I have been to both kinds, all were lovely. Most weddings I have been to included kids, including my own.
It is the bride and grooms event, it has nothing to do with what I want. It is their big day, their party and celebration. I don't mind them choosing to invite or not invite children. That is up to them as a couple.
happy family! we
Wow. That is brilliant. I've never heard of anyone hiring an entertainer for kids and I have to say, that is really brilliant.
We just went to a wedding with kids and it was a great time. It was awesome because it was on a ranch so the kids had so much space to have fun.
I will say that I have been to weddings where the kids aren't really watched by parents (can't blame them) and that can be a bit of an issue.
We had a child-free wedding, except for babes-in-arms, and honestly I am always surprised when the discussion comes up and people just can't understand why people do so. I have a child now, I don't have one moment of feeling bad that I had a child-free wedding It's what the situation called for.
We have an awesome child friendly wedding! While people tried (mainly my mom) to persuede us the other way I dug my heels in. I was having children and it was just the way it was ;)
Then again we had already had our oldest DD and she was 18 months at the time. So if she was coming why would I tell others that they couldn't bring their kids. Especially since some were still small nurselings and other's were travelling family.
I kept our ceremony short and it was in a sunken garden where kids could run/play if they wanted and sound wasn't really an issue. My parents hired one of my friends to basically "baby wrangle" our DD all day so she spent the day with us chasing after DD and no one had to worry about her care.
We had enough time between ceremony and reception for naps for little ones if they needed it. And then our reception had lots of space a separate room to run and another room with lots of comfy cozy chairs to lounge in (or breastfeed if they wanted some quiet/space, but they were more than welcome in the main room too ;) ) and have some quiet time. And we also had a hotel room upstairs that they could use as well. It was also the room that our babysitter could take our DD if she was tired.
Older kids got a ceramic mug with pens to draw on that didn't need to be baked before use. Toddlers got a colouring book and crayons and the smallest got cloth teething veggies made by one of my friends.
As for the regular buffet food (which was amazing!), I also had the hotel add chicken fingers and fries as an option and precooked pasta and then two sauce choices, cheese and a red/marinara sauce. We had some picky eaters that were not kids as well that also loved that option. And of course with the amazing dessert options we had cut fruit. (*side note: my mom always said growing up that I would serve Kraft Dinner at my wedding I loved it so much... So the pasta with cheese sauce was also meant as a little "dig"/play towards her. When we were at the meeting with the hotel she actually started crying when I asked if we could add it!)
I don't think most of the guests even noticed the kids, and really they just added a level of entertainment to the party :)
Our kids have been invited to other weddings. Some which we elected not to take them, some which we did and other which we didn't realize they would have been invited to until later. There was one that was just addressed to myself and my (future) husband and our oldest was only 9ish months. I wanted to take her as her main source of nutrition was still breastmilk. But my mom (her friend's daughter getting married) said no but paid another one of my friends to watch her upstairs in the hotel for me so that she would be close and I could run up to nurse as needed :) Of course once we got there everyone started to ask why we didn't bring her... but it was a good date night out and we'd had so few nights out with just Dh and I at that point.
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Our wedding was filled with kids. and a lot of people i didn't know, who were important to my in-laws. almost 12 years later, those people feel so tied to our family b/c they were at our wedding when we were just kids and were crazy enough to invite them! i don't remember any issues w/ kids!
I danced in a wedding last summer and my other 4 kids were in the aisle, and it wasn't easy b/c my husband was one of the musicians. but my kids were great (not perfect!) and it was a lovely and lively ceremony with a fun and outgoing reception (we were the kids table w/ another family and their dad was the MC)
I was recently invited to a wedding 2 hours away, no kids. i had a newborn. honestly, what was I supposed to do there? i'm sure breastfeeding in a semi-formal gown would be perfectly acceptable (NOT!) but to leave my 3 and 2 year old for that long is something I don't think I'd ever do! It felt like a political move to be invited. You don't have to invite me if you don't want me and my 5 little leeches there. At this stage in my life, I am still one with all of them. I had never heard of a child-free wedding before. I think weddings and funerals are for families, and children need to be included.
i have loved that during my marriage, people who were at my wedding felt INVESTED in my marriage, not b/c they knew me, not b/c we talked all the time, but simply b/c they were witnesses and that meant a lot to them even though they didn't mean anything to me at the time. many of them have invested in our life going forward, and have celebrated w/ each child. I have been present at weddings for people that weren't dear friends, but in that ceremony dedicated myself to helping them uphold their marriage and being there for them in this journey. that is what marriage is to me- not a romantic or pure thing, but a real and growing thing that we do with everyone in our lives. I'm so honored that my sister also had my very young children in her wedding- they don't see her often, but being a part of that is something they speak of with deep awe and love. and every wedding they've been to has been purely magical to them. I love that!
Politely send your regrets and move on. Lots of times babes-in-arms are exempt from the no-kids rule, and plenty of people totally would leave their 2 and 3 year olds to attend a wedding, so I wouldn't assume the invitation was insincere.
We had kids at our wedding and I wouldn't have had it any other way, but we planned our wedding to suit OUR preferences. It just doesn't bother me at all that other people have different preferences. We've had to say no to a couple of weddings because kids weren't allowed and our kids were either too young for a sitter or we couldn't find a sitter, and I didn't perceive it as a slap in the face or anything -- we just said we couldn't make it and wished the couple the best.