Marrying Abroad and Children Dilemma...?!

Happy Monday Ladies

I wanted to ask you a question....

"Do I invite guests and their children to our Wedding in France (potentially) or not?"

I am not sure whether to ask just our friends and family to our weekend Wedding in France with or without their children? I am thinking that perhaps our guests may feel they have to worry about getting out to our wedding and then worry about finding a babysitter happy to look after their children for 2/3 days too or will they relish a 'no children' policy?! ;\)

My fiance and I don't have any little ones and aren't sure whether to sprinkle our day with the magic of children (hmmm) or not?! :\?

Advice please!



[Modified by: UglyBatty on 28 April 2008 12:41:33 ]

[Modified by: UglyBatty on 28 April 2008 12:42:24 ]


  • sammyjoeuksammyjoeuk Posts: 3,596
    Thats a toughie UB, we are not having kids at ours, due to being a small wedding and the people invited do not have kids and 1 couple wants to leave them with their mum in law. See what other suggest.x
  • I think for a wedding in France for just the weekend it is perfectly reasonable not to invite children. It would be different if it were for a week but I wouldnt mind, in fact I think Id be quite thankful of the break!! Will you be having a reception when you get back?
  • CeleryukCeleryuk Posts: 3,640
    I see you're leaning towards France! Have you got any luck with hotels there?

    Well this issue can be tricky, but it all depend of what you want and how you do it.

    Having children at a wedding will require a slight different organization, different food, maybe a baby-sitter at night, parents constantly checking on their kids, kids running around, screaming...if you feel that it is not for you, you could perfectly mention to your family and guests that it is an adult only wedding and weekend. I think it is totally acceptable not to have children at your wedding.

    Some people will moan, some people however will take this opportunity to have a weekend away from their kids. I suppose they will have plenty of warning to be able to organize for a relative to care for them for 3 days.

    I did have 9 kids at my wedding, UglyBatty, but we hired a lodge which was completely fenced, and they could run around freely and do their own things without us having to check on them at all. It did not make any difference for me at all. I just realised how easy it was.

    If you want a more grown-up affair, don't be shy in telling them.

  • scoopyukscoopyuk Posts: 300
    Thanks ladies.

    I don't like the idea of screaming children and our best friends not being able to relax and drink lots of champagne without them having to watch and wonder all day and night etc. about their children! I would prefer no children or even perhaps just immediate family children which would equate to around 5. Perhaps just a 'no' to our friends children? I want an elegant and glamarous affair so not sure sticky fingers and chicken nuggets fit the bill!! ;\)

    We are looking at exclusive hire chateaus and hotels in the South of France - I am sending out emails as we speak for info and prices and pics etc... quite exciting!!

    I haven't decided about a reception back home yet Vintage Lover, I guess that depends on how many people can make the Wedding in France.

    We would send out 'save the date' cards a year in advance (ideally) so I would hope the babysitting element could be taken care of in advance. You're right though Celery, some of our friends will def moan!! I even think my Mother in law (to be) will probs moan the most!! image


  • MrsRafMrsRaf Posts: 1,802
    UB - it's gotta be a personal decision

    your mil2b is bound to be the most critical - mine certainly is - because a lot of people won't complain directly to you but she is likely to hear people moaning

    my feeling is - if you don't care enough about us to make the effort then don't come - sounds harsh but we've gone out of our way to attend friends' weddings - obviously there are occassions when people can't afford it or have already got other plans but the wedding is about you 2

    for us personally it was important to invite the children - we're very close to our nieces and nephews - but i can understand why you might not want to do this

    remember that what ever you decide is going to upset someone - and i fully mean this - so you just have to make a decision and then defend it :\)

  • rarajdukrarajduk Posts: 1,784
    Hey UB,

    I can understand your issue, as your guests will be travelling to a more remote location/private residence for a pro-longed period. I suppose you could consider providing a creche/nanny service for the wedding reception.

