Meagan
Expert May 2019

No kids vs some kids

Meagan, on February 4, 2019 at 5:44 PM Posted in Etiquette and Advice 0 25
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So I need some advice. We had origionally said our wedding was going to be a no kid wedding except for the flower girl ( husbands niece) and her cousin ( husbands sisters nephew) so basicly the small children in the family. So now my FH is asking if its ok for his distant cousin to bring thier child. He said they have tried to make arrangements and they cant find amyone ( everyone is coming to the wedding) anyway I am concerened because if we make 1 exception are we going to have to keep making exceptions for everyone who cant find a sitter. I have a good friend who has a newborn and a 2 year old and wants to come but may not be able to because of the sitter issue. I'm nervous that if we make the exception for 1 everyone else who had to find sitters will be upset that they couldn't bring their child. My FH did state that he wanted a no kids wedding but didn't want anyone to not be able to come because of kids. So now I don't know what to do or how to handle it. I don't want to upset him and his cousin but I also dont want to upset the guest who went out of their way to make arramgements for their children. How should I handle this? Also how cam I explain it to guests? Maybe put something on our website that we are having a no kids wedding with the exception of a few family members. I really want to make everyone happy and understanding of the situation so we don't have cranky guests. What would you do or have you done in this situation?

25 Comments

  • Alejandra
    Expert March 2019
    Alejandra ·
    • Flag

    The way I see it, it's either yes kids or no kids (Yes I get the flower girl situation and FH niece). I don't think its fair, FH and I decided on an adult only wedding and thats what we're having we personally spoke to all parents and let them know way ahead of time to make sure they'd get a sitter. Personally, I also think that its a little harsh to try and bend the rules for some so that they can come. So basically whoever can twist your arm enough will have get their way? I think it's okay to put your foot down a little.

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  • L
    Just Said Yes November 2019
    Lorre ·
    • Flag
    Hi, I understand that this is a difficult decision. I am only inviting the children of family that would logically not be able to leave their children. For instance my out of town guests with children would not be comfortable leaving their kids and I get it. My guests that are in the area and have people that they can leave their kids with are not being invited with their kids. It's your day and if you want an adult affair, that's your choice.
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  • C
    Just Said Yes March 2016
    Chris ·
    • Flag

    In the end it is your day. However, we were in that situation, and it was a learning experience that we have discussed since.

    My wife said no kids, however, ALL of her family was out of town and ended up bringing kids. My best man brought his kids, but he was a distant local and they were older. The only ones who suffered were local, notably my brother's. I regret not having my niece and nephew at my wedding.

    Again, it's your day and your guests should be able to understand that. If you want someone there, and they have no way to leave their kids, then you don't have to explain that to anyone. Same goes for guests of guests, not everyone gets a plus one.

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  • Jenna
    Super October 2019
    Jenna ·
    • Flag

    Is there anything you can do to help them find childcare?

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  • Meagan
    Expert May 2019
    Meagan ·
    • Flag
    So this is the part I left out...... this is a destination wedding of sorts. We live in upstate NY and the wedding is in south jersey on the beach! Soooo everyone is out of town and everyone is traveling in to the area. Closest people will be 3 hours away. Alot of people have kids and I feel like its wrong that we would say yes to some and no to others. There are 2 kids we are close to and they are coming and people will understand they are family. But anyone elses kids shouldn't come. I thought about trying to set up a person to watch kids at the hotel but again we are not local so whoever that would be would have to be willing to travel down there and we woukd obviously have to pay them. I may be able to figure something out but im not sure.
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  • MaryEllen
    Expert October 2016
    MaryEllen ·
    • Flag
    You need to stick to your original plan and understand that not everyone will be able to come or invite everyone to bring their kids.
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  • Tara
    Master May 2020
    Tara ·
    • Flag
    You either have to make it kids or no kids. It’s very unfair to make exceptions excluding the bridal party. I opted out of having children at my wedding. I’m close to several of my cousins who range from age 2 to 10 and they get jealous when they see pics/find out that I took one or some of them to amusement parks, arcades, etc. and not the others.
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  • C
    Just Said Yes March 2016
    Chris ·
    • Flag
    Yup. No kids is no kids then for a destination wedding. If you're all travelling then everyone has to deal with it. That's what a few days at grandma's is for. Lacking that they just can't make it. Sorry.
    • Reply
  • Meagan
    Expert May 2019
    Meagan ·
    • Flag
    I totally agree with all of you just needed the reassurance and needed FH to see I wasn't crazy for tryinf to stick with our origional decision. Thank you all!
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  • Tracey & Dr. Julian
    Devoted August 2019
    Tracey & Dr. Julian ·
    • Flag
    I agree if you make one exception other people may talk and request to bring their child. It’s one day and people should make accommodations for child care. It’s not last minute that they need everyone is provided ample notice.
    Another idea would be to have a child care provider watch the children the day of the wedding.
    • Reply
  • M
    Super November 2019
    Melissa ·
    • Flag
    This is tricky. As soon as you bend the rule and others find out that you made an exception for someone else, theyll be pissed. But I also dont understand the fact that you already notified your guests that you're having a no children wedding but guests ask anyway and put you in a weird spot. Thus, potentially making you the bad guy.
    • Reply
  • Meagan
    Expert May 2019
    Meagan ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    Exactly....we're kind of annoyed they are asking after we already explained to them it was no kids. Its frustrating....but I'm pretty sure were sticking with our original plan. No kids.
    • Reply
  • Bridget
    VIP August 2019
    Bridget ·
    • Flag

