Must Love Cats
Master October 2017

Polite way to say your baby is not welcome

Must Love Cats, on January 14, 2017 at 12:54 PM Posted in Planning 0 125
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We have told OOT guests with kids that the wedding is child-free over the summer and it was understood. Since then my friend and FH's cousins wife are both due in May and they would need to travel to attend. If they bring their babies with them we will not be able to accommodate them because some people think child-free means just kids and babies are the exception but they are not to us. I've been trying to find a sitter who can watch the babies so we can refer them to our guests if they make the choice to come because as much as this sounds harsh we don't want any kids/babies there. It's been hard even finding someone. At this point I'm thinking if we can't even find someone local to refer to guests to use they should stay home. We understand some people don't want to leave kids, much less babies, but we want our wedding entirely child-free. We are not going to make exceptions to anyone. How do you politely say to someone their baby is not welcome in keeping with a child-free wedding?

125 Comments

  • Mrs.Whooooo
    Master May 2017
    Mrs.Whooooo ·

    There really isn't a polite way to say that.

  • therightLane
    Master October 2017
    therightLane ·

    Just be ok with the fact that they probably won't attend your wedding then. They might still be breast feeding, so if they have to travel without them, then they probably won't.

  • Miami2NorthernVA
    Master November 2017
    Miami2NorthernVA ·

    I don't think there is a polite way to say this. Is it the end of the world if the babies show up? I mean I know you don't want them there and can put " X seats have been reserved" on your invitation, but if someone misunderstands and shows up with the newborn is there really any harm done? You don't have to worry about another plate at the reception. They don't take up another seat. If someone else complained that it was unfair because they didn't bring their children, you could always say that the person misunderstood and brought their baby.

  • Ali
    Master June 2017
    Ali ·

    There is no way to say this without being rude. I wouldn't go to your wedding if you were telling me my brand new couple of months old baby is not welcome. I would still be nursing and not want to leave them with a stranger. You are basically saying your wedding is more important than their comfort. Hopefully you are having a pumping station to accommodate so your friends aren't having to use the bathroom to pump as someone pees. Least you can do.

  • Vampira (aka Jay)
    Master October 2019
    Vampira (aka Jay) ·

    Honestly, it sounds like you've already informed them its an adults-only wedding; harping on that fact to specific people is going to seem like you're singling them out and comes across as rude.

    The only way that you can somewhat convey this is to put on your invitations: "x-amount of seats have been reserved in your honor."

    After that, it's really up to them to make appropriate arrangements and it's also up to you to be OK with the possibility that they may have to decline the invitation.

  • BecomingMrsOz
    VIP November 2017
    BecomingMrsOz ·

    Those babies will be less than 6 months old. Travel may be out of the question anyway if they are new moms. There is no polite way to say this. Babies are usually the exception because infants require more care and it's a critical bonding time.

    Do you really want to tell your guests that your wedding is more important than the bond they are developing with their child?

  • JuneBride
    Super June 2017
    JuneBride ·

    Yeah.... new mothers generally cannot leave their infants because they are probably breastfeeding; or they may just not feel comfortable doing that. Do you not care if your fh's cousin comes or not? If you want them to come, you should let them bring their baby.

  • MNA
    Master April 2018
    MNA ·

    If they're breastfeeding, I personally think it's shitty not to make that exception, because you're expecting her to devastate her child's food supply, possibly irreparably, for your wedding.

    Expect declines from them. I would absolutely choose my child and their health over someone's wedding, and being told no exceptions by someone I was supposed to be close to? I wouldn't be close to them anymore.

    ETA: Oh, and no, pumping isn't an acceptable option. Especially if she's not used to doing so.

    Eta2: Just saw who the OP is. Never mind. I understand the rudeness now. By 5 months kittens are pretty independent. You should be fine.

  • Mrs.VtoBe
    Super July 2017
    Mrs.VtoBe ·

    I'm doing a kid free wedding as well but everyone knows how I feel about children so I haven't had any issues so far. I won't be upset if people decided to stay at home with their babies/children. Just a risk you have to take on.