    Having said that, it is a special event and some families will be happy to leave their little ones at home. If they have a problem with it, they won't come.

    Luckily we only have a handful of babies/children to consider and I trust the parents involved and I know that they will prevent the children from playing up.

    At my friend's wedding a toddler spent the whole service banging a metal car against the wooden pew and the parents did NOTHING, but smile at him?!?! So rude.


    [Modified by: rarajd on April 28, 2008 09:28 PM]
  • LXH100LXH100 Posts: 777
    I would say it is your prerogative whether or not you invite children BUT be prepared for some guests to refuse to come. I think you have to remain firm on this as one wedding I went to had a no child policy but then allowed "select" ones to attend, it really upset the other parents. One of my friends never brings her children to any parties, be it a wedding or a bbq, as she wants to let her hair down but even she said she felt as though the couple had deemed her kids too rowdy/ misbehaved to be at her wedding.

    I am having a no child rule (or one third of my guests would be under 5- not what I was aiming for and the curse of being one of the last of my friends to get married!) with the exception of small babies- 5 friends have announced that they're pregnant since I got engaged and their babies will only be a couple of months old at the time.
  • MrsRafMrsRaf Posts: 1,802
    UB - meant to add that my plan, before the ceremony begins, is to get our officiant to kindly request that people turn off their mobile phones and, should children begin to fuss, that the parents take them to the back (or out of) the room so as not to disturb the vows

    if you really don't want children there then the best approach in my mind would be to say that the venue is inappropriate for children (even if it's a bit of a white lie image ) - some hotels won't allow children under 14 anyway

    remember you will have to define what you mean by children - are you ruling out anyone under the age of 18? or will you say 14? what happens if parents have children of different ages etc?

    i would personally go through your guest list and identify exactly who would be affected
  • scoopyukscoopyuk Posts: 300
    Thanks ladies. You're right, it's a quandry. I definitely don't want screaming children and the majority our friends have toddlers or babies (to come!). Although I feel that only asking our immediate nieces/nephews etc. may cause grudges which disappoints and concerns me as I do worry that our friends will simply refuse to come without their children!

    Rafique, I think your idea is a good one - asking the guests to try and minimise disturbances throughout the ceremony, definitely something to think about. I think you're right, I need to go through my guest list again with a fine tooth comb and see exactly where the land might lie with our guests and their ankle-biters (erm, sorry I meant children!)... image

    Rarajd - you highlight the perfect scenario that I DO NOT want spoiling my big day, especially the important part of the ceremony. I think I may also have to factor in somebody to remove all hard, possibly noisy toys from babies/children before they enter the ceremony! Soft toys allowed only!

    I can see me being 'very' unpopular amongst our maternal guests and older family relatives - eeeek! I know from previous history when I organised a swanky 60th party, I suggested an adult only evening of fine food and wine and my H2B's brother hit the roof and demanded to know how we could consider a famiy 60th without his little boy to share the celebrations....

    I need to go look under the stairs for my maternal instinct...;\)

  • orphilea1orphilea1 Posts: 399
    I had this problem with a friend recently. She isn't actually pregnant yet but is trying and went nuts when I said our venue had a no children under 5 policy.

    She asked me what I expected her to do if she is breastfeeding - my immediate thought was 'express' (!) but I didn't actually say that and said perhaps we should wait and see whether she has had a baby or is pregnant by the wedding. I was told she def would have had the baby (pretty confident in her fertility then!).

    I actually love children but H2B and I decided long ago that we wouldn't have any at our wedding. Recently we went to a wedding and the baby screamed during the vows. The mum took her outside but you could still hear her even outside the church.

    Five of my closest friends are now trying for a baby and I am scared they won't come if they have one by the wedding. I am sure it must be difficult with breastfeeding. I don't really know when it is ok to express and so leave them at home with their nan and a bottle. Is it expected that breastfeeding babies come to a wedding?

