Kelly
Curious February 2020 British Columbia

How to deal with parents RSVPing for kids who aren't invited?

Kelly, on November 23, 2019 at 19:19 Posted in Plan a wedding

This guest list is causing me so much stress lol.


So my fiance and I's original vision for our wedding was very small, like 40-50 people surrounded by our closest friends and family. However, we quickly came to realize basically that wasn't an option due to the size of his family - he has over 20 aunts and uncles and over 30 cousins and under the "you invite one you invite all of them" etiquette rule we couldn't leave any of them out. So our final guest list ended up being around 90 with over 50 from his family alone and I ended up having to cut a lot of my friends I would have loved to invite but couldn't for lack of space. We did decide that no kids would be invited except would be my niece who is also the flower girl, the ring bearer (the son of very close friends of ours) and my fiance's goddaughter and made it clear on our website that children weren't invited.


Well, after the invitations went out we started getting all this pressure to invite even MORE of his family. One my fiance caved in and agreed to was his uncle (who has recently passed away)'s widower's son from her first marriage, which I agreed to since he was very close his stepdad who recently passed away and it seemed like the nice thing to do. Then over Thanksgiving late at night after a lot of drinks my fiance's cousin who have a 10 year old daughter asked if they could bring her because they don't have anywhere she can stay in their hometown if they have to travel for the wedding and in his inebriated state at 3 in the morning my fiance agreed. I said okay fine, it's just one more kid we can make room for her.


Well now, his OTHER cousin who we only invited him and his wife has RSVPed for him, his wife and their daughter and already bought the plane tickets. They do have family in their hometown but apparently the mom doesn't trust anyone to watch her kid but her. We technically have room for them (our venue has a max of 94 and we will have we estimated to be about 10 declines) but then I worry if we cave and agree they can bring their daughter, then all his other cousins who have kids are going to want to bring their kids or are going to be pissed that their kids weren't invited. My fiance agrees they shouldn't have RSVPed for their kid but then he also thinks if we tell them their kid isn't invited, we'll also have to tell the other cousin we told could bring their kid that their kid isn't invited to be consistent (he's also not sure she even remembers the conversation because everyone was pretty drunk by this point). But he also feels like he can't say no because they've already bought the plane tickets.


I just don't know how to handle this. One possibility we were thinking is that we could hire a baby sitter for all the kids to stay at my fiance's parent's place but since the mom of one of the kids won't even let her own parents watch her I'd doubt she'd let a stranger watch her kid for the night (it'd have to be a stranger hired from an agency since we don't know anyone in town who could do it). We're also trying not to spend tons of money and a baby sitter + feeding the kids would probably cost us a bunch of money to pay someone to watch several kids on a Sunday night of a long weekend.


Any advice would be appreciated! Thanks in advance!

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10 Comments

  • Ashley
    Super August 2020 Ontario
    Ashley ·
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    This is going to be really hard. you have already told certain people no kids and when they get to the wedding and see random kids there they are gonna pissed. it happened to my friend and people were cussing her on her wedding day aunts uncles other family etc they were upset. you have to stick to no kids to all if youre gonna do that. i also dont think people will wnat to leave kids with a hired babysitter they dont know. i know my mom friends are super picky about who they leave their kids with...

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  • Kadi
    Beginner August 2021 Alberta
    Kadi ·
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    It's your wedding. If you didn't invite them they're not invited. Them buying their kid a plane ticket is rude to do without conferring with you that it's okay. This is you're day and it coasts a lot of money to have a wedding. People should respect your rules and of they can't then they don't have to show up. Some times it's okay to say no and force the rules. And that stands even more on your wedding day. Be a bridzilla if you have to lol. This is your day and you and your husband are the o ly to people that matter! Remember that.
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  • Kelly
    Curious February 2020 British Columbia
    Kelly ·
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    Oh man, thanks for the support everyone. I'm so glad to here I'm not alone - I feel like I should be so happy planning this wedding and I am for the most part, but I guess how the day is ending up to me is really not how I always envisioned my wedding to be (small and intimate) and having more people I don't even know want to make demands is annoying me even further lol. If I had to do this again I definitely would NOT have listened to my fiance swearing that none of his 15 relatives across the country would come but we should invite them out of courtesy anyway because they have pretty much no relationship, they haven't seen each other in over 10 years and he wasn't invited to any of their weddings. Well surprise, surprise, not only are they all coming but now we're dealing with their demands too lol. Sometimes I feel like we're paying to host a family reunion. It'd be one thing if his parents were paying for the wedding but we're paying for everything ourselves.


    Megan, yes thank you for your frank advice! I totally agree on the part that part that if they can't come because their kid isn't invited that's their problem not ours! Both these cousins have family in town they can leave their kid with but say they don't want to, which I would say is their choice and again not our problem. I did have a direct conversation with him yesterday finally and told him straight up that he can't make promises that we can "try" to make room for the kids without it being unfair to all the other cousins who we told can't bring their kids, and I also mentioned like you said that it's not fair to me that I couldn't invite all these friends I wanted to but his cousins (one of which he has pretty much no relationship with) get to make all these demands to expand our guest list. He hasn't gotten a hold of the other cousin yet but hopefully he can remain firm in that conversation, he's one of those people who always tries to make everyone happy which is how he ended up caving in the first place, sigh. You guys are right and I need to hold my ground, otherwise it's going to get totally out of control.

