Children at weddings... Your thoughts - Page 6 - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#151 of 167 Old 10-21-2005, 12:32 PM
 
sistermama's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: lifting my shirt to show more boob
Posts: 1,840
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsMoe
yup... chidlren are not lesser people
sistermama is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#152 of 167 Old 10-21-2005, 01:30 PM
 
whateverdidiwants's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Exiled in Bi-ville
Posts: 2,938
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Also, I would NEVER leave my kids with some yahoo I don't know buildings or rooms away from where I am.
Me either. I'm surprised at the number of people on this thread who seem to be ok with leaving their child with a total stranger (who you most likely have no knowledge of their caretaking experience or philosophy) for the duration of the wedding and/or reception.

The only time I've seen this work was at a wedding where the entire reception was outside. The main festivities were under a tent, and there was a kid's table under the patio of the building literally right next door. Parents could easily glance over and see what was going on, and the kids could look for their parents whenever they wanted them.
whateverdidiwants is offline  
#153 of 167 Old 10-21-2005, 01:36 PM
 
Milky Way's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 419
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think it's all up to the bride and groom. To be honest I have been to over a dozen weddings in the last few years and only one had children. In fact the one bride who invited children ended up with a wedding video for $850 where you can't even hear the vows because a child is having a moment. I truly believe the focus on adult weddings today has more to do with todays veiws on parenting than anything. Think, if you went to a wedding when you where little your mother would take you out at the first peep you made. Why? because it's respectful, today that respect has gone out the window. Today most mainsteam parents will just sit their and let their child scream cry, poke fingers in the cake(was mentioned by another poster) etc and not say/do a thing(as occured at my friends wedding, 2 year old was having a moment mom and dad just sat there : ). Now some of you are saying well I have way more sense and if DD/DS did anything we would immediatly leave but remeber over half of society would not. Therefore it's easier to not invite all kids vs invite only some. We had an ADULT only wedding, why, exactly what I stated above. I have friends who let their children run a muck that was not going to work at my wedding where we had ice sculptures and glass vases all over(yes I had one of those weddings) however I also had friends whose kids are wonderful sweet and darling as can be. My wedding was amazing, sweet, all the adults got to have a GREAT time, nothing wrong with that.

There are many reasons why people don't invite children to weddings but it's nothing to take offense to. Some family's just don't bring kids to more elegant functions, some do. If your a guest you are that a guest and you don't have the right to dictate how someone else should run thier wedding/ life. You do have the right to politly decline the invitation. In most cases the bride and groom will understand, I know I did. You also have to remember many brides/grooms don't find children all the wonderful things they are like parents do. Many brides/grooms see kids as little bombs ready to go off at any moment. Understand that, you may find it selfish but many of you admit before your own kids you might have that way to. Maybe the bride and groom don't plan on having kids maybe they do but most likely they find kids way less exciting than parents do. This topic comes up so much because of the whole entittlement attitude so many people have. "well my child should be invited if I'm invited" " well I deserve this and that and special treatment" No, not always and it's not something to take offense to. I'm sure I pissed somebody off but I could care less at this point. Not everyone's world revolves around you and your children.
Milky Way is offline  
#154 of 167 Old 10-21-2005, 01:59 PM
 
sistermama's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: lifting my shirt to show more boob
Posts: 1,840
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Milky Way
There are many reasons why people don't invite children to weddings but it's nothing to take offense to. Some family's just don't bring kids to more elegant functions, some do. If your a guest you are that a guest and you don't have the right to dictate how someone else should run thier wedding/ life. You do have the right to politly decline the invitation. In most cases the bride and groom will understand, I know I did. You also have to remember many brides/grooms don't find children all the wonderful things they are like parents do. Many brides/grooms see kids as little bombs ready to go off at any moment. Understand that, you may find it selfish but many of you admit before your own kids you might have that way to. Maybe the bride and groom don't plan on having kids maybe they do but most likely they find kids way less exciting than parents do. This topic comes up so much because of the whole entittlement attitude so many people have. "well my child should be invited if I'm invited" " well I deserve this and that and special treatment" No, not always and it's not something to take offense to. I'm sure I pissed somebody off but I could care less at this point. Not everyone's world revolves around you and your children.
I don't see anyone telling people what they have to do. Just people discussing their opinions. I think it is a sad situation that so many weddings are fancy displays where people want to show off instead of a two entire families getting to celebrate the joyous union of two people. I think that there is also a difference in expectation for children being invited depending on your relationship with the person getting married. Would I expect dc to be included in an invitation to a coworker's wedding? No. Well, actually I would bring along my infant - mamatoto (mother baby unit and all). Would I expect them to be included at a family member's wedding? Hell yes, and I would be offended if they weren't.

