Children at weddings... Your thoughts - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 167 Old 10-10-2005, 07:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I absolutely hate it when children are excluded from weddings. Have you ever seen just how much fun they can make an event like that. I love watching the little dears get up and dance. They have fun, and if you're like me you enjoy yourself because your children are enjoying themselves. Babies SHOULD be welcome due to feeding schedules etc, it's not like the bride and groom are paying for them to eat, and every wedding we've gone to I've worn my baby, which as we know keeps them calm.
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#2 of 167 Old 10-10-2005, 07:42 PM
 
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I have to agree. When dh and I got married, we absolutely wanted children at our wedding. They bless the event somehow. Our society is so adult-centered though, that it's no wonder children are unwelcome at so many weddings. I think it's sad.
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#3 of 167 Old 10-10-2005, 07:54 PM
 
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Hmm, don't flame me but I think it really depends on the feelings of the couple that is getting married. DH & I insisted that it was a family affair and we wanted kids there, but I would've expected people to respect my wishes if I wanted a black tie optional wedding without kids. Personally, I don't get the big wedding thing on so many levels so this would never be an issue for me, but sadly I've been to many weddings where guest blatantly went against a couple's wish and I don't think its fair especially considering the cost of weddings and the fact that we all have our own day to do what we choose with it. Regardless of whether or not a child is bfing & or well behaved it is changing the atmosphere (for better or for worse) and I don't think anyone has the right to impose their philosophy on anyone else. However, I would expect the bride & groom to be understanding when people turned down the invitations because if my children were young & nursing I'd find it really hard (if not impossible) to leave them for any period of time and I tend to believe that I wouldn't go where my children were not wanted. Like most things in life I think we have to be respectful of others while not compromising our views and so I think decisions should be made on a wedding by wedding basis.
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#4 of 167 Old 10-10-2005, 07:58 PM
 
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Jaclyn, I agree - but I still think it's wierd.
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#5 of 167 Old 10-10-2005, 08:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by HerthElde
Jaclyn, I agree - but I still think it's wierd.

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#6 of 167 Old 10-10-2005, 08:03 PM
 
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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.

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#7 of 167 Old 10-10-2005, 08:15 PM
 
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It doesn't really offend or bother me at all. Some people do not like kids, don't want kids there, don't think they're cute, whatever the reason. I mean, its the couples wedding, they're paying for it. *shrug* I loved having kids at my wedding, they were all great and we had a separate room for them with movies and kid food when they got bored or cranky. That worked for us but I can see how some people would just rather not deal with it at all. I've been to some weddings where a mother did not remove her wailing baby from the actual ceremony, and the baby was screaming over the vows! If the couple specifies Adults only then just make the decision, and don't make a huge fuss about it. I think that the couple who is going to be married are probably aware that some people will have to turn down the invite because of kids. Its not really a big deal to me and I don't take it as some huge personal insult. Kids aren't for everybody.
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#8 of 167 Old 10-10-2005, 08:20 PM
 
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I also think it's entirely up to the bride and groom, and it depends on the type of wedding they want to have. I've had great fun at weddings held in a church hall with a bluegrass band, where children were welcomed and they had great fun. I've also been at much more formal evening weddings where children were not invited, and frankly, I would have been a nervous wreck if mine were there. Oh, and many places do charge for children (not babies), so I can entirely understand if the bride and groom can't pay for them. My extended family is absolutely huge, and inviting all the kids would seriously up the price tag.

I do agree that an invitation is just that. It is not a command performance. Just as the people throwing the party have the right to draw up the guest list, the people invited have the right to decline and there should be no hard feelings.

I've declined many invitations where my kids weren't invited, but I wasn't hurt in the least that they weren't. Whether or not the brides and grooms were offended that we didn't come is their problem.
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#9 of 167 Old 10-10-2005, 08:25 PM
 
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I think it's the right of the bride and the groom to decide if they invite children to their wedding- however, if they do chose to exclude children and especially babies they have no right to get mad at someone or a couple for not coming because they are unable or uncomfortable with leaving their child behind.
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#10 of 167 Old 10-10-2005, 08:29 PM
 
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I loved having kids at my wedding, too. It was so fun to dance and twirl around - they loved seeing my dress puff up

If someone doesn't want kids at their wedding, that's up to them, but I probably won't go either. It would depend on how close I was to them, and honestly, I can't imagine someone I'm that close to not wanting kids there :LOL

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#11 of 167 Old 10-10-2005, 08:33 PM
 
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I think it if the bride and groom want and adults only affair, they should have one.

