first venue of choice had one that connected to the banquet hall and it would give the 8-12 year olds a chance to go swimming too. I think I will ask them individually if they would like childcare and then go from there. Thank you
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_pass-this-guests?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:c2e7e2fa-05a8-44f2-9f23-2916d0149516Post:65948744-ef69-400a-ab48-c5585ed9fb37">Re: Help! How do we pass this on to our guests!</a>:
    [QUOTE]sorry i just saw that it said 75 it was suppose to say 45! I know it seems like a lot of kids for a few high school kids to watch but its actually pretty normal for my dads side of the family (which has all but 10 of those kids) They usually have a few of the older kids in the family watch all of the younger kids at my grandmas house when they have something to go to and dont want to bring them. I originally thought a hotel because my first venue of choice had one that connected to the banquet hall and it would give the 8-12 year olds a chance to go swimming too. I think I will ask them individually if they would like childcare and then go from there. Thank you
    <p>Posted by mrsesterholm[/QUOTE]</p><p> </p><p>
    I'm glad that the 75 was a typo! Even then, though, the last thing I'd want to do is put a few high school kids in charge of a group of potentially 45 swimming children...  (that said, most hotel pools tend to close at about 8/9pm anyway in my experience, so they may not be able to swim in any case). I think that it's one thing to leave older family members in charge of younger kids, but leaving them with babysitters that aren't known to the parents might not be met with such enthusiasm, especially when the parents can just bring the kids into the event with them. </p><p> </p><p> </p><p>I'm sure you'll get a lot more advice as people wake up in the next few hours, so check back later.</p><p> </p>
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    I agree with sun that you should just leave the kids off the invitation. Cocktail receptions starting that late aren't intended for children. It also sounds as though your family already has a solution for events without children, so I don't think you need to worry about it. And swimming? Eeek, bad idea to trust teenagers to watch kids in a pool at dark. I think that's assuming a lot of responsibility.

    Invite the adults, let them take care of child care arrangements. When the parents call and ask if their kids are invited simply say "we've decided to have an adult event, we hope you can still make it. Please let me know if you need help finding childcare." At that point, you can suggest your sister's friends.

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    Yeah I think it should be adults only, hands down. If people don't make it because they can't have their children, well, that's just something you'll have to deal with. Let the parents figure out what to do. You don't have to make that decision for them.
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    I'm still shuddering about the idea of leaving 45 kids in charge of a few teenagers in a pool. Oh man, that is a liability.

    I really think you need to think this through a bit more, especially with all the suggestions above. A lot of (even older) kids have bedtimes of 9 or 10 PM, and that would be just one more mess to add to the whole thing.
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    NO to the pool!  Even as a CPR certified adult who worked YMCA summer camp for years, taking the kids to the pool or the water parks was always scary to me.  Don't put HS kids in this situation.

    I'll ditto the others - just leave the kids out of the picture completely. Cocktail receptions are not kid-friendly.
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    thanks! just so you know i only meant the older kids use the pool i dont even trust my 15 year old sister to watch a 5 year old in the pool! I hope they do get that its adult only and dont let that affect whether they decide to come or not
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_pass-this-guests?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:c2e7e2fa-05a8-44f2-9f23-2916d0149516Post:dc20c1ed-4d3c-4e95-a1bc-6984ed57b6cf">Re: Help! How do we pass this on to our guests!</a>:
    [QUOTE]thanks! just so you know i only meant the older kids use the pool i dont even trust my 15 year old sister to watch a 5 year old in the pool! I hope they do get that its adult only and dont let that affect whether they decide to come or not
    Posted by mrsesterholm[/QUOTE]

    The older kids would not be allowed in the pool unless they are accompanied by an adult.  Most hotel pools do not have a lifeguard. 

    Most parents would not want their children looked after by a few teenagers with the child/caregiver ratio you are proposing in a place that is away from the reception.  Those ten to 12 year olds could be quite the handful when away from parents for a few hours.  Not to mention the issue of food, drinks, and room for 30 plus children.

    It's best to let the parents decide what to do with their children.  Some may leave their children home with a sitter.  Is it possible there is a room near your reception room that can be a place for the younger children to sleep or rest with babysitters there.  This way the parents can pop in and check the kids.
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    Unfortunately, you're going to have the face the possibility that some of your guests may decide not to come. That's the reality of an adult reception. But it seems as though many parents welcome a night without the kids, so encourage your guests to come and enjoy themselves.
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    I know you are trying to be helpful to your guests.

    That being said, I think pretty much every element of your plan is flawed.  HS kids watching a large # of children in hotel rooms that aren't really adequate size for them to be cared for and allowed to sleep is a bad idea.  And thinking that "older kids" should be allowed to swim in a hotel pool without proper adult supervision (i.e. NOT h.s. kids) is INSANE.  Even those h.s. kids shouldn't be swimming in a hotel pool without the presence of an adult over 18 (this is probably the hotel rule as well).

    Do as the others  suggested.  Invite only the adults and let guests deal with their own childcare arrangements.  As a parent, I would NEVER leave my children with strangers.  I have no desire to bring my children to a wedding either...be it daytime or evening.  I leave them at home with someone I know and trust.  Some people may not be able to attend...particularly those who live OOT.  You just need to graciously accept that.
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    I think your idea can be worked out... however, I would scratch the pool idea and just set them up in rooms with games and pizza. I'd also hire a professional babysitting service rather than a few teenagers.

    You can put on the reception card or other insert that childcare will be provided at the hotel and have a space on the response card for parents to check if they plan on using your babysitters. But you might want to call around before going to all that work and expense since many might opt not to use it.
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