  • MrsRafMrsRaf Posts: 1,802
    CLH - it sounds like your friend is under the impression that she will never leave her baby whilst breastfeeding - as soon as she has a child she will realise that this is pretty impractical (considering how often they need to feed).

    i personally think it's really important for new mothers to get time away from their babies every now and then and, by that time, your friend will probably agree

    a friend of mine told me, when we first got engaged, that she and her hubbie were about to start trying for a baby and that if she was heavily pregnant/breastfeeding then she wouldn't come to our wedding regardless of whether it was in the uk or abroad - she didn't mean it in a nasty way, she just meant not to expect her because she knew she wouldn't enjoy it

    i think everyone's different but, from what i've seen, first-time mum's often have a romanticised view of motherhood until the baby is actually born image
  • scoopyukscoopyuk Posts: 300
    CLHBride - does your friend think you have enough time to plan your dream wedding 'and' worry about her breastfeeding habits at your wedding! Perhaps she thinks you should've checked with her procreating habits before you booked your chosen venue - JUST incase she does have a baby by then!!!

    Some people - ARRGGH. IT'S OUR DAY. And we only get one of them. image

  • scoopyukscoopyuk Posts: 300
    Also, what if I book my wedding outside of school holidays, is that given that our guests with children just couldn't attend.. !?

    This children saga perplexes me - totally and utterly!

  • orphilea1orphilea1 Posts: 399
    Thanks girls. I feel a bit better now after hearing your views. It did make me a bit upset but also really mad. I don't know what she thinks I can do!!! She said she understands venues have a policy but what trouble could a baby in a carry cot cause?

    This is true but there are no facilities for a baby at the venue. No quiet room to put them in - she literally wants the baby in the carry cot at the table next to her! How she can possibly enjoy a wedding like that I don't know!

    It sounds awful but I am just hoping they are all pregnant at the wedding and won't have had the terrible to be wishing they don't get pregnant for the next 5 months!


    ps this will make you laugh - the friend in question lives 15 mins from my wedding venue so she could actually pop home after the church service to do a feed and then come back for the meal!

    Still it will be her first one and I guess she doesn't quite no what to expect and whether she will feel she can leave the baby...
  • scoopyukscoopyuk Posts: 300
    CLHBride - 15 minutes!!! Goodness gracious. And she's questionning you... why? I am with you all the way and I'll say a little prayer for no new babies to be conceived over the next 5 months!! LOL!

  • orphilea1orphilea1 Posts: 399
    oh gosh we are wicked!!

  • CeleryukCeleryuk Posts: 3,640
    "Children, their upbringing and behaviour are always touchy subjects. I am just very grateful that all our guests had the good manners to fall in with our wishes, even if that meant that they couldn't be with us on the day. In not trying to foist unwanted offspring on us, they helped us have the day we wanted, which is one of the nicests ways of wishing a couple well that I can think of."

    This is a quote from MrsJessicad who as well did not have any children at her wedding. I thought it was lovely written and so true! Might help you to make up your mind.


  • scoopyukscoopyuk Posts: 300
    You are right Celery - good quote. I guess it is our day in the end and we have the right to choose what we want and if this means our friends cannot be with us but send us their well wishes then perhaps that is the easiest alternative...

  • rarajdukrarajduk Posts: 1,784
    UB - I like the sentiment that Celery posted.

    CLH - Why can't she leave a bottle for a babysitter to feed the baby? Surely she would like a break from breast-feeding every few hours every single day (sounds dreadful!).

    The thing to remember is that you will never satisfy everybody, all of the time.

    We've had a few murmurs from family about potential dates that we have mentioned.....H2B's step-mother: "well, you haven't checked that the date is ok with us". My answer: "No. We decided to just choose a date that we liked the sound of. Shame that you might already have plans though." Lol.

  • scoopyukscoopyuk Posts: 300
    Rarajd - you're mother-in-law sounds like my one - they must be cloned I swear!!

Sign In or Register to comment.