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Nice way to invite some kids (but not all) to wedding

(19 Posts)
Justagirll Fri 04-Jan-19 11:39:44

Just sorting our wedding guest list so that we can send save the dates, and I have a bit of a dilemma.

We don't have any family children, so the only child who really "needs" to be on the list is our flower girl (my bridesmaid's daughter). But I like the idea of having kids there and I'm really looking forward to the prospect of getting everyone together, partners and kids included.

However, our guest list is currently at 107 and we need to get it down to 100 (for the ceremony/meal). We can have 150 for the evening, so there's space for everyone to come later, but it strikes me as a bit pointless to give evening-only invites to any of those who have kids. But the ones without kids are all pretty close friends, and/or people who are travelling from abroad, so we can't really relegate any of them to evening-only either. The only possible option is my fiancé's cousins (a group of 10 including partners, none of whom we know all that well) but he doesn't want to make them evening-only as this same issue caused problems at another family wedding recently.

I guess some of our friends might actually relish the chance to come without their kids and would be happy to have a 'day off' - and I also know that some of them could quite easily arrange childcare as they have grandparents nearby (whereas for some of the others childcare would be impossible or very difficult, given the distance they'd have to travel for the wedding and how far away their families live from them).

So basically, I'm trying to come up with a nice way of asking our friends whether some of them would be able to, or even prefer to, leave the kids at home - but making it clear they're welcome to bring them if they need/want to. I feel we should be open about this as it would be pretty unfair to just blatantly invite some people's kids and not others' (e.g. I wouldn't be happy second-guessing which of our friends would be able to arrange childcare most easily and then just not inviting their kids, only for them to turn up on the day and see other kids had been invited).

I also need to sort this quite quickly as we've only recently got engaged and our wedding is in April!! shock We want to send out basic save the dates by email pronto so that we can give everyone as much notice as possible.

If anyone can suggest any nice wording (e.g. if we text some of those with kids) or other ideas/past experience I'd be very grateful!

OP’s posts: |
ChessieFL Fri 04-Jan-19 11:42:46

The chances are that out of 107 people some will decline anyway so that may solve your problem!

GreenMeerkat Fri 04-Jan-19 11:43:35

Perhaps ask a couple of your friends with children if they would prefer to come with or without their kids first. That's what we did. Like you we were worried about upsetting them but when we asked they said they'd already arranged childcare. If you have any that you think are less likely to be offended, start with them!

PurpleDaisies Fri 04-Jan-19 11:44:33

it strikes me as a bit pointless to give evening-only invites to any of those who have kids

Why? They could get babysitters.

GreenMeerkat Fri 04-Jan-19 11:45:18

Along the lines of 'Just forming up table plans now, are you bringing (x y z) or prefer to have the day to yourselves?' Something like that

LoniceraJaponica Fri 04-Jan-19 11:47:22

I think it needs to be a proper conversation - telephone or face to face. A written communication could easily be taken the wrong way.

Littleraindrop15 Fri 04-Jan-19 11:48:32

I would send the invites out and see who rsvps back because I am sure from 107 people some are bound not to be able to
Make it.. We had about 25 people not able to make it.

Also speak to the venue and ask if they count children some do some don't..

Justagirll Fri 04-Jan-19 11:55:25

ChessieFL: Yeah I know some people probably won't be able to make the date so we could just invite them all and still shouldn't end up with too many as it's only a few extra invites... Would be a good way to avoid leaving anyone out... But not sure I can handle the stress of living that dangerously! Would hate to have to un-invite people later..... :\

Thanks everyone for the thoughts so far. I like GreenMeerkat's suggestion of mentioning table plans as a gentle way to open the discussion. Will see what my fiancé thinks.

OP’s posts: |
Justagirll Fri 04-Jan-19 11:57:03

Littleraindrop15: sorry I missed your reply - wow 25 is a lot! Maybe we should just do that then...! And yeah I did wonder if it might be worth asking the venue about their policy on kids - they've been pretty flexible so far.. They're currently still closed for Xmas hols but I can speak to them on Monday.
Thank you smile

OP’s posts: |
SprogletsMum Fri 04-Jan-19 12:00:54

I'd speak to them face to face, tell them what's going on. My dad could only have 20 guests to his wedding ceremony and he'd got 21 he wanted there. He spoke to me and I was quite happy for my youngest to not come into the ceremony.

Fantababy Fri 04-Jan-19 12:02:37

I literally asked those with kids if they wanted to take them or not. One family said yes, the other said no. (V small wedding). We were lucky though that we could accommodate all of them if we needed. If they're good friends explain the numbers issue if you know babysitters will be easy enough for them.

OakElmAsh Fri 04-Jan-19 12:07:04

As its happening so soon (in wedding terms), I'd take a chance and invite everyone - I'd be 100% sure you will get at least 7 declines out of 107 invites
Some of the parents may decide off their own bat to leave the kids at home (I would if it were me ! )

Pieceofpurplesky Fri 04-Jan-19 12:20:32

Why not text something like

As you know we are getting married on xyz and of course your children are welcome to attend but we totally understand if you would prefer to have a child free day and night - if you could let us know please as the caterers need to know about children. We will be sending out invites soon. Thanks

messyhousetidymind Fri 04-Jan-19 12:31:11

I would send out the daytime invitations early to all but the cousins and see if you get some no's... ask people to be clear when responding whether bringing kids or not

Justagirll Fri 04-Jan-19 12:34:15

Thanks guys, all good suggestions! I really like your wording Pieceofpurplesky smile I think we will speak to a couple of the more 'straightforward' guests (people who we're fairly sure will be able to arrange childcare easily) and see where we go from there.

Will also ask the venue whether children count towards numbers or if there's any leeway if we're one or two over.

And yes I agree it's highly unlikely all our invites will be accepted anyway at this late stage!!!

OP’s posts: |
ImogenTubbs Fri 04-Jan-19 15:38:29

Yes, we spoke to people individually and explained that we weren't against kids but that the venue was limited and we couldn't accommodate them all, so were hoping some people took the chance to have a child-free break. Enough did for it to help and I don't think we offended anyone too much!

Littleraindrop15 Fri 04-Jan-19 18:58:11

Good luck hope it goes well x

user1474894224 Mon 14-Jan-19 23:52:59

We have literally this week e-mailed people with our date - and most asked is it just for adults or the kids too.....mostly we want kids to come - however, I have a couple of mum friends from school who I'm not going to invite their kids (as they aren't family friends) - unless we end up with enough extra space.....Most people understand.

barbiegrl Fri 25-Jan-19 07:53:59

How is it all going?

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