To wonder why people get so het up about DCs not being invited to weddings?

(207 Posts)
DioneTheDiabolist Wed 06-Mar-13 22:31:16

Two people are getting married. They are having a party that they are paying for. So why can't they invite whoever they wish without being called Bridezilla or causing offense?

I understand that some parents can't get sitters or that sitters will cost money. What I don't get is why such parents just don't wish them the best and decline the invitation as it doesn't suit.confused

We went child free apart from DH's niece, we struggled to find a venue fir the right number of guests (50, this was in the early days of licensed venues when the options were limited). We didn't want a church wedding as we are not churchgoers. Most civil places catered for less than 20 or more than 100, didn't want a registry office as we wanted the entire day to be in one place. This left us with only one choice which held max 50. We would have had to leave out close friends if we khad invited children (all of whom were under 5 so unlikely to have gained in the way Startail described from coming). FWIW I did not attend a wedding till I was 17 and don't feel I missed out, am a firm believer in it being part of the fabric of society etc.

bigbadbarry Thu 07-Mar-13 07:41:12

I ordinarily agree with you. But my oldest friend, child of my parents' best friends, issued not an invitation but a 3-line whip and would not hear of us not attending, Yet we live 3 hours away and only really have my parents to leave the children with - who, understandably, were going to the wedding. We worked it out eventually (DH stayed home with the children during the day then mum and dad went home and he came for the evening). I was rather more than a little irritated then when her local mates pitched up with their kids in the evening and she was all charming bride dancing with the small children.

DontmindifIdo Thu 07-Mar-13 07:50:27

I think it's more that some people see their DCs as part of their unit, so are offended in the same way they would be offended if the invite was just to them, not them and their DH/W/P, even if their DP doesn't know the couple.

And other people do see weddings as more of a community event, not an event about the couple (like Startail) - unfortunately, this view might have been true when couples predominately married when still young, married people in their community with extended families who, if not knowing each other beforehand, would come in contact again, and their parents footing the bill and effectively was a party thrown by the extended family for the couple. However, it's very very rare to find a wedding like that anymore. Of the 45-50 of our wedding guests who weren't family, my parents knew 3 (uni housemates and old friend from home town). While our two sets of parents had met, this was the first time my parents had met DH's Aunts, Uncles and cousins, it was the first time PIL had met mine, in the nearly 6 years we've been married, aunts/uncles from both sides have seen each other once more at DS's baptism.

We footed the bulk of our wedding bill - it was a party that set us back £20k, I think it's rather disgusting to happily let someone spend that much on a party and then get an arse on because they'd like it to be about what they want and be focussed on them. Weddings are one of the few events where other people feel they have 'ownership' of an event they aren't hosting/paying for.

We had a childfree wedding by accident, at the time only one couple we invited had DCs, (who were older than the sort of toddlers you'd worry about containing for the vows) but they couldn't make it, so we didn't need to think about it. (I suppose my cousin counted still as a child at 15, but she also was perfectly capable of not causing any problems). However if we'd got married now, not counting our own DS, the same guest list would include 18 DCs, at least 15 of those would require a seat and a meal, and I seem to recall it about about £30 a head for DCs - so an extra £450 at least (plus whatever it cost in increased venue hire if we had to move to the larger room at the hotel). We could have found that (although we'd probably have had to change the timings, and I doubt if we had that many people with DCs to take home/go back to the hotel room to relieve the babysitters, we'd have had anywhere near the £7k bar bill in the evening so it might have evened out), but a lot of people can't afford that.

pigletmania Thu 07-Mar-13 07:51:34

Fine have the child free wedding but don't go all huffy when I have to decline as I can't find anyone to look after the children

shineypeacock Thu 07-Mar-13 07:51:53

We invited kids to our wedding, had 6 under 6 in the bridal partyand then a further 12 at the service/ reception, we only invited kids of primary school age, but it was excellent. The only problem was my friends 17 yr old daughter who was invited to the reception and they both kicked up a stink that she wasnt invited all day! So you cant win either way!!

WickWackThurso Thu 07-Mar-13 07:53:39

I personally loved having children at our wedding, but appreciate others feel differently. Of course, the bride and groom can invite whoever they like.

However, I think they then can't expect parents of small children to attend - particularly when the location necessitates a 2 night stay. We have been put under great emotional pressure to attend 2 childfree weddings this summer. We have no one to look after our 2 under 3's. The only way to attend would be to take the whole family, pay transport and hotel costs for all, but dh or I stay in a hotel room with dds while the other goes to a party on their own - not a great weekend for anyone involved, and the expense involved is considerable. So, we have declined but been answered with disappointment, pressure and 'solutions'. All of which are disrespectful of the fact that our dc are not parcels or pets, and can't cnveniently be kennelled for the weekend.

Jelly15 Thu 07-Mar-13 07:57:04

I had lots of guest who were parents at my wedding so to avoid having a possible 30 extra mini guests the only children invited were DH and my siblings children. Some couldn't make it, fair enough but my cousin turned up with her toddler and sat him on her lap in the reception and fed him off her plate and I had several other mums sulk because their child was not there. Put a dampner on my day. So I say stste "Childfree" on the invites.

pigletmania Thu 07-Mar-13 07:57:28

I know wickwack, my db is getting married for the 3 time and we will have to decline as we have nobody to look after the kids, I am anticipating moaning and huffiness.