I have been to weddings with kids and had a blast. Ive been at weddings where there were no kids and had fun.

My own wedding was adults only, and formal. Everyone that was invited came, except for my husbands sister, who had had surgery.
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it's not like the bride and groom are paying for them to eat
I'm not sure thats the main issue, although it may be depending on their budget.
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#12 of 167 Old 10-10-2005, 08:34 PM
 
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yes, I suppose it reflects the bride and groom wishes, but i agree w/ the pp that said children bless weddings somehow.
dh and i welcomed children at our wedding, i have been known to not atttend when nursling not welcome, hey, my babes gotta eat, and they eat at mom's
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#13 of 167 Old 10-10-2005, 08:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Zombiewaif
I absolutely hate it when children are excluded from weddings.
Something come up that brought this to your mind? I'm curious what made you so ticked that you just had to get it all out in a policy statement.

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#14 of 167 Old 10-10-2005, 08:42 PM
 
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I don't care either way. It's up to the bride and groom. The thing I don't understand is when a bride and groom choose a childfree ceremony/reception, then get irate at families who choose not to go b/c their children aren't invited and they don't want to go without them.

It's the choice of the couple to invite who they choose, it's the choice of the invitee to attend or not (and they shouldn't be harassed about their choice any more than the couple should be harassed about theirs). my opinions- clear as mud, right?

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#15 of 167 Old 10-10-2005, 08:48 PM
 
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It's been said already, but I agree that it's the bride and groom's perogative to include or exclude children from their wedding -- but if they decide to exclude children, they have *no* right to be upset if the parents choose not to come.

We had babies and children at our ceremony and were blessed for it. It was amazing. They danced through bubbles, helped create our circle, and generally relaxed and entertained the other guests. Then again, we would have been hypocrites for excluding them, seeing as we chose to marry on Llammas, a fertility holiday.
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#16 of 167 Old 10-10-2005, 11:33 PM
 
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I was at a wedding once where the people sitting directly in front of me had a baby in the screeching/crowing stage. Their baby "talked" all through the ceremony - lots of loud, high-pitched squealing - and the people sitting around them had trouble hearing the service.

After the service, I heard the baby's mother comment about how lucky the bridal couple was to have such happy baby noises at their wedding. I didn't think so, and I doubt that the other people seated near us thought so either! I think that sometimes parents aren't the best judge of how our babies affect a social event, because we get so used to the noise.

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#17 of 167 Old 10-11-2005, 12:37 AM
 
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A few months ago one of our neighbors came over to tell us he and his live in girlfriend were getting married and he wanted to make sure he had our name and address right for the invitation. I specifically asked him "Thank you so much for inviting us, Should we make plans for a sitter or will it be appropriate to bring dd with us?" He said - "oh shes just little, she would be welcome!" (dd is 2) He even addressed the invitaiton with my name, dh's name and dds name - thre was no mistake that she was invited.

We get there and its a very formal,intimate wedding. : I went outside with dd during the whole service and after that it was still very quiet and we told dd "this is a quiet party, we have to use our quiet voice" She said "I CANT" :LOL - We grabbed her and ran out of there. The other neighbors we were sitting with realized that we were gone and guessed what had happened. We didnt even get a canape. :LOL

I wish he would had just been honest with me and said it was going to be very formal. I even made a point to sound like we would get a sitter (we would have not gone).

If you want a black tie, long white table cloth type of wedding, fine. Its much better to say that upfront than to invite people you know have children and tell them children are welcome and then have the parents try to "make the baby behave".
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#18 of 167 Old 10-11-2005, 06:35 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Zombiewaif
it's not like the bride and groom are paying for them to eat, and every wedding we've gone to I've worn my baby, which as we know keeps them calm.
I'm sorry, but I REALLY have to respectfully disagree. I'm not sure what is your point of starting this thread (since there is one out there already). But my dd is only now (at almost 4) starting to understand social graces. As a baby - nothing would have kept my high-needs child quiet, especially wearing her. She hated being bound in a sling!! I wouldn't have taken her to a wedding even if she had been specifically invited. I know she would not have made "happy" noises. I would have felt bad that she disturbed the ceremony. And how is the couple to say "yes" to parents who have kids that can be easily soothed and "no" to parents that have kids like mine?

