Don’t Be the Person Who Demands to Bring Kids to Weddings

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“Know what would make my dream wedding complete? A screaming baby,”

said no bride ever. When planning the reception, no couple sits at their kitchen table saying, “Okay, so we’ll go with ‘At Last’ for our first dance, ‘Butterfly Kisses’ for the Daddy-Daughter dance, and ‘I’ve Got a Feeling’ for when little Xoeigh-Madissahn pantses Great-Aunt Gertrude.”

I thought that most people shared my view that it’s up to the people getting married if they want kids at their wedding or not, and those wishes should be respected – then I saw an article arguing that all weddings should be kid-friendly.

I had some feelings. Why on earth should people feel obligated to invite your kids to their WEDDING?

Maybe Frank and Maryann are trying to keep things low-key.

Maybe Bob and Tyler’s family and friends have 57 children between them, and they’d like to prevent their wedding from looking like a taping of Romper Room.

Maybe Phoebe and Sarah just really hate children, and the sight of your little darling digging for gold during their expensive, catered dinner would be a big turn off.

You should never try to insist on bringing kids to a non-kid wedding. Here's the argument for why some brides choose to have a kid free wedding. #parenthood #momlife #parenting #kids #wedding #weddings #weddingideas #nokidwedding

Or, most often, the couple realizes that while little ones in suits and party dresses are adorable, and they truly love YOUR CHILDREN, but kids at a wedding bring an element of unpredictability and can take away from the grown-up party they were going for.

Whatever the reason, they are free to do it, and they don’t owe you or your kids a thing. In fact, this goes for anything the couple wants at their wedding. It’s their day; they can do what they want.

Of course, just as they have every right to deny entry to your kids (or, you know, make you dress as Eddie Murphy characters,) you have the right to decline the invitation if you can’t or won’t meet their requests. There are a lot of reasons someone with children would need to bring their children or stay home. If you are invited to a no-kids wedding, and you can’t or don’t want to leave your kids at home, it’s completely reasonable to RSVP no.

But here’s what not do: do not give the couple an ultimatum. “If you don’t let me bring the kids, we won’t be there,” is a shitty thing to say. Don’t say it.

“I’m sorry, I’d love to come, but unfortunately I need to stay with the kids, so I have to decline. I wish you both the best and I can’t wait to see photos!” – Good.

“Well, since you have a no-kid policy, you’ll either have to let me bring the kids, or I’m not coming to your wedding.” – Bad.

You should never try to insist on bringing kids to a non-kid wedding. Here's the argument for why some brides choose to have a kid free wedding. #parenthood #momlife #parenting #kids #wedding #weddings #weddingideas #nokidwedding

And don’t ask them if they can make an exception for you. If they wanted certain kids there, they would have told you. Don’t put them in that position. If they offer when you politely decline because of the kids, great, otherwise, take the hint.

I really thought this would be low on this list of complicated etiquette, but judging by comments I have heard about no-kid weddings, I was wrong. The number one suggested solution for getting around a no-kid wedding? Bring the kid anyway.

Let that sink in.

When is it okay to bring an uninvited guest to a wedding? What if you just walked in with some guy and said, “Oh, I met this guy at Starbucks, he’s pretty cool, so I brought him.” No! Now, in fairness, you probably aren’t breastfeeding the guy you met at Starbucks, but the principle is the same. Uninvited guests are uninvited, and bringing them is a jerk move.

Do you really enjoy yourself to the fullest at a wedding when you have your kids with you anyway? The first time I took my then two-year-old to a church service, he yelled “No like it, church!”, tried to blow out the prayer candles, and threw a Bible at a disabled, elderly man.

KIDS CAN BE ASSHOLES.

So, the next time you get an invite that specifies no children, book that sitter and look forward to your night of kid-free debauchery (hell yeah,) or politely decline and fantasize about that new couple a few years from now holding their screaming newborn, and saying, “Oh…yeah, I totally get why they said no to our wedding.”

At the very least, take solace in the fact that you will be spared being the parent of that kid who nailed the priest with a sippy cup while the couple said, “I do.”

This post originally appeared on Yummy Mummy Club

22 COMMENTS

  1. Who are you to tell anyone what they should or shouldn’t do? Don’t tell me to NOT BE THAT PERSON! I refuse to go to a wedding that they can’t bother to invite my ENTIRE family. I think THAT is INAPPROPRIATE! And BTW, if my kid starts throwing a fit during the ceremony, I’m taking them out immediately, I’m not a moron. Yes, no bride wants a screaming kid at the ceremony so a kid-free ceremony I get, but a kid-free reception is unnecessary. No one can hear a kid over the awful music and drunken morons anyway. And if you don’t want negative comments, then don’t write such a stupid piece to begin with!

    • Lol herein is the reason writers need to spell this out for people! Come on!? Are you serious? You can’t possibly argue with a bride and groom’s personal decision to not host and pay for kids to run amok at their wedding! I’m thinking your future wedding invites might get ‘lost in the mail’ lady.
      I’ve got four kids and love them like crazy but I’d never sabotage a bride’s wedding because I think my entire family is ‘entitled’ to go! Lol to all that.

      • I think my favorite comment she made was “drunken morons”, so why expose them to people like that to begin with! I don’t want some drunk guy hitting on my skin to be 16 year old daughter.

        I am with you on this!

