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Sophie
Beginner May 2021

How to get around no kids at the reception?!

Sophie, on February 28, 2021 at 11:50 PM Posted in Wedding Reception 0 23
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Hi all!


I was hoping for some advice from people who have been in a similar situation.
My partner and I are having a wedding on a farm about three hours away from our hometown. We really don’t want kids at the reception; we’ve been to heaps of weddings where little kids are running around screaming and we really just don’t want that.
We have offered for our two nephews who are 2 and my partners half sister who is 7 to be in the ceremony and then we have offered to pay for a nanny (using a reputable company who has great recommendations) however we have also said we totally understand if they want to leave the kids at home with a family member for a relaxing weekend away. Obviously if they’re a little baby we get they will come.
The issue is my MIL is very upset about my partners half sister not coming to the reception, she doesn’t understand why we won’t allow it. I’ve tried to explain everything to her but she keeps saying ‘but she’s so well behaved’. She isn’t- the last family wedding we were at she bugged the bride and groom the whole night which is part of our reason for not wanting kids!
Everyone else has been totally fine with the no kids arrangement and happy to use the sitter or leave the kids at home.. we love my partners half sister but we really just don’t want kids there through the formalities and want an adult only night. Any advice?

23 Comments

Latest activity by Judith, on March 1, 2021 at 8:10 PM
  • Michelle
    Rockstar October 2022
    Michelle ·
    • Flag

    You can have an adult only wedding but you need to be consistent with no children in the ceremony to avoid offending guests. This is your and fiance's wedding. No one else gets a say. That also includes they don't contribute toward financing the wedding.

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  • Sophie
    Beginner May 2021
    Sophie ·
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    Thanks Michelle, unfortunately they will all be even more upset if they aren’t at least in the ceremony. So it’s a very difficult situation Smiley sad
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  • KiwiDerbyBride
    VIP May 2015
    KiwiDerbyBride ·
    • Flag
    She understands, she just doesn’t like your decision so is playing ignorant to see if you’ll change your mind. Stop trying to explain, just keep repeating ‘the decision has been made and isn’t up for discussion. Thanks for understanding” every time she brings it up.
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  • Rebecca
    Rockstar August 2019
    Rebecca ·
    • Flag

    "No" is a complete sentence.

    This is also on your FH. His family, his job.

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  • Michelle
    Rockstar April 2021
    Michelle ·
    • Flag
    We’re having a no children wedding-the only kids that’ll be there are his 10 yr old niece (flower girl) & 2.5 yr old nephew (ring bearer). We don’t want a bunch of kids running around screaming their heads off while their parents aren’t watching them. We’ve told everyone plus it’s printed on our RSVPs Adult Ceremony/Reception. Your FMIL is going to keep pushing this issue- it’s up to your fiancé to deal with her.
    • Reply
  • Allie
    Rockstar November 2021
    Allie ·
    • Flag

    As others said, it sounds like she just doesn't like your decision. We are doing the same thing. We have 3 nephews and all are 3 and under. I also have a little cousin who will be 5 by the time of the wedding, but we said unfortunately she wouldn't be able to come either because we didn't think it would be fair to allow her to come and not the other children. And some people are upset about it because a lot of people on my FH's side are obsessed with the kids and we just don't want them yelling and screaming and running around like little kids tend to do. So when people make comments, we just say it's not up for discussion, we have decided and if they can't make it due to this we understand. Then they usually stop complaining about it, at least for the time being. It always baffles me how people can't understand why children wouldn't be invited to a wedding considering it's a formal event.

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  • Tory
    Devoted May 2022
    Tory ·
    • Flag
    I would just explain that it’s unfair to allow a kids exception for one person just because “they’re well behaved.” If no one else had an issue with it, it would still be really unfair if they showed up and saw that one person got to bring their kid even though you had already told everyone else they couldn’t. She needs to accept that her kid can’t come so there’s no drama with other guests
    • Reply
  • Courtney
    Devoted September 2022
    Courtney ·
    • Flag

    I agree with the others, it's important to remember that "No" is a complete sentence.

    We have two couples from out of town that we'll be allowing to bring their children. One is my step-brother and his wife who have twin boys that our family never gets to see because they're so far away. The other is my aunt who's only real possible babysitters will also be at the wedding.