I really think it's the marrying couple's decision to let kids in. It's also the parent's decision to go or not based on the invitation. I don't see the big deal. If a couple doesn't want noise, happy or otherwise, during a ceremony, it's their choice.
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#19 of 167 Old 10-11-2005, 07:44 AM
 
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My problem is that the wording is "NO CHILDREN". Not "Children are welcome, but if they start to be a distraction please take them outside". It seems very not child friendly to me, and not fair.

Velochic, you would have had the option of not bringing your child if you knew she wasn't good at social graces but my 2 yo is generally quiet and knows to whisper when I do so why shouldn't my child be allowed?

Can you imagine if someone wrote: "Please, no elderly." and then cited the reasons being because their walkers block the aisle, they don't hear well, and they walk so slow, their dentures click etc. ? Yikes.

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#20 of 167 Old 10-11-2005, 08:39 AM
 
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I agree that obviously it is up to the bride and groom, but I think it is a sad commentary on our society when the majority of the time children are excluded. It wasn't always this way.

My oldest child is 11 and he will be attending his first wedding next month! The first wedding that children are welcome with open arms. Children are generally excluded from many social functions these days.

Our wedding we had was outside under tents on a lake and there were children dancing, fishing, playing, etc... It was beautiful. Children are just as important as the next person as they are people too.

Ok, so I am a bit passionate about this one.

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#21 of 167 Old 10-11-2005, 11:48 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Attila the Honey
Velochic, you would have had the option of not bringing your child if you knew she wasn't good at social graces but my 2 yo is generally quiet and knows to whisper when I do so why shouldn't my child be allowed?
.
Well, you bring up a good point. Let's say that you THINK your 2 year old is generally quiet. I KNOW my 2 year old isn't. I don't bring my 2 year old because I know she won't be quiet during the ceremony. You bring your 2 year old and she has an "off" day and isn't quiet, but yet she's still there. How would I feel knowing that my child wasn't welcome, but yours was? How would you feel if your child had her moments of unrest and disturbed the ceremony? I mean that's all theoretical, but you can see how the fallout of the situation could cause major turmoil. I just think it's up to the bride and groom to set blanket policies because it's their day. And I think it's being sensitive to all guests to not make exceptions. All children welcome (babes in arms on up) or not. But as a GUEST, it just doesn't seem appropriate to put conditions on an invitation extended to me. I wouldn't ask to bring kids to a cocktail party. How is this any different? I would simply tell the hosts that in my current life situation, I can't leave my baby, toddler, child and I regret that I cannot attend. The hosts have the final say. That's my opinion, anyway. I'm sure there are others who do not agree.
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#22 of 167 Old 10-11-2005, 12:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by velochic
I just think it's up to the bride and groom to set blanket policies because it's their day. And I think it's being sensitive to all guests to not make exceptions. All children welcome (babes in arms on up) or not. But as a GUEST, it just doesn't seem appropriate to put conditions on an invitation extended to me. I wouldn't ask to bring kids to a cocktail party. How is this any different? I would simply tell the hosts that in my current life situation, I can't leave my baby, toddler, child and I regret that I cannot attend. The hosts have the final say. That's my opinion, anyway. I'm sure there are others who do not agree.
I'm with Velochic on this one.

Its their day and they have a right to say yay or nay to kids. And its up to the invited guests to say yes or no depending on their situation.

As far as whats fair, its really not up to the invited to decide that, imnsho. Sometimes things are just not fair.
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#23 of 167 Old 10-11-2005, 12:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by velochic
I just think it's up to the bride and groom to set blanket policies because it's their day. And I think it's being sensitive to all guests to not make exceptions. All children welcome (babes in arms on up) or not. But as a GUEST, it just doesn't seem appropriate to put conditions on an invitation extended to me. I wouldn't ask to bring kids to a cocktail party. How is this any different? I would simply tell the hosts that in my current life situation, I can't leave my baby, toddler, child and I regret that I cannot attend. The hosts have the final say. That's my opinion, anyway. I'm sure there are others who do not agree.
I totally agree. Also, some weddings are more relaxed than others so children will fit in better. I've been to big fancy-pants weddings and would definitely not want to take my children with me to those. My 3 yo running around the museum? Nuh-uh.

