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Inviting children

(25 Posts)
KT1366 Mon 23-May-16 07:54:42

I know this topic has been hugely overdone before but I'm feeling frustrated and wanted to know people's thoughts...

DP and I don't have children. All during our wedding planning we have agreed no children will be invited (apart from bridal party which consists of godchildren and nieces/nephews) due to the fact that with family and friends children we'd have about 25 in the day and probably another 20 at night.

I know people have differing views on this but personally I'd prefer not to have excessive numbers of children there. Not to mention the cost at £40 a head. Plus I'm pretty confident that this wouldn't be an issue for the majority of our guests as most weddings we've been too in the past few years have been pretty child free.

Now initially we were having no cousins to the day. Aunts and uncles only. MIL expressed her unhappiness with this and offered to pay (for her side of the family) to enable cousins to attend. So we conceded.

This left me in an awkward position of cousins on my side remaining as night guests. But I thought my family were relaxed enough to understand.

MIL has now decided that cousins children should also come 'as it would be nice for niece to play with cousins child'. Only 3 on DP side but I'm now even more conscious that I have no cousins on my side yet cousins plus second cousins on his side.

It also then seems unfair that we are asking friends to get sitters (of children we actually see) whereas cousins we see once in 18 months can bring theirs. My DP was in agreement with me but after lots of secretive input from MIL is now changing his mind. To the point of suggesting maybe all kids are invited.

To add those kids, my cousins and their kids would add £700 onto our bill. To add all kids would be much much more. It's not as much that we can't afford it...more like should we pay for people we don't see from year to year? DP cousins never ever come see us / get in touch - to the point where we have seen their 3 years old once and 18month old never.

I've now had an evening guest (friend) ask if they can bring their two kids. Unsure what to reply as originally it would be no. But now the goal posts are moving I don't want to say no then them turn up and see other kids there and wonder why?

I am more annoyed as I feel this is his mother rather than him. And we've been in agreement for 12 months and now invites are going out and it's suddenly all changing?!

I'm not anti child at all just would rather it be a more adult event. AIBU?

YouMakeMyDreams Mon 23-May-16 07:59:25

It's your wedding it's up to you. But are you sure children would be £40 a head?? If so definitely not. But our adults were that per head children were £8 because the restaurant at the hotel had a great kids menu and they have me a special rate.
We had about 18 kids and it was great but then I have children and would have hated a child free wedding. The children of my friends are as much my family as my own.
We had a children's entertainer after the meal before the dancing started then the children all had a dance.
But ultimately it's up to you. I think it should at least be all family children or none though it could leave a source taste on the other side if they aren't invited. It can also be hard to get a sitter if all your adult family are at the wedding too.

fuzzywuzzy Mon 23-May-16 08:00:13

I'd stick to your original plan. Tell mil thank you but it's getting out of control and you want the wedding small and intimate and the way you planned it.

honeysucklejasmine Mon 23-May-16 08:00:47

YANBU. does MIL realise how much it would cost? Is the venue even big enough?

IWILLgiveupsugar Mon 23-May-16 08:04:55

Your first mistake was in alowing mil to pay for the extra guests on her side - it has created inequality between the two 'sides'. If the invitations havent already gone out I would change back to the original arrangement. If they have, then stem the flow and say no to any more kids. It's not mil's wedding! Tell your fiance that he is marrying you and therefore wedding plans need to fit with what you want, not his mum.

newroundhere Mon 23-May-16 08:14:52

I agree with IWIL - as soon as you start giving exceptions it becomes almost unmanageable. We had no children at our wedding with an exception for new borns. Our issue was mostly about capacity (but also costs)- trying to find a venue to accommodate the 40 additional child guests wasn't something we wanted to deal with.

Say no to your MIL - it's not just about the direct cost of the additional guests but the knock on impact. If she's offering to pay for ALL the children then that's another discussionwink...

KT1366 Mon 23-May-16 08:18:06

Unfortunately I didn't allow so much as got rail roaded. We said what was happening. Then she gave us a large cash gift (to my DP when I wasn't there) and told him 'now you can afford to invite everyone you want to' .... Translating to everyone she wants us to. My family isn't as well off to do the same.

We've had an argument about it this morning and I hate that it's doing that. We are planning a wedding as we love each other - it should not be causing us to argue!!! That makes me even more mad with MIL. And she knows what she is doing... Saying things when I'm not around to plant the seed. Sneaky! but obviously if I say that DP would be angry at me for critiscing his mother. But I know she is as I can hear her as he repeats things!!!

