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No Children Wedding Not going down well with family

Hi all, I'm Debbie and I'm getting married to my boyfriend Alex on 28 Aug this year. My OH and I decided quite early on that we would prefer not to have babies/children at our wedding ceremony and breakfast but all were welcome to the evening reception. Our immediate families were fine about this, particularly my brother who has 1 year old twin boys, he said that he can't wait for a "day off" to be able to enjoy himself. We sent save the date cards when we got engaged in Nov 09 with a little note to all those with children about our decision, we didn't get any negative responses then, however we've just sent out the actual day invitations this month and what I'm now finding is that some members of our family are really not that happy about our decision, and are not coming to the wedding at all. I'm strangely more upset about this then I thought I'd be. I'm also worried now that we won't have that many people at our wedding. Trying to remain positive, but this is my special day, are we being unreasonable to expect our guests with children to be able to find childcare for one day? image


  • maclean82maclean82 Posts: 138
    We are only having a page boy and a flowergirl and people have been told no children if they dont like they dont need to come!
  • Hi Debbie,

    I don't think you're being unreasonable. I think that if anyone had a problem with the 'no children' stipulation, they ought to have mentioned it when they received your 'save the date' card - it seems a bit unfair for them to leave it until they received the invitation to mention it! I think there will always be some people who don't want to leave their children with someone, especially if the children are little (and if they are family members, they may feel there will be nobody to leave the children with if the rest of the extended family will be at the wedding). It may be the case that unfortunately there will be some people who will refuse to come, or you may have to relax your 'no children' rule (although as I said, I don't think you are being unreasonable, given that you gave a lot of notice and it is your wedding!).

    A x
  • Hi Debbie,

    I don't think the 'no children' rule is unreasonable at all. Iy it yours and your husband's day and it is entirely up to you.

    However, I also think it is up to the guests themseleves whether to take you up on your invite or not.

    To try to give you another point of view. Where for you it is '...childcare for one day'. I have been invited to 9 weddings over the spring and summer (we're that age!image). Four of the invites have a no children rule.

    While it is an honour being invited to witness a wedding, it is also very expensive being a guest (transport, outfit, gift, accomodation sometimes). We cannot afford to attend them all. We also don't want to leave our little girl for that many days over the time (Saturdays are the only day of the week we have as a whole family day). So the 'no children' weddings will be the ones that, sadly, we won't be attending.

    Now we have no problem at all with the bride and groom for deciding on the rule, I understand completely. I certainly hope they don't think badly of us for not attending (it hadn't occured to me actually that they would prior to this post). I just think it will give them another couple of invites!

    This is just to show you that from the 'other side', it often isn't just one day.

    I do think it is rude of members of your family to be not happy with your decision. It is your day, not theirs. AS I have said we were not annoyed with any of the couples we were invited to. Just the situation prevented us attending with no hard feelings!

    Enjoy your day, itwill be perfect no matter how many guests are there because you will be marrying your husband. Enjoy x
  • gemmacaidengemmacaiden Posts: 237
    I would be upset if it was my sister or brother wedding and they said my little boy couldn't come because he is thier nephew after all and a really big part of thier life. My sister got married recently and she really wanted him thier he was a little page boy and looked so cute.

    However if it was a cousin or aunty or another relative i really would not have a problem with it as he isn't a big part of thier life and to be honest it is nice to have a 'day off' and not have to worry about them being noisey through the cermony etc.

    If your brother is fine with it , i really wouldn't worry about it like others have said it is your wedding and you should have it they way you want x

  • Thanks everyone for your comments.

    Greatfosters = Its so good to hear what's it like from someone who has children, and been on the other side of my situation, I really appreciate your advice. Thank you.

