STRESS-FREE CHILD-FREE WEDDINGS
We’re concerned about having uninvited small children at our daughter’s wedding, because it is child-free. The groom’s niece is the flower girl, but aside from her, she is the only child in the wedding. The groom’s sister and brother-in-law have said that the child will be at the church to perform her duty as flower girl, but will go home with a sitter after the ceremony and not be at the cocktail hour or seated dinner reception.
The child’s parents are both in the wedding party. We were grateful for that info and the fact that we wouldn’t have to worry about a four-year-old running loose on a soda and cake sugar high.
The problem is that the grooms’ friends are assuming that because little Harriet is a flower girl, they can bring their children to our daughter’s wedding. They are actually listing the names of their children on their return reply card for the reception.
How do we politely contact them to say that their children weren’t invited? Their names weren’t on the invitation envelope or written on the invitation itself. Is it rude not to invite them?
Are we expected to have to provide childcare? It seems like an unnecessary expense for us, and we don’t want the added responsibility.
–AW, Charleston, SC
About child-free weddings: What child doesn’t look cute all dressed up participating in the ceremony, but don’t let kids kidnap your daughter’s wedding reception. Especially if you’re paying the bills, so you draw the line and set the formality of the wedding.
- You don’t have to invite children and you didn’t.
- So you can stick to that excellent decision.
The only reasons you would invite children to a wedding:
- They are the child of the bride and groom.
- They are the child of the bride or groom from another relationship.
- They are siblings or step-siblings of the bride or groom.
- There is nobody to watch the child while his/her parent(s) attend the wedding.
- The child is twelve-years-old or older, and then — only if there is a connection with the bride or groom.
The reasons why you would NOT invite children to a wedding reception:
- The wedding is very formal, either white tie or black tie.
- The reception is held at six o’clock or later in the evening.
- The dinner is seated formally with place cards and table cards.
- There won’t be any accommodations to feed, seat or entertain small children.
- There won’t be any childcare available at the wedding ceremony or reception.
Most importantly, this wedding is all about the bride and groom and really isn’t about children who are not directly connected to the wedding couple in some significant way.
- You want all of your guests to have a good time.
With that goal in mind, pick up the phone and call the invitee to say that your daughter’s wedding is child-free.
- If it is a guest coming from out of town, offer to help find a caregiver that can stay with the child during the wedding reception.
- Invite the guest to bring the the child to the ceremony, and then gently remind her/him that there won’t be any accommodations for the child at the reception or seated dinner.
- After all, the parent wouldn’t want their child to be the only child at the reception.
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Accepting A Compliment
Accepting A Compliment