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Babies at a wedding.. Yay or Nay?

post #1 of 171
Thread Starter 
My sister in law (DH's sister) is getting married and has pretty much made it clear that my DS is not invited (He is 5 months old and will be 9 months at the time of the wedding) I think part of it is because a cute baby may take some attention away from her or she's afraid he will make noise and mess it up or because "traditionally" babies dont go to weddings or because she is not a mama herself it's hard for her to understand how hard it is for a mama (especially one who has never used a sitter) to leave your baby behind when you go to a special event. Its most likely a combo of all of these reasons.

I have said that I will sit out during the ceremony in case he makes any noise, but thats not good enough. DS really doesnt even make much noise beyond what a typical baby does. She just plain doesnt want him there. My husband basically says if DS isnt invited, we're not coming.

Needless to say this is causing major problems in our family. What are everyone's thoughts on this?
post #2 of 171

ok...here are my 2 cents. as a bride (or bridezilla) she has every right to determine who is at her wedding. AND you have every right to decide to go or not.

I had kids at my wedding...dang cute. A baby or 2. MOST parents know their children and won't let them disrupt the ceremony and will take care of them during the reception. If you have reassured your SIL that the baby will not disrupt anything and she has decided that she still does not want him there then fine.....don't go.

I agree with you and your DH. I wouldn't go if my kids weren't invited. Well, ok, MAYBE I would leave DS at home with a sitter (unless they were at the wedding, he has only been with MIL & FIL :LOL), but DD??? No freaking way.

I don't know why it is causing problems with your family. SIL said no baby. Baby isn't invited, you and your DH are turning down the invitation as you see your child as more important than to just shove him off on some sitter. The last time I checked, it was an INVITATION not an OBLIGATION.

Tell your family to back off.....SIL made her choice, you made yours.
post #3 of 171
Perhaps explain that those are her choices (nicely & in private so it doesn't turn into a big drama show). You can also explain that it is very tramatic for babies to be away from their normal care provider & you cannot justify harming your child for any but the most dire of emergencies. Reiterate that you will keep baby quiet/out of service, and happy/quiet during reception.

Good for your dh for standing up to his sis for his baby!!
post #4 of 171
Funny you mention this. A good friend is getting married in October and the invitation arrived yesterday addressed to DH and I only.

I had previously talked to dear friend about this after my daughter said she was excited about her big party (DD's reference to a wedding). My friend got an odd look on her face and I knew what that meant. Katie was not invited. She said they had to cut the list off somewhere. They have 250 guests invited to a 6:30 wedding.

I asked why did it matter when there was no dinner, she wouldn't be helping herself at the bar. She said they just had to cut the line somewhere.

Yet, she has invited my dad and his friend. She hardly ever sees them. But they would bring a gift....

No I'm not bitter. This is causing a lot of anger amongst friends and family.

I feel for you too!!
post #5 of 171
I wouldn't go. I know that sounds awful and I surely don't expect my whole big family to be invited to people's weddings but babies are different. You can't be seperated from them. Thank goodness when my brother got married he and his wife understood that and graciously let my youngest at the time (she was 9 months) come AND sit at the head table! Dh and I were both in the wedding. Anyway, I would try to calmly explain your situation and if that doesn't work send your Dh to the wedding but not the reception. HTH.
post #6 of 171
I agree with the others- she's well within her right to say no kids. You're well within your right to stay home. If she wants you there, she will allow your kids. Period.

Personally, I don't understand the thinking. When I got married, I wanted everyone there, kids included. Most weddings I've been to have kids there- it's just more fun that way, IMO.

Just last night I was at a wedding reception and there were almost as many kids as adults (ok, not quite, but there were easily 15 kids there, the oldest being 11) and it was wonderful. The kids were running around being kids, but they were having fun. It was a casual reception, so the running was no big deal. (My ds slept better than he has in a long time after all the activity, so that was a BIG plus. He slept from 10 to 8:15 and managed to stay in his own bed all night!)
post #7 of 171
My thinking is, the couple gets to make the invitations, and the invitees get to come or not come. Short of asking her once, I think it is rude to pressure her about letting your son come. I think it perfectly acceptable for you to graciously decline the invitation because you don't want to leave your son, but it isn't right to say "He comes or none of of us come!" That's a threat.