    Gemmacaiden - just to say, kids in our immediate family are involved, my OH's 9 year old niece & 12 yr old nephew are our flower girl and usher. And I did want my 1 year old twin nephews as page boys, but as I said my brother preferred that they weren't involved so that he and my sis-in-law (my Matron of Honour) could enjoy day themselves.
  • cath7673cath7673 Posts: 195 New bride
    i dont have a problem with others not wanting children although it wouldnt be my choice. i dont know if this could be a reason but i know when my cousin invited me to her wedding she said no children. i couldnt go because all my babysitters such as mum and sister were going! could this be case with some of your family?
  • MrsBtoBe2MrsBtoBe2 Posts: 31
    Hi Debbie

    Do not get yourself stressed about this. My fiance and I agreed at the start to that no children would be at our wedding at all. And both side of the fmaily went mad about it. It bothered us for while and my Aunite and 3 of my cousins have now booked a holiday on our wedding day and my fiances sude cousin and Auntie arent coming because of it but you know what. If people like that want to kick off over something so little and so childish, they don't deserve to be part of the big day. Remember its YOUR big day no one elses. Don't try and satisfy everyone, it will only make you more stressful. Rise above them and say "Sorry you feel that way and you will be missed but its your choice" they will feel bad for not coming.

    Hope this helps.

    Emma image xxxxx
  • MrsBtoBe2MrsBtoBe2 Posts: 31
    Also...My friend recently got married and she has got 3 kids and decided that her kids weren't going to the wedding because she felt it was her and her husband to be's day not for children running about being pains in the bum crying when they are bored and touching your gorgeous dress with there sticky fingers (my other friend had kids at her wedding and a wee boy had chocolate all over his hands and run up to her and got her dress covered - the horror image)

  • lotooleuklotooleuk Posts: 26
    Hi Debbie,

    We're getting married the day after you, and have also decided on a 'no children' policy. I'm lucky in that my OH feels exactly the way I do about this - we both wanted an adults only day and there won't be anyone there under the age of 21. Mostly people have been very supportive, although of course we've had a couple of what my father calls 'protest votes' - people saying that a wedding should include children because that what 'a wedding is all about' and they're not coming. Of course, they are entitled to their opinion, and if that's what a wedding means to them then fine, but it's absolutely not what a wedding is about for us. You are entitled to have the wedding you want, the way you want, with who you want. If they have childcare issues then respect that, but don't let their choices make you feel bad about the way you want to have your day.

    Good luck x
  • niclou79niclou79 Posts: 1,142
    The funny thing is, the older generation will tell you that children never did go to weddings traditionally. Society has become much more child-centred, which is good in some ways, but lets face it, children aren't 'mini-adults' who know how to behave in formal situations, no matter how lovely they are. It's perfectly understandable that you want a ceremony and breakfast without noise/tantrums/disturbances of any sort. It's a shame people can't be more supportive of you.
  • You shouldn't have to have kids if you don't want them. There's nothing worse than bored/overtired/overfed children running riot at a wedding.

    I really don't want to take up a space (numbers are limited)at our wedding with someone's child and then pay almost the same as an adult place for a child who will get on my nerves. We have agreed that those with babies may bring them if they wish. My daughter will be 7 months old, but my mum will probably end up taking her home once she gets crabby.

    The best thing about us not allowing children is we're getting married at Chester Zoo! Ha ha.

    Well if anyone minds they've not said anything to my face.
  • martinkabmartinkab Posts: 221
    My wedding this year - yes to children (I have some already).

    My brother's wedding - no children (I have to find a babysitter - everyone I know is going to the wedding!)
  • I have decided on allowing children but there are only 5 of them- aged 5, 19 months, 16 months, 13 months and 2 months (if he/she is born on time).

    If there were many children I'd say no children too and if people didn't like it they would have to just stay home. You gave people enough notice so they should have had time to sort something out.Its your day and it makes me mad how controlling some friends and relatives get. Grrrr. Its even worse when they are the sort of relatives you hardly hear from.