DontmindifIdo Thu 07-Mar-13 07:57:28

sashh - yep, if say, the DCs were out at a pub or club at nearly midnight, asleep on chairs next to a dancefloor while their parents were drinking and dancing, we'd all be pinging the elastic on our judgy pants at how terrible the parents are - yet if someone dares throw a wedding and not give us a chance to do just that, we think they are odd.

RedHelen - what if the DCs are neither your friends or your family? If they are the DCs of a friend, do you have to consider your friends' DCs as your friends? Are parents not separate beings from their DCs? It goes back to the 'my DCs and I are a unit' way of thinking - a lot of people don't feel that way. Logistically it might be difficult/impossible to attend without DCs, but to think that once you become a mother you can't be considered as an individual in your own right is a bit odd.

MorrisZapp Thu 07-Mar-13 07:57:36

WickWack, why would you all need to travel to a hotel room if only one of you is attending the wedding?

pigletmania Thu 07-Mar-13 08:01:42

I don't drive and th wedding is out in the sticks, dh drives so will need to have dh with me. Hotel, taxis will cost so much for the weekend. It's not easy finding people to look after an autistic child and a very boisterous 1 year old. It's going to be more hassle than its worth so have to decline

ilovecolinfirth Thu 07-Mar-13 08:04:35

I think children make a wedding, as its a family event. However, I respect anyone who chooses not to invite children.
I was invited to a friends wedding once which was a) miles away and we had no babysitters, and b) on my son's 2nd birthday.
The invite said "thank you for understanding children are not invited". I replied politely saying thank you for the lovely invite but unfortunately we cannot get child care. We'll catch up after the wedding.
Despite me making an effort to keep in touch with her, I never heard from her again sad

DontmindifIdo Thu 07-Mar-13 08:05:06

pigletmania - if it's your DB's wedding, could you not get a lift with your parents/other family going rather than pay out for taxis etc and just go on your own?

1991all Thu 07-Mar-13 08:07:59

Bloody weddings, completely overrated anyway.

I think the issue is that if the b & g know you can't get childcare, it does seem like they don't really think enough of you as they really haven't considered your needs

binger Thu 07-Mar-13 08:08:08

I agree, we don't take the kids even if they are invited unless very close family. We had a kids free wedding apart from my brothers' kids.

I have never seen anyone get het up just over their children not being invited to weddings.

I have seen people get het up when

- the bride and groom get offended that parents with children turn down the invitation

- the bride and groom have previously implied heavily that the children will be invited, the whole family is looking forward to going and then when the invitation turns up it's suddenly child-free

- the bit of the invitation telling you it's child-free suggests that this is all for your benefit as parents and implies they are doing you a big favour

and occasionally when

- even close family children are excluded so a sibling of the bride/groom with an ebf newborn finds themselves unable to attend.

pigletmania Thu 07-Mar-13 08:11:13

It's my half brother from my dads side of the family, my dad is no longer with us, mums not going as she is frail and does not drive.

WickWackThurso Thu 07-Mar-13 08:14:27

Sorry morris I wasn't clear - dd2 is bf, and neither wedding is near, so 2 night stays. One couple are much more my froends than dh's so it would be make sense for me to go, but not to have to express all weekend, and dh have an awful time trying to settle her without bf etc.

Bf aside, dh & I both work, and we have precious little family time. One of us travelling on our own, attending a wedding on our own etc, and one of us left at home to do sole childcare all weekend, before both launching back into a busy & demanding week again, is just not good for us as a family.

I'll say again, tge bride and groom can invite whoever tgey like, using whatever criteria that they like. It is a private party. They just cannot expect people to attend. I am very disappointed at having to decline these invites, sad that we won't be able to celebrate with these couples, see the dresses, catch up with family and friends. But, my dc exist, need caring for, and the logistics won't just go away.

pigletmania Thu 07-Mar-13 08:20:08

The wedding is not near either, 4 hours away so can't go for the day

bangwhizz Thu 07-Mar-13 08:20:37

' would not hear of us not attending'

what does that mean? It means she wants you to attend.You say you can't.End of story.

CockyFox Thu 07-Mar-13 08:25:56

I've never been invited to a child-free wedding. I've never known anyone have a child-free wedding. However I wish I was, it would be a good reson to get out of having to go - I find weddings very boring and have never enjoyed one, including my own.

ENormaSnob Thu 07-Mar-13 08:34:31

Don't mind a child free wedding as its a perfect excuse to decline.

What I loathe is when it's dressed up as being so I can let my hair down. I don't want to let my hair down surrounded by other peoples grans and spending £££ for the pleasure.

MidnightMasquerader Thu 07-Mar-13 08:35:59

Really, Cocky...? IME, child-free wedding + open bar = great wedding.

Midlifecrisisarefun Thu 07-Mar-13 08:39:10

When my DBro got married he didn't want children there so we weren't invited at all! We couldn't have gone anyway, too far away and too expensive, but it would have been nice to be invited.

mrsstewpot Thu 07-Mar-13 08:41:58

Ha! Now child free AND free bar is a completely different matter!

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