    We kind of had the same situation but I said absolutely not. We are having my daughter and immediate nieces and nephews only. Which may seem rude to people but I can't imagine not having them being there.

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  • Cayla
    Dedicated August 2020
    Cayla ·
    • Flag
    Honestly, if you're going to have a few kids I think it should be open to all kids. People will get offended and it will appear like you are picking favorites to those who don't know your thought process on this. While you have pure intentions, the majority of guests won't see it that way.

    If you must have only these select few, don't let people know kids will be there. Just put "no kids" on the invitations and make separate invitations for those whose kids are allowed. But keep in mind you will almost inevitably have cranky or upset guests.

    In the end it is your day so do as you please. People will complain either way in this situation.
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  • M
    Super November 2019
    Melissa ·
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    I honestly wished I had the same courage as you and tell my guests to not bring their kids. The majority of my younger cousins are known brats and the parents let them run rampant.

    The last wedding we were at, the bride put fish bowls with live fish as centerpieces. These kids decided to take it upon themselves to pour salt and pepper into the water. Poor fish dies. The parents didnt do jack even though those at the table reprimanded the girls and took the sugar and pepper away.

    Truthfully though, I do see some of your guests being upset with you still letting certain kids in. Guests wont see that these individual kids have a special place on your life. I wish you luck and hope everything turns out well.
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  • A
    Master October 2019
    Angelena ·
    • Flag

    It sounds like the kids in your scenario are only family children? Why not just leave it at they're family children and those are the only kids invited. Distant cousin or not, it's still family. Idk we are only having family kids. It's your choice. But since you have only one person being a pain thus far I would just say no kids like the original plan. there has to be childcare somewhere out there for them. I call bull, that they can't find anyone.

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  • Danielle
    Master June 2019
    Danielle ·
    • Flag

    I think it'd be best to just go one way or the other: no kids or all kids. Each has their pros and cons, but you have to decide on one or the other and stick to it. I don't think there is anything wrong with either option. Personally though, I think no kid weddings should omit having children in their bridal party too....keeps it simple.

    Sounds like your FH want's a no kid wedding, but doesn't want the consequences that comes with that: i.e. risk people not being able to attend due to lack of sitter. He has to realize that is just one of the risks you take when making that decision. It's not fair to your guests if you allow some but not all.

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  • Meagan
    Expert May 2019
    Meagan ·
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    I have never evem met these people. They are my FH's distant family ( who we origionally weren't even going to invite) so now they are all coming from pittsburgh PA to jersey. I guess its a few hour drive. So I don't blame them not wanting to leave there child/baby a frw hours away with someone. However my thought is if you really want to come make it work. Split shifts at the wedding. Mom comes from this time to rhis time and dad comes later or however you want to make it work. I Know yhe rest of the family is also coming to the wedding so they don't have a family memeber to leave the baby with. So like I said I see the problem. But they are going to habe to make it work
    • Reply
  • A
    Master October 2019
    Angelena ·
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    View Quoted Comment

    It boils down to the preference of how those parents precisely parent and that's not your fault by any means. If they always use family to watch their child and never use daycare or babysitters then that's on them. Some parents are complete opposite and have no problem taking their kids to daycare or getting a babysitter. It's a preference, but it's theirs. So like you said they're gonna have to make it work if they want to come! It's great to feel understanding but it's just a choice you have to make! I would stick to your original plan.

    • Reply
  • Cristy
    Rockstar May 2020
    Cristy ·
    • Flag

    I understand what you're saying about what FH wants, but unfortunately, he can't have it both ways. If you say you want a no kids wedding, but have friends and family who have kids, there will be some who won't be able to get a sitter, and have to miss the wedding because of it. Also, there are some people out there who will decline an invitation if their kids are not invited too. You have no control over that, and it is ultimately the guests' decision to accept or decline the invitation under those circumstances.

    I think the best thing to do is 1) make a final decision about kids or no kids at your wedding; 2) if you decide no kids, you have to stick to that for everyone (except the bridal party kids); 3) some guests might be upset, offended, etc., but you have to focus on what kind of wedding you want, and wherever you announce it (wedding website, invitations, etc.) make it clear that this is an "adults only" event. There are lots of threads about this on Wedding Wire that you can read to look at good language examples.

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