Child-free wedding

(297 Posts)
GingerbreadGingerbread Mon 29-Aug-16 09:17:16

Posting on behalf of my best friend as she doesn't have an account I hope that's OK.

My best friend is getting married in March and she and her fiancé want a child free wedding. They don't have children themselves and not loads of close family with young children. The wedding is in the city where they live but they have some family travelling from further afield (Manchester, wedding in South East.) After this decision was made the bride's cousin announced his wife is pregnant and due to give birth in December so baby will be very young at the time of the wedding.

The couple plus brides aunt (cousin's mother) are putting pressure on bride and groom to allow the couple to bring their young baby. Other family members are getting i olives saying cousin and wine won't be able to attend without the baby. My friend and her fiancé are very stressed about this as they want the cousin and his wife to be present but they have already told others it's a child free wedding and it's going to be quite a formal affair and they personally want it to be just adults.

Who is being unreasonable?

SomedayBaby Mon 29-Aug-16 09:19:59

they want the cousin and his wife to be present but they have already told others it's a child free wedding and it's going to be quite a formal affair and they personally want it to be just adults

Personally I dislike blanket child free weddings...but that's just me.

The B&G need to decide what is more important to them - having the cousin there but with baby in tow, or maintaining a child free wedding and saying they can't bring the newborn.

ittooshallpass Mon 29-Aug-16 09:21:36

The bride and groom. A new born cannot be left with anyone, especially if the mother is breastfeeding.

RaeSkywalker Mon 29-Aug-16 09:22:28

If the baby is breastfed, or very young (or both), your friend is BU. I've been to child-free weddings before, and an exception was always made for babes in arms. Especially if an overnight stay was involved.

It's fine if your friend doesn't want the baby there, but they should accept that this means that the parents can't attend either. To be fair, surely most of the people who would be trusted to babysit will be at the wedding anyway, so what are the parents supposed to do?

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeG0es Mon 29-Aug-16 09:22:29

The bride and groom are to be honest. Either they have a child free wedding and accept that the cousin and his wife won't be there, or they make an exception for such a young baby, who really won't alter the adult-only dynamic. However the second option does leave the door open to other people with young children asking if they can bring theirs too which could be awkward. A third way might be that the cousin attends on his own.

ScarletOverkill Mon 29-Aug-16 09:22:39

I would tell her to keep it as no children. It will cause too much hassle otherwise

LiviaDrusillaAugusta Mon 29-Aug-16 09:22:44

If they are having a child free wedding then they should stick with that. I know some make exceptions for babes in arms but it's not compulsory. If they want to/can attend without the baby then do it, otherwise don't go. I'm sure the happy couple will still manage to get married through their disappointment smile

Queenbean Mon 29-Aug-16 09:23:09

I'd say "it's a child free wedding with the exception of babes-in-arms" and let only newborns come but means the older annoying children don't come.

RNBrie Mon 29-Aug-16 09:24:09

If you have a young breastfed baby you can't leave them with someone else unless that person is also lactating and you have no problem with wet nursing.

So it's not really a case of being unreasonable. If friend wants couple to attend then they have to expect them to bring the baby. If they don't want the baby then they have to expect the couple not to come. It's very straightforward.

phillipp Mon 29-Aug-16 09:24:38

I agree with pp.

The bride and groom need to decide what's more important. The cousin attending or a child free wedding.

Personally I don't mind child free weddings. I used to not take Dd even if she was invited when she was young and have a night off.

I have been to child free weddings where exceptions were made for non walking babies.

No one should make the bride and groom feel bad for wanting a child free wedding. But they need to understand the option is no cousin or cousin plus baby.

Collarsandcutoffs Mon 29-Aug-16 09:25:11

This baby will be only about 2-3 months old.
You almost certainly cannot leave a baby that age for any length of time

They are being unreasonable.
Not wanting toddlers or lively six year olds running about is one thing but expecting someone to attend who has a newborn at home is ridiculous unless you let the baby come.

If they want to stick absolutely to the no children rule then they accept that couple (or at least one of the couple but probably both) won't be there.

I hate it when people are so fixated on the ideal day that they behave like this.

MimiSunshine Mon 29-Aug-16 09:25:50

People shouldn't be putting pressure on the bride & groom but the are right, your cousin probably can't attend without the baby as your sister really can't expect your cousin to leave her 3 month old at home and travel across the country to a wedding.