    We haven't sent our invites yet but I'm waiting for the complaints about 'adult children' who haven't been invited- ie cousins etc

  • sue247sue247 Posts: 65
    we are not having children to our wedding , well only immidiate family, as if we invited all the children of friends etc the total would have been 60 kids & our venue only holds 130. + i didn,t want children making noise in the church when we say our vows. we said that they could being them in the evening as we,re getting married in the summer (weather good i hope)they,ll be running around outside playing , all or our friends are happy about it and look forward to having a day /nite with out their kids.
  • cath7673cath7673 Posts: 195 New bride
    to be perfectly honest if friends, work collegues etc invited me i wouldnt even expect my child to go but if it was close family i probably would expect them to be invited as they are their family too. at the end of the day its your wishes and as long as your happy with who is coming then thats all that matters.
  • MrsGrasbyMrsGrasby Posts: 16

    I honestly can't believe people get peeved with kids not being invited! Think about it, does the 3 year old, 5 year old, 7 year old really enjoy the day? Of course not! It's just lots of boring grown ups, and having to sit and be quiet.

    We didn't have any kids, and didn't feel bad for a second. If anyone had challenged us on it, I would have said...."tough!!"

    Sorry if that's harsh, but it cost us a lot of our own money to have everyone at our wedding, so it's our choice. And every parent I know who came to ours, was thankful to have a day/night off!!

    Ultimately, your biggest wedding expense is your guests! Therefore, you can afford to be picky! Do what you please, and be firm with those who disagree. It's YOUR day. xx
  • I'm in the same position - for our October wedding both my fiance and I are very firm on the "no children" rule (there will be just one, possibly two very small babies who still need a lot of care and whose mums are sensible enough to remove them if they're crying). It would tip our numbers too high, and we've been to too many weddings where vows were obscured by screaming, or speeches ruined by toddlers running around. Children get bored, have to be amused, their parents get stressed, can't relax and have a drink, and then have to leave early. So for us, not having them there makes a lot more sense, although obviously this is a personal decision and every couple has their own views on it.

    We told my cousin two months ago (well in advance of the invite) that her 2 and a half year old couldn't come - very tactfully, over the phone - and her immediate response was "well, we're not coming then... wherever we go, she goes." She said that only her and her mother (my aunt) look after her daughter and so she can't possibly leave her with anyone else. (Despite the fact the little girl has been in a nursery 3 days a week since 10 months old, and despite the fact her husband has three sisters, but anyway...). It's upsetting, especially as I was my cousin's bridesmaid a few years ago, but it's one area we don't want to compromise on - children and the kind of wedding we want do not mix.

    I say stick to your guns. Yes, tell anyone refusing to attend that you're sorry they can't come and they will be missed; you respect their reasoning, as hopefully they respect your decision too. But being invited to a wedding is an honour, not a privilege, and so no-one has the right to dictate how your day should be.
  • We have a no kids rule too & we thought we had been quite clear on this from the start. But despite this we have still had major upset from my H2b's sibling. She wrongly made an assumption that her kids were invited despite the invite only being to her & hubby - not a happy person when we very politely put her straight & she has flatly refused to come. Plus they were both seriously rude to my H2b!

    We do have a good reason for this decision as our venue/reception simply isnt large enough to accomodate all the children of our family/friends so we thought it was fairer if we said no kids full stop rather than causing upset by having some and not others.

    It seems to me that you can't win either way. Some people are happy to have some time themselves & to enjoy the wedding without having to worry their kids are bored or playing up others seem to think its the biggest insult in the world that their little darlings have been left out! My advice is do what YOU want after all it is your wedding day.

    Good luck xx
  • gemmacaidengemmacaiden Posts: 237
    Cupcake lizzie have you got siblings who have children are they ok with this?
  • Hi Gemmacaiden,

    No I dont have siblings who have children but I have cousins and very close friends, who do and they have all been fine so far. Our decision may make more sense to you if I explain that the kids in question are step children whom my H2b has met once at his sisters wedding for 10 minutes and I have never met them at all. If they were children that we saw often and were a big part of our lives or even if I had at least met them perhaps we would feel differently but as a family they have virtually nothing to do with us or any other family members much, despite everyone trying to spend time with them. In the 4 years that I have been with my H2b I have seen his sister twice just to exchange hellos and I have never met her husband.

