Monday, September 11, 2006

Do children belong at a wedding?

The question of the day (or perhaps of the week) is whether or not to have kids at our wedding.

Michael's brother's kids are one thing. They come with the package. Anyway, the eldest is very well behaved and the youngest is too young to make trouble. No, my concern is with other people's kids.

We have, I think, three guests (or couples) that have children - nine children total, between the three of them. Because we are trying to keep the wedding small - and, actually, because the wedding is going to be at a winery - we're thinking of excluding the children. But, how do we go about asking this of our guests? A note in the invitation? Ask them in person? I have absolutely no idea how to handle this.

If anyone has any ideas of how to handle this - either from personal experience or common sense that I somehow don't have - please feel free to comment or contact me. I would love to hear your input!



At 3:48 PM, Anonymous H said...

You would put in the invitation, or in a late correspondence if the invitation has already gone out - that it is an "adults only" wedding.

And, also specify the names of the specific invitees on the RSVP card.

At 4:03 PM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

Thanks, H. This was a long time ago, and what we ended up doing is addressing the invitations to the adults specifically, and stating that babysitting services would be provided if needed. Everyone took the hint and we didn't end up needing the babysitter.

At 8:24 AM, Blogger MRB said...

I am getting married 4/25/09 and on
the bottom of the RSVP says
NO CHILDEREN everyone got the hint

At 12:32 AM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

MRB, sorry it took me so long to publish this and respond, but CONGRATULATIONS on your recent wedding! Good for you for stating up front what you expected. I couldn't bring myself to do that, but it all worked out the way I wanted anyway!

At 6:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We just did not have the money to include would have been a couple thousand more due to increased head-count.

Also...frankly...we didn't want screaming kids at our ceremony. Small kids don't want to waste their day away at a wedding either. And, usually, most people are happy for an excuse to leave the kids at home with a sitter and have a fun kid-free night out. A 2-4 year old won't even remember it...why bore them to tears by making them go? is your as you want for it's YOUR day...not theirs. So, who cares if some get upset about it.

I did exactly as another here did... I wrote on the invitation that due to space constraints where the ceremony and dinner would take place we unfortunately could not include children, but would be happy to procure nanny services for those that needed it. So, far only one couple (flying from India, who of course cannot leave their child at home) will need it...the rest all have gotten the hint...

At 9:46 PM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

Anonymous, that's what my husband and I ended up doing too, except there were only a couple people with kids so we made the offer in person. Everyone took the hint and we didn't end up having to find babysitting for anyone.

At 2:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is wrong with you people? Surely a wedding is the beginning of a new family. I can't think of a more suitable place for children to be!

If I were invited to a wedding and told that my children could not come I would be deeply upset and not want to attend anyway. I may even not bother speaking to the person again, due to the implied idea that my children are too badly behaved to attend. This is an incredibly offensive thing to do. I can't wait until you all have kids!

At 11:00 AM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

Hi Anonymous,

No one was offended.

We might have felt differently if we were having a different sort of wedding. But it was a very small wedding -- only about 20-25 people -- and it was being held in a building that had extremely steep, treacherous stairs. It was not safe for small children, and we were not interested in worrying about a toddler falling down the steps all night. We wanted to enjoy our wedding, and honestly, if someone was going to be offended enough that they'd decide not to come and possibly even stop speaking to us altogether, then that's not the kind of friend we want to have anyway.

Don't get me wrong -- I love children. I've taught preschool and nannied and babysat for years. But we had to be realistic. A couple of our friends had very small children at the time, the age that can't sit still through dinner and would easily kill themselves on those steps, and one friend in particular wasn't so great at supervising. So I think we absolutely made the right choice.


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