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#24 of 167 Old 10-11-2005, 01:29 PM
 
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I think it is totally up to the bride and groom to have what ever sort of wedding they want. And if they don't want children there, I think that's fine. Not every event in life has to include the kids. I think it's perfectly fine to say "adults only", whatever the motivation.

But I also agree that then the bride and groom shouldn't get upset when people whith children decline the invite if they can't bring the kids along.

ETA: Am I the only one around here who longs for an adult only event? :LOL Don't get me wrong, I my kids, but as a SAHM, I crave adult interaction! Maybe it's becuase we still don't have a sitter and have been out without the kids TWICE in 1.5 years, but I'd personally love to be invited to a adults only event right about now!
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#25 of 167 Old 10-11-2005, 01:54 PM
 
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Its up the the bride and groom they also need to understand that they coud be limiting there guests having a no child rule. We allowed kids at ours I even assigned my cousin as a "mothers helper" and set up a table with coloring books and crayons and made sure to have at leat one chid friendly thing (other than cake) on the menu we had a finger food tray with cut up veggies chicken and steak strips and cheese and fruit soo the little ones had something they were likely to eat at the reception.

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#26 of 167 Old 10-11-2005, 03:45 PM
 
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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.
No, of course you wouldn't write it, you simply would not invite Uncle Harry. Similarly, if a child's name is not on the invitation, the child is not invited. However, some people don't seem to understand this, and that is why some wedding invitations are specifying "No Children". People would not bring any other uninvited guest, why is it OK to bring uninvited children?
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#27 of 167 Old 10-11-2005, 04:58 PM
 
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When I got married I didn't mind if the flower girl and ring bearer stayed, their parents sent them off. Fast forward to 2 years ago when my brother got married, he and his wife INSISTED that my sons, both ring bearers, leave right after the ceremony ( they got married at the catering hall). They didn't even get to dance the first dance ( which our child attendants did). I was SO mad, I mean we laid out like $1,000 for dress, accessories and tuxs ( all 4 of us were in the bridal party) and I even asked if they could just come for the first dance and we were told no. I was stunned. She didn't want the focus on the kids.....selfish. Whatever, we paid the $$ and they got picked up during the cocktail hour. Not the choice I would have made but it wasn't my wedding and I did have the choice to take my kids out but I decided it was not worth all the trouble it would have caused, kwim

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#28 of 167 Old 10-11-2005, 05:20 PM
 
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I can see both sides to this. We had an adult only wedding only because we were trying for as small as possible wedding & it was short notice so funds were not available to pay for extra food. Unfortunately there isnt a kids price when it comes to food & it adds up pretty quick. I dont see why babies (especially those nursing) cant go since they dont cost the couple any more money. I think that if I was close to someone that was getting married & with explanation I would hope that wouldnt be a problem.

However..I also think that if the wedding takes place out of town & you are inviting friends/family that will be coming from out of town then it is only right at that time for their children to be invited because I dont think it is right to ask for them to pay for the cost of travel & have to find someone to watch the children while they will be gone overnight/weekend & what not.
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#29 of 167 Old 10-11-2005, 05:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by gratefulbambina
However..I also think that if the wedding takes place out of town & you are inviting friends/family that will be coming from out of town then it is only right at that time for their children to be invited because I dont think it is right to ask for them to pay for the cost of travel & have to find someone to watch the children while they will be gone overnight/weekend & what not.
Now in this case, I would probably talk to the bride or groom (whomever invited you) and ask them that since you are traveling so far to be at the wedding, if they would provide someone to take care of ALL of the children of ALL of the couples invited. That would seem like a good compromise to me. Then maybe the babysitter(s) could bring the kids to the reception. A lot of hotels have babysitting services or if the guests aren't comfortable with that, a trusted young adult relative could watch the kids on the premises.

I feel like I'm sounding anti-kids at weddings, but really I'm not. I'm just pro-bride-and-groom-choice. :LOL
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#30 of 167 Old 10-11-2005, 05:59 PM
 
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That would work to if the bride & groom are setting up sitters for out of town guests children.

Im also pro bride & groom choice
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