    So whilst it may sound harsh we are both comfortable with our decisions as are the rest of H2b's family.

    Hope that makes some sense?
  • were not having any children at our wedding either, and i have to say most people are fine, some even expect it. Im not getting married until 2012, but most of my cousins expect me not to invite their kids as they would push us way over numbers (and it was hard enough finding a venue in the first place). Im only expecting one problem and thats my uncle (well more his wife) they have 2 children who will be well into their teens when i get married and because i was bridesmaid for them they will expect their daughter to be in return. But im not even inviting them to the wedding.image guess ill see how that goes when invites go out.

    On the other hand my neice and godson will be 3 and will be flowergirl and paigeboy, both my brother and cousin have asked if the kids need to be at the reception as they'd have more fun and be able to enjoy themselves more without them. So long as there in photos to show they were there for the most important part i dont mind.

    sorry for the long reply, didnt realise i was gonna go on so long. Hope your families come round, as they will miss out on one of the most important days of your life, a fact that will be missed by their children.
  • This one's always an emotive issue. For me it depends on the bride and grooms relationship for the children - if a random cousin or friend sent me a 'no children' invite I wouldn't think anything of it, in fact I'd probably chose not to take DS as it'd be nice to have a day off. If it was a sibling on the other hand then I'm afraid all hell would break lose. To not want a niece or nephew at a wedding is to me a major insult.

    We're having about 6 or 7 kids under the age of 8 at our wedding - it's also at Chester Zoo and for us it'd be a pity to have a venue like that and not invite children.
  • MaireadbroMaireadbro Posts: 2,300
    Agree with above poster, I could never not invite my siblings children. We had kids at our wedding and they got the dancing going!

    However I have been to no children weddings and they can be great too....

    Enjoy your wedding, ignore the critics!
  • Z750GirlZ750Girl Posts: 2,285
    I think not inviting siblings children does depend on the relationship that the bride/groom has with the sibling. Like in Cupcake lizzie's case above, the groom's sister has only met the bride twice, never introduced the children to the family at all adn then expects them to be invited to the wedding - on those cases i would actaully say poor kids being thrust into an situation where they barely know anyone other than dad and step mum.

    The no children rule is always a difficult one, i invited some children but not others, people only accepted for those on the named on the invites.

  • gemmacaidengemmacaiden Posts: 237
    Sorry cupcake lizzie i understand now i think i am just thinking about my family i am really close to my 2 nieces and also h2b niece and i think they would be gutted if they couldn't come to my wedding and i want them thier because they do mean alot to me. I agree with z750girl it does depend on the relationship you have with your siblings.

    If it wasn't my siblings i would rather not take my little boy because i can enjoy myself more when hes not there my firend gets married in september and she has insited on him coming (im getting a babysitter for the evening so i can have a drink tho) image
  • Hi - Im new!

    I have a horrible situation with children too - me and H2b still havent actually made a decision but we have had every member of the family stick their noses in and tell us what they think! We are having a v small wedding, around 35 in teh day and then a big evening bash for around 170. We have 5 nieces and nephews on his side and 2 on mine, and one on the way. I am having my 2 nieces as bridesmaids, and as my sister announced her pregnancy after we go engaged, I told her that I didnt want the baby there. She was fine at the time and said that it would probably be a bit of hassle to get a sitter bt she understood it was our day. My H2b sisters dont yet know either way and I am very much of teh opinion that just because I wasnt my nieces there it doenst automativally mean that all of teh n&n's need to be there. Anyway, his sisters had a major falling out at the younger sisters wedding as she said that she didnt want kids, but now that she has 2 herself I know that she is going to be the first to start (i have had afew fallings out with them over the past year on various things) To top it off my dad turned round 2 weeks ago and said that if the unborn baby cant come then its out of order as it is close family and that if children dont come, he wont come!! I was devistated. he has since apologised but me and H2b are just stressing so much about what to do, and I cant unask my nieces to be bmaids now. Its amking me not want to get bloody married - why dont people just leav you alone? Its our day, we are paying £15k for it, we shoudl have what we want. this forum is great - looks like Im not the only;) one!!
  • Hi Gemmacaiden,

    Thats fine I understand it may sound a bit harsh to exclude nieces & nephews but both myself & H2b are very fair people and if we were close to the children then of course they would have been invited but sadly its just not like that. I think that Z750Girl has got it spot on in. These situations are always difficult and potentially explosive but they really are very individual and there is no rule that fits everyones situation.