    • She’s the author of HER opinion, you self-entitled moron. YOU have NO right to demand ANYTHING of ANYONE inviting you to THEIR party. PERIOD!! I had a no kids wedding. My sister had a special needs baby, so I booked a nurse to watch him in a hotel room for the reception. And when a couple replied that they and their 5 kids would be there, I called and told her thank you no. At $25 a head, I did not ask or want any children at the wedding! And IT WAS MY DECISION, AS THE BRIDE, TO DO SO!

    • Hey Becky. Here’s a tip: if you want the cast of Disney Jr at YOUR wedding, KNOCK YOURSELF OUT. But if I was paying for my wedding (or even if my parents were) YOU don’t get a vote on the guest list, menu, attire, venue, time, or literally ANYTHING ELSE. I can’t help but wonder who the hell you think you are, that you think you’re opinion is that freaking important? Get over yourself because I guarantee the people around you are over you 5 minutes after meeting your whiney, demanding, entitled a**.

    • One other thing: What kind of parent WANTS to expose their young children to, as you put it “drunken morons”? You, lady, win the award for worst wedding guest AND “mom other moms should never emulate”. Brava ??

    • That’s great that you’re a somewhat of a reasonable person who would take a crying child out of the room should they start screaming during a wedding. NOT EVERYONE WILL DO THIS. At my cousin’s wedding, a child screamed repeatedly for their bridesmaid mommy while she walked down the aisle. The person caring for them didn’t bother to take them out until the mom had made it all the way to the alter. At a friend’s wedding, during their first dance – which is supposed to be special – little girls were turning cartwheels on the dance floor. At another friend’s wedding, they wanted to do the “jumping the broom” tradition at their reception. One of the groomsmen’s sons decided he was going to jump with them, ruining their moment. The kid’s father thought it was the cutest thing. *face palm*
      If you’re invited to a no kids wedding, don’t take it personally. Most likely the bride &/or groom have witnessed or heard of things like this happening, and they DON’T want it to happen at their wedding. You can’t count on all parents to make it clear to their kids that the wedding is about the bride and groom and certain spotlights (dances, etc) are just for them, and not their precious little angels. They probably let their kids open everyone’s Christmas presents and blow out birthday candles when it’s not their birthday.

    • You are quite literally the most entitled karen sounding b word I’ve ever encountered on a blog post. Your children are going to grow up to be entitled little monsters

    • All I heard in your reply was mommy is butt hurt. You do not get to dictate whether or not your kid can come to a wedding. That is the bride and groom’s decision. Do you want to be the idiot parent whose kid screams while the couple says I do, or who trips someone up at the reception? Do you want to be the one whose kid wrecks the wedding cake? Nobody is obligated to put up with your kid at their wedding.

    • You are completely out of touch. And part of the problem. You see dear, when people ask to respect their requests. Simple. Just do it. Is this how you want to be treated? It’s clear that you don’t respect boundaries and a good guess is that neither does your family either.

  2. Good article. Some people just don’t get it. In our daughter’s case, there was limited seating for the formal dinner and we largely preferred adults, not children, to attend (with exception to the ring bearer and flower girl).

    P.S. We have lots of little ones in our family and friend’s families and we love them all.

  3. Totally agree.bride and grooms choice it is THIER DAY .and yes kids can be a holes lol. The bride& groom get to have one special day/ night to make&do as they wish. I wouldnt be offended if it was a no children event, if i can get a sitter im off for a night of adult time lol. If not then oh well a cosy family night it is , not gona be all agro about it either im winning

  4. I absolutely cannot wrap my mind around the fact that people don’t understand each other’s preferences!!! If you as the guest are physically PAYING for the couple’s wedding, THEN maybe you have a say in whether kids are invited or not!

  5. You are right IT IS THE BRIDE AND GROOMS decision to NOT invite little ones. Maybe they don’t have alot of money to spend on the reception. Food does cost quite a bit, and we know how picky kids can be. They also tend to be very antsy, and not sit still for very long. What happens if they run out on the dance floor and trip a guest, causing said guest to break a arm or leg? How will you feel then? That would have ruined it for the Wedding party, especially if it was ‘someone’ in the wedding. NO one should ‘demand’ that the bride & groom ALLOW you to bring your children. Your children will not enjoy themselves to your expense.

  6. Oh my! I too had a kid free wedding and reception. We married in a elegant home full of beautiful antiques. My MIL insisted on bring my niece. I explained to her is ANYTHING gets broke you will foot that bill. She was not allowed to attend reception. I did not want to worry about her. I certainly did not want my guest to need to concerned with her safety. Out side reception in the country.. Property had a swimming pool with ponds also on property.. I attended to too many weddings where children are running and people drop food. Drinks or fall them selves. So in the end, everyone was fine! For the lady who thought it us rude not to invite the whole family, then I guess we are rude! Sorry you could not make it!

  7. I totally agree. If the bride and groom do not want kids there, then, fine. That is their choice for their special day.
    I can completely understand why they’d want adults only.

  8. TOTALLY had a guest do this at my wedding.. They INSISTED on bringing their kids so because they were friends with my groom, my father-in-law had to pay for a suite for them to bring the kids and a nanny since it was a formal, black tie affair at NIGHT and the kids would need to be asleep before the first course was served — COMPLETELY INAPPROPRIATE — canNOT stand that woman to this day. (15 years later)…

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