I didn't want a huge wedding but it already is quite big as we both have large friendship groups. And it feels like its spiralling out of control! I just feel that everyone there should be special people that mean something to us in our current lives... Not just that we happen to share a grandmother.

Children over 2 are £40. We've already said newborns can come as a couple of friends are currently pregnant and would never expect them to leave a baby.

Most of our invites have gone out this weekend and had to hold some back for this issue. Just feeling the stress as we get married in 3 months. And hate arguing with DP 😢

KT1366 Mon 23-May-16 08:21:47

Also we've already booked and paid for coach transport for the guests. Which would need changing. Also numbers of favours etc! It feels too late on for these changes.

Plus when it comes down to it a child filled wedding just isn't for me. I know it's personal preference but I don't want the day over ruled by kids running around. I don't see that as nice as see it as chaos 😂😂😂

IWILLgiveupsugar Mon 23-May-16 08:35:07

It's honestly not too late. Sit down with your fiance and tell him that you are not happy, that a wedding is not meant to be causing arguments. Tell him that you feel undermined by his mum trying to influence decisions in your absence - it would he a fair point. That money wasn't a gift, freely given, it was a control mechanism. If you can, give it back. You have to say to your fiance that all decisions must be made according to what you both wanted when no one else was in the equation. At the moment it's becomming a run away train and it is sucking the joy out of it.

You know, there is nothing stopping you from cancelling the whole bloody lot and starting again if you want to.

Nip his mum pulling his strings in the bud now or it will escalate when you have kids.I am harsh and would tell him that I want to marry a grown arse man and not a mummy's boy!

NerrSnerr Mon 23-May-16 08:58:21

I agree with pp, if able give the money back and start the guest list again. You need to be firm with mil and remind her that it is your wedding and your day.

bakeoffcake Mon 23-May-16 09:00:16

Gosh your mil is really being very interfering. You do need to talk to DP and sort things out. You shouldn't be frightened to talk about his mother wth him because he will 'get angry'. So what if he gets angry! What if she starts overriding things when you have DC? Will you be too scared then to bring it up with DP? You need to put on your big girl pants and be assertive or this won't be the last time she causes arguments in your marriage.

At the moment dd1 is planning her wedding. We have given them a huge amount of money but we woulnt dream of telling them who they are allowed to invite. They have decided no children at all to the wedding, there are DC that I would love to be there but there's no way we would interfere. If I said "oh just invite these 4" that would not be fair on the grooms side!
As I've said this is much more than just about the wedding, you can't be walked over, be brave and have a proper discussion with DP.

Bellatrixandstrange Mon 23-May-16 09:23:44

If your MIL is already this controlling and manipulative and your hubby to be isn't supporting you over her do you really want to marry into that? As pp said it isn't too late to cancel and elope if you still want to marry someone who doesn't see how badly his mother is behaving towards you.

KT1366 Mon 23-May-16 10:28:20

Thanks everyone. It's nice to have reassurance that i'm not just going bridezilla bat sh*t crazy. I am trying to keep it all in perspective and avoid family arguments. My MIL isn't a bad person, I just don't like how she behaves sometimes, and I'm going to have to live with her for a long time so trying to be reasonable and fair without being walked over!

I spoke to DP on the way into work and he is going to ring one of his cousins and ask how they feel about the no child rule to test the water. We have also said no more children (friends) regardless.

Now I just have to decide whether to invite my cousins (adults only) to fair things up a bit - Again this annoys me as it's only an issue because of MIL getting her own way with her side and money we didn't need to spend but at the same time I don't want to upset my grandmother and aunt by not inviting my cousins when his will all be there.

Weddings! Should have eloped....O wait we wanted to go abroad but got told we couldn't as MIL doesn't fly grin must laugh or ill cry

EssentialHummus Mon 23-May-16 10:34:09

I'm getting married soon in a v low-key way, and trying not to be a bridezilla, but my god sometimes people hear "wedding" and start taking the proverbial. We've had people invite themselves, let us know they'll be staying at ours for a week etc...

It's your wedding. Be as firm (but polite) as you need to be with MIL to explain what you and DP want. If she wants to flounce, that's her lookout.

LizzieMacQueen Mon 23-May-16 10:38:00

I would suggest to your MIL that she pays for all the extra children to attend because she is responsible for the position you are now in.

