Thursday, February 12, 2009

Q&A Thursday: Baby Blues

Q: I have requested no children at my wedding by stating “Adult Reception” on my invitations and wedding website. I have arranged and let all my guests know that I have set up a babysitting service in a guest room of the hotel that will play with the kids and show them movies, and even arranged for pizza to be delivered to the room during the reception. I thought this was a nice way that my guests could go check on the children should they want, but I just don’t want kids running around at my reception.

The problem is that I have a groomsman that has a 13 month old child that his wife refuses to leave with a babysitter or even her family for that matter. I know that they are going to try to bring the child to the wedding ceremony and reception and I feel very strongly that I have gone above and beyond and made it very clear that I do not want any children at my wedding. I have asked my fiancé to speak to the groomsman about this and the groomsman just laughs it off that his wife is just attached to the baby!

What should I do if they show up at the wedding with their child?

Thank you for you advice,
Baby free wedding

A: Dear Baby free wedding

I agree, you have gone above and beyond in making arrangements for the guests with children. You have thought it through with respect for the the fact that some of your guests are not comfortable or able to leave their small children at home. You are, in fact, offering to pay their babysitter and allowing them access to their children should their nerves get the best of them. With that being said, and considering the fact that you've personally expressed your feelings about children at the reception to this guest, it is extremely disrespectful for her guest to still feel that it would be okay for her to bring her child. While you don't want to make her uncomfortable, she is not even offering effort on her side.

I suggest that you speak to your mother and father, as well as your future in-laws, and ask them to - should she arrive with the child - gently remind her that you have made alternative arrangements for the children and show her the baby sitting room. She can stay there with the babysitter if she likes, but this is an adult reception. I, as a wedding planner, have been asked to act as a “baby bouncer” on one occasion – I was lucky that no children showed!

It is a sticky situation, but it seems that you have made your wishes very clear, and your guests, especially your groomsman, should respect that. It is quite likely that she will respect your wishes in the end, and she is just being difficult because she doesn't agree with your policy and wants to make that known. If, however, she chooses to defy you until the end, you have done all that you can and it is in your best interest to let it go on your wedding day and not let her affect your mood. After all, she's going to have a tough go at life if she continues with her approach.

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