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  • Tori Doll
    Featured October 2019 Manitoba
    Tori Doll ·
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    NOPE! This is why you didn't want kids invited. Too many of them and before you know it, others are going to be using the fact that you allowed one to come to get their own to come.

    I say to contact those people and put your foot down. Tell them this is exactly why you had originally said no kids - because now everyone thinks it's okay and there is NO ROOM! They will be upset that you said yes before and are "all of a sudden" say no but it's what I would do if I were you.

    Especially no to the kid who isn't related - sure, he is just as much of a cousin as the others blood related or not - but then treat him like the rest!!! Not invited.

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  • Megan
    Frequent user May 2021 Ontario
    Megan ·
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    I would first have a conversation with your fiancé about how him inviting and approving more children without your permission makes you feel. I know i'd be feeling pissed!! Then, I would tell him to put on his big-boy pants and tell those family members that if they can't come without their children, that's THEIR problem, not yours. Some may not come, or some may be making some empty threats because they know if will get your fiancé to cave and let the kids come. But make sure that you are firm with your fiancé that him caving is making you very unhappy, and that since you have made sacrifices with your side of the list, he's going to have to accept that he needs to sacrifice too.


    Talk to your partner. It's not right that you had to cut so many people that you wanted there, but he gets to keep expanding with a particular demographic that you had agreed (hopefully) wouldn't be there. Adults gotta make adult decisions, and he needs to show you that he's going to be on your side going forward, because you're a team now! Give him that confidence to not back down by showing him that YOU won't back down. Girl, this is your day!!!


    Tell them you're happy to recommend a great local babysitter. Tell them that you'll send some pizzas to the babysitting location for the kids to eat. Tell your fiancé to put on his big kid Pull-Ups and make the decisions he agreed to.


    That would be my course of action. My fiancé has a huge family too so our guest list is about 20/80% in terms of space allotment. I feel you on this one... Best of luck! Smiley smile

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  • Alyxandra
    Beginner October 2020 British Columbia
    Alyxandra ·
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    I relate so hard to this. My partner has a really huge extended family and what we wanted as 50-60 ballooned slightly over our capacity to 83. Now I am crossing my fingers silently that we get some declines lol. Thankfully much of our family is coming from the other end of the country so we will likely get a few. I also relate to the children thing! We originally wanted no kids at all but upon second look realized we have to invite his nephew and niece (sisters kids) and then we would likely have to invite all the little cousins too. We decided only kids that are related will be invited to cap friends families getting out of control for us.


    I wish I had advice but the moral of my story is to let you know your struggles aren’t alone! The guest list has been the #1 point of stress for me. I hope things go more smoothly for you from here on out!!
    • Reply
  • Kelly
    Curious February 2020 British Columbia
    Kelly ·
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    Thanks for the advice everyone. It's a tricky situation because I know what I would do in that situation (straight up tell them no, you can't bring your kids they weren't invited) but my fiance is one of those nice people that's too nice to his detriment sometimes. He did try to call one of them today to try to tell them but then got guilted into "well we won't be able to make it if our kid can't come" and so ended the call trying to find a solution for them to be able to bring their kid if we get some RSVP declines. I feel like leaving it up in the air is a bad idea and will lead to a bunch of last minute requests from people asking to bring their kids once word gets out we're allowing some kids. The other cousin has said the same (they can't make it unless they can bring their kid), which to me is like "fine by me!" since he didn't even invite my fiance to HIS wedding, but my fiance is now feeling guilty that we're being "rude" by not inviting the children of his cousins, even when his family already takes up like 70% of our guest list already. Ughhhh....

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  • Amelia
    Expert October 2020 New Brunswick
    Amelia ·
    • Dispute
    If your max capacity at that venue is 94 you can use that for any other guests who ask to bring their kids "we're sorry, our venue doesn't have the space" or "we wish we could have everyone there but there isn't room" especially because you would rather use the negative RSVPs to invite the friends you had to cut from the list.


    As far as the ones who have already rsvp'd I would speak with them, let them know that their child is a special exception and that they shouldn't make others feel they can do the same. (Also what kid wants to go to a wedding with no other kids! I'm sure they would have rather stayed at Grandma's for the weekend.)
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  • Geneviève
    Expert September 2020 Ontario
    Geneviève ·
    • Dispute
    That’s really presumptuous that they booked plane tickets without consulting first, and the other one asking while inebriated can’t hold you to that. I think you’re well in your right to say no to both, but you need to do what is best for your day. Regardless, it will be tense but it will pass.
    I know we are having a small affair and it’s been a bit awkward when we’ve had to tell some people no (luckily no one we know has kids) but it’s definitely caused tension. For us, it was a matter of cost. We were strict with our list because we couldn’t afford to pass our max. Most people backed off once they saw that we were firm and couldn’t be persuaded/passive aggressively induced.
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  • Vinod
    Featured August 2017 Ontario
    Vinod ·
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    FH family side with kids coming to the wedding. Hiring a babysitter or asking a friend not invited to watch the kids as they have kids to be with them and your families too to avoid cost. The kids can stay with her though the one that doesn't trust any stranger may not have a choice unless her child decides to stay with the other cousins.

    Considering the thought of being drunk and asking if the daughter is now coming and the FH cousin with their child, they would have to respect you decision since its an all adult evening. If you allow the child and have space, cave in for 1 and give that fair warning there isn't any children at the reception. She should know better and understanding to you and FH wishes. Best of luck and hope things go smooth with her.

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