Aren't parties thrown for the guests??? Aren't weddings just big parties? I think it is poor hospitality turn a wedding into throwing a party for yourself, where people are expected to give you gifts and then totally disregard the needs/desires of your attendees.

Children should be welcome everywhere adults are welcomed.
sistermama is offline  
#155 of 167 Old 10-21-2005, 02:33 PM
 
hhurd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 711
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
There is a distinctly cyclical nature to this thread. I think we've worked our way all around this issue at least four times by now...
hhurd is offline  
#156 of 167 Old 10-21-2005, 03:21 PM
 
sistermama's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: lifting my shirt to show more boob
Posts: 1,840
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
So on a discussion board, I guess we just shouldn't discuss.
sistermama is offline  
#157 of 167 Old 10-22-2005, 03:45 PM
 
UrbanEarthMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 42
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Since I posted our solution to hire teenagers - which worked really well for us AND all the parents who came - I thought I should elaborate because I feel like the comment about "yahoos" was totally absurd in relation to our situation. The young women we hired weren't yahoos and our wedding was small enough that most of the parents either knew these yahoos or trusted my philosophies and the environment enough to feel safe.

Just to be clear, our wedding was held at my aunt and uncles dude ranch in the California foothills. My aunt and uncle are pillars of their communities - he is a chiropracter and she is a homebirth educator and LLL leader. They have 4 teenage and college age children. It was their children I was honored to witness being born at my first home birth when I was 9. They are yoga teachers and TM teachers and they have been honorary aunt and uncle to all of my friends & extended family who happened to bring their children to our wedding. The families I invited see this circle of people as inspirational and safe and nurturing.

Their dude ranch is a serene place in the Sierra Nevada mountains where entire monastaries of Buddhist monks and nuns come to live each summer. A rural retreat where children's summer camp is held every year. It was the well-known friends of my college-age cousins who actually run the children's camp who were hired to care for the children during our wedding --- in the yoga studio not 25 feet from the barn where our vows were being exchanged! Not to mention that our wedding was a weekend affair and all the parents and children had a bonfire on Friday and nature acitivities all day Saturday before our wedding to get to know the young women who provided care for the hour during our ceremony. These young people were not yahoos and I never would have created a situation like that.

Sometimes the volatility on this board is really bothersome. The jumping to conclusions and not giving anyone the benefit of the doubt when people are just sharing creative ideas to HELP one another. Don't adopt my ideas if you don't like them but please keep condescending or sarcastic comments to yourself. It is rude and shows a real lack of tolerance. Wouldn't it be more helpful to ask a question like, "How did you choose these people to care for the kids?" "What did the other parents think about leaving their little ones with strangers?" "Where did you get married - were the kids in a hotel room far away from their parents?" That just feels so much more like the spirit that I would want to create among other like-minded but healthfully diverse mothers that I reach out to for inspiration and help. The offhand comments really shut people down and draws arbitrary lines.
UrbanEarthMama is offline  
#158 of 167 Old 10-23-2005, 12:35 PM
 
sistermama's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: lifting my shirt to show more boob
Posts: 1,840
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
When I used the term "yahoo" it was not directed towards you in any way. I was simply responding to what commonly occurs when people expect you to leave your kids in a hotel or church room with people you know nothing about. I think that the set up that you described was very different from the normal situation.

I still believe, however, that when you require children to be away from adults during things like weddings (and funerals, etc) that you are telling them that they are full functioning members of the family and that their presence isn't important.
sistermama is offline  
#159 of 167 Old 10-23-2005, 01:54 PM
 
UrbanEarthMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 42
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Sistermama, Thanks for clarifying your position and I can respect your position about the implication on children feeling marginalized. And to share my opinion about this (not to just you Sistermama, but others too) Sometimes, for some people, there is a time for separate spaces...we give our children the right for privacy and quiet time, etc. and sometimes adults need this too. I think it is okay for children to be protected from stifling situations that require developmental skills they haven't yet mastered (like 2 year olds sitting and being quiet for 45 minutes to an hour).

I personally don't like to bring my son into places that it is impossible for him to "win" so I try to find ways for me to get my adult needs met and him to be free to be a child. I'd rather both of us enjoy our separate hour and then reunite feeling filled up and ready to celebrate with a large and happy group once the lengthy quiet time has ended.