(do venues really charge £40 for each child that is 2+, wow!)

Weddings with children are quite good fun but try not to let this spoil your day.

fabulous01 Mon 23-May-16 10:42:13

Your wedding your plan. But I am a guest at wedding and they want us to bring twins who are just turned one. To be honest I would prefer them to go to nursery as they wont remember wedding and they can play happily there. Just wanted to let you know that some parents are happy for children not to be invited

WannaBe Mon 23-May-16 10:44:56

The instant you allow someone to contribute financially to your wedding you are giving them permission to have a say in how it's done.

Both my parents and my ILs contributed to my wedding and it ended up being pretty much a day for their friends and family with some of eXH's friends as well. I was told I wasn't allowed to invite people I considered friends because they weren't friends in other people's view.

This time I'm just going to get married and have a party afterwards, if I can even be bothered with that. grin.

willconcern Mon 23-May-16 10:48:28

Yes, venues do charge for kids. My DCs would eat the same meal as an adult (9 & 12).

Your MIL has behaved outrageously. If I were you, I'd be giving the money back and telling her where to stick it.

mnpeasantry Mon 23-May-16 11:35:32

Your wedding your choice. But Personally i absolutely hate child free weddings even when I didn't have my own. Loved having children at our wedding.

When and if you do have your own, prepare to be inconvenienced to find they are not welcome at a friend's wedding. And nothing more annoying than being told you can't bring your exclusively breast fed baby who won't cost anything to turn up and find a whole host of approved children there. I don't attend now if it doesn't suit. I say wedding party only kids at a push is reasonable, anymore and your friend may well wonder about the approval list.

momb Mon 23-May-16 11:42:24

GO NOW...RUN.... Golden beach, looking into your new DHs eyes, watching the twnking refl;ection of the waves as you make your vows, just the 2 of you, walking barefoot together etc etc

Go to MiLs family party on your return, serve a £20 per head buffet and invite everybody's cousin!.

KT1366 Mon 23-May-16 11:52:05

We have said newborns are of course able to come. Like I mentioned previously I would never expect a mother to leave a newborn.

It's each to their own regarding the child/no child debate. I personally do not enjoy social occasions where lots of children are present running riot, meaning parents disappear early to put DC to bed. I am happy that our actual friends will be fine (everyone I've spoken to about it have said they are glad to have a day off / day on their own with the OH / chance to let their hair down!) My issue is more the meddling of my MIL rather than doubting our decisions to make it an adult occasion.

KT1366 Mon 23-May-16 11:56:33

We cannot cancel, we've already paid the venue over £6k...! Plus organised and paid for all other suppliers. We get married in August so everything is pretty much finalised now.

My MIL hasn't seen the venue (despite being asked on more than one occasion) and didn't want to come see my dress when i asked...her exact words were 'ah no that's OK, I've done all that before with SIL'. Just seems like she has no interest in the day, apart from dictating the guest list!

IWILLgiveupsugar Mon 23-May-16 12:05:47

Okay,then you need that serious sit down with your fiance and you need to seize back control. Ask him how he would feel if he felt strongly about something and your mum put pressure on you to do the complete opposite, utterly ignoring his feelings on the matter despite it being his wedding too.

Heatherjayne1972 Fri 03-Jun-16 21:50:49

You sure you want to marry this man? Because when babies come along mil is going to think she can rule the roost and will probably try to undermine you
You need to get fiancé onside now you should be his priority not his mother Set firm boundaries or you may well end up very miserable

ChimpyChops Fri 03-Jun-16 23:05:43

Urgh. My SIL had this, their parents paid for the reception so therefore, invited so many people that SIL didn't even know, it was ridiculous, hotel guests that were complete strangers were invited in to have a dance and the buffet! :/

We have the cousins issue, I have tens of cousins, he has three, we aren't inviting any to the day and we know this will cause a major issue but we cannot afford to invite them all quite honestly and in my family, this is the general rule of thumb, evening invitations only to cousins. But he only has three which makes it hard for him.

We are having immediate family children, children of the bridal party and 4 children who are coming with their parent from Scotland (to Plymouth) as we want to to see them, it has been five years since we left there. The rest of the guests children added up to 42 and took the number of children over the number of adults which would have been crazy and in my mind, chaos.

I would sit down with OH and find out why he has backtracked on the children issue, remind him that he is marrying you and these decisions are between you and him only, else it will set a precedent for future discussions.

It isn't too late smile

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