  • Must Love Cats
    Master October 2017
    Must Love Cats ·

    We are entirely okay with people declining for not being able to leave their child/baby. We understand and its their choice. Our venue is not kid-friendly, nor baby friendly. A friend even asked me if there was a separate room, and I told her no. Half of our guests are local and the other half have to travel. Especially since FH is from Canada. It's their choice not to come, just as it is our choice to have our day how we want and have planned it as such from the beginning. Our happiness for our day is more important to us than anyone else's. That's why we informed our guests way in advance that it was a child-free wedding. Neither one of us want to hear oh you made an exception for so-so, and not me? And drama unfold. Plus neither of us want to hear a screaming and crying kid/baby disrupt our wedding. We just want to keep everything fair.

    My friend sent me a message the other night about when she should plan to come, so that's what triggered this anxiety on my behalf because we made it clear in the beginning no children at all. Thinking I'll just have to bite the bullet and say to her, as well as FH saying to his cousin, "Hi so-so. I'm so excited that you're so excited about the wedding. I did want to bring up again that this is a child-free wedding and we will not able to accommodate children, including babies. I know since you would have given birth only a few months prior it may be difficult to leave your baby alone for the night, but unfortunately we're not able to accommodate them. We understand if this changes your plans. We've been trying to find a local sitter to help if you choose to still attend. Once again we understand if this puts you in a difficult situation and are unable to attend, but we thank you for understanding how we want our special day."

  • Aylenrose
    VIP January 2018
    Aylenrose ·

    What everyone else has said about the situation. Being a new mom myself (my son is almost 6 weeks old) I wouldn't attend if I couldn't bring him because these are major bonding times and most babies can't go out until 1 month when they start getting shots. I know if I was close to someone and wanted to be apart of their day and they told me babies aren't allowed and to leave them at home or with a random sitter I'd feel awful and hurt that I'd have to have that ultimatum. Especially knowing that my friend sees my new baby as a burden. That's just me its your special day and you can have it however you like that's just my thought.

  • Mrs.KatieK
    Master September 2016
    Mrs.KatieK ·

    "Our happiness for our day is more important to us than anyone else's."

    If you truly want to be happy and not worry about your friends and family, then stick to your "no kids" rule. Blatantly say "Nope. Child-free wedding. Stay home with your newborn if that's what makes you happy."

  • BeachDreams
    Master May 2017
    BeachDreams ·

    I wouldn't expect a breastfeeding mother to leave her child for the weekend or allow a babysitter who they havent met and personally vetted to watch them for an evening.

  • Mrs.Whooooo
    Master May 2017
    Mrs.Whooooo ·

    Personally, and I don't have kids yet, if I received that message from you, I'd not only not attend but our relationship would be over.

  • Mrs.KatieK
    Master September 2016
    Mrs.KatieK ·

    I have always been open on WW that we had a kid-friendly wedding and I always advocate for them. Our youngest guest was 3 months old. You know what he did? Slept.

  • Must Love Cats
    Master October 2017
    Must Love Cats ·

    FH and I have been to too many weddings where a child and baby screamed and cried during the ceremony and reception. Not worth it to us. I would like not have a migraine for our wedding. Plus I would like to have kids with FH at some point. Not have him run out and get a vasectomy right after. People can like kids and babies without wanting them at their wedding. If someone chose not to be my friend over wanting a child-free that is on them. Especially given advance notice and even trying to find someone local. We are more than understanding and trying to be helpful but that does not mean we want to take that risk of having crying and screaming kids/babies there.

  • JuneBride
    Super June 2017
    JuneBride ·

    Most parents are uncomfortable with leaving their baby with a babysitter they don't know (and that the person that found them barely knows)

  • Mrs.Whooooo
    Master May 2017
    Mrs.Whooooo ·

    The message you plan on sending didn't sound very understanding.

  • Susan
    Master March 2015
    Susan ·

    We had a few young kids/babies at our wedding, 2 kids about 1 year and another maybe 6 month old that I can think of off top of my head. Guess what, everything was fine. I have been to weddings with infants who fussed during the vows, and I felt sorry for the bride. If you really want those folks to attend, you might try to find a quiet place for them if issues arise.

  • Mrs.KatieK
    Master September 2016
    Mrs.KatieK ·

    OP, we all know that once you have your mind set on something nothing will change it. So basically we have:

    1. There is no polite way to say that someone cannot bring their baby.

    2. You will probably have guests decline because of this.

    3. This could ruin some friendships.

    4. (And I hate this phrase) You do you.

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