Anyone who had kids was welcome to bring them to my wedding - I figured I'd rather see my friends than not see them, and I knew that not inviting kids would prevent some from coming. Then again, I also see a wedding as a community celebration and not a stuffy occasion, but that is my philosophy and my choice. Other people have the right to have theirs.
post #8 of 171
I can see both sides. But, like someone said it is an invitation, not an obligation.

If the wedding as a church, technically anyone can come into the ceremony. (i've been to many catholic weddings where there were people off the street for confession but they had to wait until the ceremony was over so they sat in the back or off to the side.

Personally I see weddings as a family event and am inviting everyone in the family, no matter what age.

Maybe she is afraid of specific children acting up and instead of just singling that child out to not invite, she/they just decided to not invite children. maybe the number of children she'd 'have' to invite brings the numbers up to 300. (i'm just trying to think of reasons here)

If the reception is in a hotel could you get a room and then you and your DH take turns with the baby?

(i'd probably not go to the event if it happned to me)
post #9 of 171
My thoughts are: its her wedding so she gets to decide no kids vs kids. And if I was you I'd say "Gee, I'd really love to go, but my kid is too young to be away from me at this point. Really going to miss you".

I don't understand people not wanting kids at weddings. I've never seen a kid ruin a wedding. When they make noises during the ceremony/reception, 9 out of 10 times its super cute. The 10th time is them screaming and Mom/Dad can always discreetly take kid/baby out of the room. Kids really add to celebrations and odds are she is going to have them some day and be in your shoes and finally understand. But again, its her wedding and she gets to call the shots on her big day. Hopefully she will change her mind?
post #10 of 171
Yeah, I agree with everyone else.
It's perfectly ok for someone to not invite kids to a wedding, that's entirely up to them and depends on what kind of atmosphere they want, how big the guest list would grow to if they invited all the kids, really the reasons don't even matter because they are the reasons of the bride and groom, nobody elses.

It's also perfectly ok to politely decline the invitation. 'Sorry, babe is too to be left with a sitter, wish we could come, congratulations.'

I don't see how it would be causing such big problems, unless she's insisting that you both come or participate but also refusing to allow the baby. Once it's clear that baby is not invited it should be dropped.

I've also never been to a wedding where children were not invited, and usually given a table of their own for the older ones, but that's just my family, which happens to be pretty big and loaded with women so also loaded with babies.
post #11 of 171
I think this is a different situation than your normal wedding as it is a close family member -- she may make an exception if she understands her own brother won't be there. It also could be a good chance for her to see that children being with their parents really is important.

In the case of a friend or co-worker, I would just decline (without regret!).
post #12 of 171
The only weddings I've ever attended were out of town for family members. So there is no way I would ever go out of town to a wedding without my children. One of my cousins sent us an invitation with "no children" hand written on it. There was no possible way we could go. Who would watch our children 400 miles away from home? Her reasoning was that the caterers would charge full price for each person regardless if they were a kid or not.

I believe that if family is important to you and you are celebrating a unioun between two families, the whole family should be invited. However, if it's too elegant for kids, I believe it would be better to speak personally with the parents about your decision, instead of just writting it on the card.
post #13 of 171
I don't know, it doesn't seem to me that the couple should have to go out of their way to make sure everyone knows that people who didn't get a seperate invitation, and were not addressed on the parents invitation, are in fact not invited.
No invitation=not invited.
If it's close family or something I can see making a quick call to see if they can make an exception for your nursing baby or something, but if even then they say no kids allowed, that's where it should end.
In my own ever so humble opinion, anyhow.
post #14 of 171
I've never understood the "no kids" policy at any wedding. I mean, weddings are about families, and if there were no kids, there would shortly be no more families. (Needless to say, we had lots of kids and pregnant women at my wedding. Some kids didn't come, but that was because their parents saw it as a chance to come out on a date by themselves -- and those were older kids, not babies.)