In my opinion, providing a safe, happy place for children to be that honors their needs (freedom to roam, yell, play, explore) within the larger context of a loving community IS honoring them as full members of that community. I don't see how this marginalizes children in anyway. It tells them that we SEE them and their needs and that we will provide safe and happy places for them even when we are having adult time. It says we respect them without placing expectations on them before they are ready.

Just to go back to our wedding, in addition to babes in arms there were several children ages 9-12 who chose to be present during our ritual (a high ritual led by a pagan priestess and astrologer) and could handle the intensity of that kind of energy. At their ages, it was appropriate to initiate them into the more adult activities of sacred ritual. Having brought my son to rituals (mother blessings, death rituals, women's circles) I know when the energy will be too much for him to handle - sometimes ritual spaces can be too charged for little ones because they are still so sensitive to spirit and nonverbal energies. But, little by little, I introduce him in ways that are appropriate for his development.

Another position of mine is that it isn't always about my son - except to me. A ritual (whatever denomination and belief system to which you subscribe) is intended to celebrate a particular person for particular reason - and at a wedding, that is the couple being married. I certainly don't want my son taking away the focus when someone needs healing or a new mother needs quiet massage or a spirit is being ushered to the beyond or two people are declaring their love in a quiet, sacred moment. My son gets plenty of love and attention daily and he needs to learn boundaries and that sometimes mama gives her attention elsewhere because it is needed. If doing this with him by my side makes it difficult for him and me and the person (or people) being honored by a ceremony, everyone has lost something.

And, in most situations, there is the after-feast and the livelier moments with talking, dancing, music, when my son can be included and offer his congratulations to the bride & groom, etc...He can then, slowly, be introduced to the social expectations of such circumstances.

Okay, just my thoughts again. What an interesting thread. It sure seemed to touch a nerve with lots of people!
UrbanEarthMama is offline  
#160 of 167 Old 10-23-2005, 03:00 PM
 
sistermama's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: lifting my shirt to show more boob
Posts: 1,840
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanEarthMama
In my opinion, providing a safe, happy place for children to be that honors their needs (freedom to roam, yell, play, explore) within the larger context of a loving community IS honoring them as full members of that community. I don't see how this marginalizes children in anyway. It tells them that we SEE them and their needs and that we will provide safe and happy places for them even when we are having adult time. It says we respect them without placing expectations on them before they are ready.
Good point, I will think on it.

I do think that they way you handled it was VASTLY different from my experience at other child free weddings. I think it is lovely that the children who chose to attend the ritual were allowed and that all the children came and joined the rest of the group afterwards. IME, people who don't want children at the ceremony don't welcome them at any other time during the festivities as well. That is the part that really saddens me.
sistermama is offline  
#161 of 167 Old 01-22-2006, 05:18 PM
 
Metasequoia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: In the village
Posts: 5,688
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Attila the Honey
I say to each his own, but honestly if my baby isn't welcome I am not going. It bugs me that it's "OK" to even make that stipulation, really. There are plenty of obnoxious adults I'd like to exclude from events, but I'd never write "Please, no middle aged men that tend to drink too much" just because my Uncle Harry is like that.
What if you're supposed to be the maid of honor & when the bride asked you, you were only a few months along & not telling anyone you were pg, so you agreed & now, when you tell her that you'll need to bring your 6 month old, strictly nursing baby to the wedding she says "no," then what????? We've been through the "just give him a bottle" conversation, etc.... I was totally imagining wearing him in a sleek black sateen Hotsling . I mean, I understand that during the ceremony & during pictures I'd have to hand him off, but who cares about the rest of it??

I abandoned Dd1 during a wedding when she was 5 months old & left her with a baby sitter hired by the bride & she was hysterical the whole time I swore that I would never do that again, I was so upset with myself (especially when another couple brought their infant to the ceremony

Homeschoolin' Mama chicken3.gifto Dd1 2/3/00, Dd2 1/13/03, Ds1 3/11/06 & Ds2 11/18/10!!
Metasequoia is offline  
#162 of 167 Old 01-22-2006, 05:23 PM
 
bri276's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 5,848
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I had kids at my wedding. I don't mind if someone else doesn't want them at theirs, I'm just not going to come, that's all. As long as they're not offended by me not attending then I'm not offended by them excluding children. I understand there are valid reasons for it- saving money, wanting an ultra-sophisticated atmosphere, just plain not liking kids running around. I'm ok with that. But I'm not ok w/ leaving DD. that's all there is to it.