    Southampton bride I am not sure what to suggest as you can see from the other posts everyone has a different opinion I think you have to decide first of all what you and your H2b want and how much hassle you are prepared to put up with then just take it from there.

    Good luck
  • Woodsuk1Woodsuk1 Posts: 306 New bride
    You are not being unreasonable to want your day your way, but it is not right that you get upset that not every one can conform to what you expect. no matter what way you have it you wont please every one.

    at the end of the day you have decided what you want, and if people cant come you just have to accept it.

  • I have this problem too, my parents dont agree with my decision but at 23 years old, I dont have children and i dont want to risk the sticky chocolate fingers, and spilt drinks scenario either. It has caused a lot of uproar with many aunties not coming because I havent invited their childrens children!!! They are holding me to ransom on MY wedding day. People have different opinions of what is acceptable and not acceptable but if they dont respect your wishes for one day then do you really want them there if theyr kicking off about it....I know how unreasonable my family are being Id rather them stay away and have a small wedding!! Hope things look up for you though.

  • I was so depressed about this topic the other day I did wonder whether we should cancel part of the day altogether. We are having my H2Bs niece who is about 5 as a bridesmaid because we would break her heart if we didn't and her lovely grandparents are buying her dress. We are also inviting her brother who will be 2. There was never any chance that they won't be invited because I adore them as much as my H2B does and they are part of our family.

    However we also have 4 friends and one cousin who now all babies who will range from 2 months to 1 year old when the big day arrives. There are only about 40 people invited to the wedding and I wanted it to be a proper adult affair for two reasons. Firstly because some of those people have had a reaaaaally tough time being new parents and I wanted this to be their first weekend off. Also because it might be our last big party before we start trying for our own little one and we know that will mean sacrifices in terms of going to parties, weddings, etc.

    I spent AGES wording the section on the invite about children and basically said that the size and style of the venue is such that we can't invite children and we hope the wedding will be an excuse for them to have a night out on us. BUT those with very young babies who really can't leave them or whose babysitter suddenly falls through on the day should just let me know and I'll sort a seat for them because we'd rather have them all there than not. We just wanted to get people to consider if they have an alternative to bringing their child, and if not then we'll welcome them all along.

    Well one of our friends have already brought this up in public saying "what are we supposed to do with our baby?". I reminded him that we were being flexible and she can come but also highlighted that part of the day will be on a pretty small boat (which will be much smaller if it rains and we can't go outside!) so she is very welcome at the ceremony and reception and then they'll have to agree between them what happens in the evening (which is kind of what I'd hoped to avoid as I don't want his poor partner sat own her own in a hotel room with the baby). He reckons their baby sleeps anywhere and wants to bring her on board. This is like suggesting taking a newborn to the Ministry of Sound. It'll be far too loud for the little ones as our friend is DJ-ing as our wedding present. Plus I just can't see how we can fit potentially 5 moses baskets/car seats in there too - we'll already have to expand the table plan at dinner to add an extra table if the babies need high chairs at the table which means extra money on flowers/decorations, I just can't afford to get a bigger boat! I have reiterated that we'll organise a stop at the harbour if they want to take the baby off to bed but I kind of feel like what I want is now immaterial because it's not convenient for them. I've tried to be flexible - my friend who was listening to this emotional blackmail "what are we supposed to do" rant in the pub couldn't believe I'd given in so easily to allow children along.

    I had them all in mind when I organised the day - hence we're getting married as late as possible to allow them to travel to the wedding in the morning and not need to be away for 2 nights. I just hope that if their baby is unhappy and starts crying that they will do the best things for us and the little one and take her to bed. DBx
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