    I have a handful of cousins who I know are going to be upset about not getting to bring their children, but I have seen all of them allow their children to cry and scream during ceremonies without removing them so I'm not at all upset about telling them know.

    In regards to your FMIL, I mean, it is your partner's sibling. Would they want them there? Can you guys make it perfectly clear that to FMIL that she needs to keep her in hand or you'll ask them to leave and take her home at the earliest opportunity? How old is the sibling?

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  • Erin
    Dedicated April 2021
    Erin ·
    • Flag
    We are having no kids are our reception, and we mailed invites to adults, not families. Our one exception are my husband’s nieces (we are legally married and postponed our religious wedding and reception to this year). His nieces, ages 12 and 17, are acting as our greeters at the church, not as junior bridesmaids. They are his only nieces and the rest of the potential kid invites would be second cousins. We had one of his cousins rsvp for the whole family 🙄🤦🏼‍♀️ We had to text her and tell her it was an adult-only reception, and she understood.


    I think you need to stick with what YOU want. I totally agree that kids can be distracting and most parents want the break. My MIL actually had the nerve to say we should just let his cousin’s kids come because our guest count was so low...ummm no, it’s not her choice and when we explained the cost per person and that it would be unfair to my cousins, she got it. Stay strong and you’ll be happy you did ☺️
    • Reply
  • Sophie
    Beginner May 2021
    Sophie ·
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    Thank you! That’s a really good idea
    • Reply
  • Sophie
    Beginner May 2021
    Sophie ·
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    Thanks Rebecca. I’ve told him that last night. He really doesn’t want kids there so he needs to talk to her!
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  • Sophie
    Beginner May 2021
    Sophie ·
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    Are the kids involved in your ceremony coming to the reception in your case?
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  • Sophie
    Beginner May 2021
    Sophie ·
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    Thanks Allie, I agree. Ultimately it’s our decision, we may feel differently if we had kids but we don’t! Everyone else with children have been super understanding and said that they want to leave their kids at home to have time off!
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  • Sophie
    Beginner May 2021
    Sophie ·
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    Thanks Tory.. I’ll get my FH to try explaining this again
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  • Sophie
    Beginner May 2021
    Sophie ·
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    Hey Courtney, shes 7 but my FH specifically doesn’t want her at the reception, because at my FH brothers reception last year she just pestered and annoyed the bride and groom all night and it was hard for them to relax, and her parents did not recognize she was doing this and just let her do it
    • Reply
  • Sophie
    Beginner May 2021
    Sophie ·
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    Thanks Erin, I’d probably be happy with 12 and 17! This is what we want so I really hope she will be understanding!!
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  • Courtney
    Devoted September 2022
    Courtney ·
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    Then yea, that's a totally fair decision imo. The challenge becomes who does she get left with that won't already be at the wedding? You're both 100% within your rights to not want her there and put your foot down with your MIL.

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  • Sophie
    Beginner May 2021
    Sophie ·
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    We’ve booked a nanny who will look after her and another kid (whose parents don’t have any family in the country to care for him so I said they could bring him) and we’re paying for it.
    I’m happy for her to maybe come at 9pm when people dance etc but really don’t want her there for formalities
    • Reply
  • Courtney
    Devoted September 2022
    Courtney ·
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    Eh, I wouldn't let them come at all. 9p is late for a 7 year old. If you've got a plan in place I think you're good. Your MIL may not like it, but your SO just needs to really stand strong on the issue and not waver. Best of luck though!

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  • M
    Dedicated September 2023
    Meghan ·
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    I disagree with the “both or neither” idea. When I was a preteen, my uncle had family members’ children at his ceremony (I passed out the programs!) but we had to leave for the reception. My... mom’s cousin’s daughters (I think? Some relatives) were in their late teens and made some sweet money babysitting us and it was amazing, we got so much Chinese food and watched Nickelodeon. The adults didn’t miss us and we didn’t miss them.

    Edit: sorry, I misread "be consistent" to mean having children at both ceremony+reception or neither! Re-reading it looks like PP meant consistent with allowing children vs. not, period.

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