However, if you want a good giggle, check out Etiquette Hell. It's got all sorts of things that bridezillas do. After a while (and unfortunately), your SIL's request won't seem quite so odd.
post #15 of 171
I agree that it's the marrying couple's right to invite whom they want, and your right to decline. Would it make your family happier if your husband went alone?
post #16 of 171
The concept of Every member of the family not being invited to a Family event, and the start of a new Family which is what a wedding is after all, does not compute in our extended family. OTOH hand, this culture has changed marriage and especially the wedding that begins it into a ME event, all about the bride and the guy she's marrying. Misses the point of the event IMO.

Given that situation, they get to dictate whom they invite. OTOH, said invitees have the option to decline the invitation.

If the bride doesn't like that her Brother won't be there, then she can loosen up on the expectation that everything be bridal magazine perfect. OR she can choose not to and have her fantasy magazine wedding without a significant chunk of the family who love her present. Her life, her decision.

Every wedding we've been to with children has been perfect. Perhaps a slightly different perfect than the magazines depict, but perfect none the less. And the small humorous events that children lend themselves to causing at these sorts of events only add to the photo memories. Our family remembering the toddler who lofted a pacifier 3 pews back does not detract in the least from our memories of how gorgeous that sister looked or how happy she and her husband were (and still are btw). His 3 year old nephew asking if he and A were getting married (you all but see the little lightbulb over his head lighting up), as seen in the video (no one in the church pews knew at the time) is so priceless! and so sweet! I wouldn't miss moments like that for anything.
post #17 of 171
Originally Posted by cinnamonamon
I think this is a different situation than your normal wedding as it is a close family member -- she may make an exception if she understands her own brother won't be there. It also could be a good chance for her to see that children being with their parents really is important.

In the case of a friend or co-worker, I would just decline (without regret!).
I don't think she should "make an exception" because that's going to cause big problems for her later if she tells some people it's o.k. to bring their babies and others not. I once paid $ to have a sitter watch our baby for a wedding after even asking if I could bring her and was told no - no children - even breastfeeding babies. Then I got there and there were a whole bunch of other babies and even children there (and not well behaved ones either). Turns out my baby cried all evening for me. We aren't friends with them anymore.
post #18 of 171
Originally Posted by PadmaMorgana
ok...here are my 2 cents. as a bride (or bridezilla) she has every right to determine who is at her wedding. AND you have every right to decide to go or not.

Tell your family to back off.....SIL made her choice, you made yours.

In total agreement with all of this
post #19 of 171
Thread Starter 

As the OP...

I guess I should clarify some stuff for everyone...
The whole thing started about 3 months ago when a cousin of my husband's was getting married (in texas and we're in FL) The invitation was even made out to us and our son! My husband couldnt go because he had too much work but I considered going with DS so the family out in Texas could meet him for the first time. I told my SIL and MIL about my plans and they told me it is totally inappropriate to bring a baby to a wedding. I told them that he is invited and they basically said that she probably invited him out of courtesy but didnt expect us to bring him (how ridiculous is that) I ended up not going at all...
Fast forward to now... my husband jokingly said to my SIL while she was making wedding plans "too bad Sebastian (Ds) isnt old enough to be a ring barer, maybe he could crawl to the alter!" instead of laughing she replied "Well regardless I dont want any babies at my wedding" so my husband told her that if he isnt invited then she should forget our invitations as well. I then explained to her all the reasons why DS wont be in the way and how much we want to come but we want to bring him because he is so important to us. She wasnt hearing any of it and said that we are being selfish by insisting on bringing him. And that we "have" to come and find a sitter because we cant miss her wedding.

Also-- just to answer some questions.. we arent traveling far for the wedding(4 hours away) and we are the only people who would be invited with a baby or young children. And the wedding would be less than 100 people.

My SIL and MIL are extremely hung up on tradition!
post #20 of 171
I find it extremely irritating that she won't let your baby come. I seriously wouldn't go. That is just awful. It is her right as a bride to not invite kids but to exclude her own nephew is just mean.
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