DD1 7/13/05 DD2 9/20/10
bri276 is offline  
#163 of 167 Old 01-22-2006, 05:30 PM
 
Metasequoia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: In the village
Posts: 5,688
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Then do you think it's okay to say to the bride (whom I've known for 22 yrs) that I'm not going to be her maid-of-honor unless my children can come? It's such a sticky situation....she wants Dd1 (6yrs old) to be the flower girl, but won't allow Dd2 (who will be 3.75 yrs old then.) It's very hurtful to imagine Dd2 being left alone . How do I say, "I'll only be in your wedding if I can bring all 3 of my children"?? That's how I feel. It just seems so imposing, but I feel like most of you in that children should not be excluded. I guess it all boils down to me valuing my family's feelings more than I value hers?

Homeschoolin' Mama chicken3.gifto Dd1 2/3/00, Dd2 1/13/03, Ds1 3/11/06 & Ds2 11/18/10!!
Metasequoia is offline  
#164 of 167 Old 01-22-2006, 05:32 PM
 
bri276's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 5,848
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I would decline the offer to be a MOH. Anyone I would care enough for to be an MOH (which is a lot of work!) would care about my children enough not to hurt their feelings by making one have a special part in the day and the other not even invited. That is rude.

DD1 7/13/05 DD2 9/20/10
bri276 is offline  
#165 of 167 Old 01-22-2006, 06:07 PM
 
loraxc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: In the Truffula Trees
Posts: 4,388
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We welcomed children to our wedding and a number attended, from ages 2-12. They were a delight and not a problem in any way. No one screamed through the ceremony or tipped over the cake. We had a fairly formal wedding at a fairly fancy place.

However, ironically enough, I have since decided that it is probably MORE considerate to hire sitters on-site or recommend/pay for off-site sitters for out of town guests with young children (say, under 5). I can't really support BARRING young children, but making a sitter an option is actually the right thing, I think.

Why do I say this? I just brought my two-year-old to a family wedding. It was very fancy, very formal, at a child-unfriendly place (lots of open fires and candles and grabbable floral displays hither and yon) and involved a lot of people drinking and dancing wildly and a lot of long speeches and toasts. To be perfectly honest, it was VERY stressful to care for my toddler in this environment. They actually did hire a (trusted, family friend) sitter on-site, and although I did not initially intend to use her, we eventually brought DD up to the room where she was and checked in on her a lot. She did fine, till it was past her bedtime (which wasn't long, as it was an evening wedding).

To be really honest, if I had it do over, I think I would have put her with the sitter during the ceremony, brought her to the first bit of the reception so family could enjoy seeing her, then taken her back where we were staying, put her to bed, and paid a sitter to stay with her while DH and I enjoyed the rest of the reception.

I never used to be sympathetic to the "fancy weddings are no place for young kids" argument, but actually, after this experience, I have to say that it may be true that some weddings are not the place for some kids (depending on age, temperament, and the time of the wedding). I have rarely been as exhausted as I was after that wedding weekend! (We also took DD to a fancy rehearsal dinner...)

That said, I totally understand why people feel hurt and upset when their young children are excluded. Some children are also much easier to leave with others--my DD is old enough now to communicate if she needs me, and she isn't one for stranger anxiety. I think the best call is to give parents both options, inform them what the event will be like, and let them decide.

grateful mother to DD, 1/04, and DS, 2/08

loraxc is offline  
#166 of 167 Old 01-22-2006, 06:12 PM
 
MamaBug's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Neverland
Posts: 9,107
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by bri276
I would decline the offer to be a MOH. Anyone I would care enough for to be an MOH (which is a lot of work!) would care about my children enough not to hurt their feelings by making one have a special part in the day and the other not even invited. That is rude.
:

ITA agree with this. If this person is close enough for you to be her MOH then maybe you should have a talk with her. If she does not have children yet she may not even realize that this can cause problems

We may not have it all together, but together we have it all
MamaBug is offline  
#167 of 167 Old 01-22-2006, 07:35 PM
 
Metasequoia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: In the village
Posts: 5,688
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Thanks for all of the responses mama's , you guys are so amazing & wise!

I emailed the bride-to-be (even borrowed some of your suggestions ) I posted the said email over in the "Help Non AP Wedding Distress" thread, hope she responds like an adult....I think I was very nice about it.

Thanks Mama's!!!!

Homeschoolin' Mama chicken3.gifto Dd1 2/3/00, Dd2 1/13/03, Ds1 3/11/06 & Ds2 11/18/10!!
Metasequoia is offline  
Reply

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off