For 1 the baby will still be very young as you say. 2 she may breastfeed so how will the baby be fed? And 3 by whom and who does your sister expect to look after the baby for at least 24hrs as all your family will be at the wedding (by the sounds of things) therefore that leaves the paternal side who may not be able or capable

Most people (even those invited who have older children) accept that 'babes in arms' I.e. Under 1s are exempt from child free

JustHappy3 Mon 29-Aug-16 09:26:17

They are - what they might not realise (i wouldn't have had a clue) is that a 3 month old baby needs its parents at that time.
Physically - if BF it would starve otherwise. Perhaps it could take a bottle but likely that it can't - not many babies can swop from breast to bottle.
The mum will still be producing milk - she will start to be in pain as her boobs swell. If she can't express - and if not used to doing this she won't get it all out. She would be at risk of mastitis.
Emotionally a v young baby maybe very upset almost traumatised to be ripped away from its parents. You get maternity leave because the baby needs you - not because it's nice to be with baby.
Sorry to spell it out harshly - but it's not a case of them being awkward.
Let little babies come - when she has her own child she will be mortified that she didn't.
Just get in touch and say "oh god i've been an arse - i had no idea what it's like with a baby - of course they are all welcome"

NEmum Mon 29-Aug-16 09:28:24

We had a large wedding so it was completely impractical to allow everyone to bring their children - there would've been an extra 50 kids!!!
So we invited children from the family (7, aged 9-16) & 'babes in arms' - a couple had had twins 5 weeks prior.
Only one couple were awkward about it, they chose not to come as they said they couldn't leave their BF 8 month old at home. This was absolutely fine by us, they are an awkward couple anyway & we know they have left their child at home for other holidays.

Your friends need to do what keeps them happy but shouldn't feel the need to justify if some people could bring their child & others couldn't. I didn't have an iota of guilt for how we managed this issue & think it's really selfish for people to insist their kids should be invited. If it means someone can't come to the wedding that's a shame but they need to have the wedding they want x

FathomsDeep Mon 29-Aug-16 09:28:31

My take on this - by all means, have a child free wedding. But don't get pissed off that some of your guests may not be able to attend as a result. The bride and groom should stick to the child free wedding if they want that but should accept gracefully that the couple with the small baby will therefore not be able to attend. B&G can't have it all ways.

One of my close uni friends had a child free wedding. I was breastfeeding a young baby. They told me that, regretfully, they didn't want my DD at their wedding. I told them that, regretfully, I would be unable to attend. Good relations were maintained on both sides.

LittleBearPad Mon 29-Aug-16 09:28:55

If they have a child free wedding they accept that certain people won't come.

Equally though we had a child free wedding and I don't regret it at all.

ClashCityRocker Mon 29-Aug-16 09:29:19

All child free weddings I've been to have a 'babes-in-arms' policy.

clare2307 Mon 29-Aug-16 09:30:14

Only the bride & groom can decide what's more important to them. The cousin & wife attending but with the baby or having a completely child free wedding.

Personally I would allow the baby but then I had quite a few kids at my own wedding and actually think it's nice to have/see them there, but equally I am not offended if we getting a wedding invite which doesn't include our kids, it just means if we have no childcare available we can't go. I definitely wouldn't have left my baby at 3/4 months to go to a cousin's wedding so if they decide child free then they need to accept they may decline the invite.

peppajay Mon 29-Aug-16 09:30:32

Personally I prefer child free weddings unless there is an organised childdrens entertainer or such like. Children get so bored. My son was a month old when my cousin got married and although a child free wedding we would have been allowed to take him as he would he slept and fed most of the time but i couldn't find child care for my then 2 yr old. All my cousin's are younger than me and 4 of them have got married since I had children but i haven't been to any of their weddings due to them all being far away and not having any childcare. I think a small baby should be no problem especially if she is breastfeeding. We allowed children of family at our wedding which would have been 4 kids but SIL decided to not bring her 3 as they would be bored but my husband's cousin brought their 8 month old and she was no trouble.

ShanghaiDiva Mon 29-Aug-16 09:30:57

Agree with pp - she will not be able to attend without the baby if she is breastfeeding. Bride and groom need to realise that this is not someone being awkward, but a fact.
I would make an exception for young babies. Child free weddings are fine.

DelicatePreciousThing1 Mon 29-Aug-16 09:31:12

Child free means what it says on the tin. The parents of the baby to whom you refer will just have to bow out - gracefully. Everyone should respect the wishes of the couple for goodness sake! Anyway a very young baby is unlikely to be the quietest...

SirKillalot Mon 29-Aug-16 09:31:25

We had a child free wedding with the exception of newborn babies. They don't cost anything or take up space so I do think it's unreasonable to not let babies at the wedding. You can't leave them. How much do the bride and groom want them there?

LiviaDrusillaAugusta Mon 29-Aug-16 09:31:35

if the mother is BF then she and her partner don't need to attend the wedding. Child free weddings should be exactly that - no exceptions. It isn't just small children running around, it's babies crying (not all parents are thoughtful enough to take the baby out if they are crying) and generally wanting an adult event.

There is no right or wrong. Nobody has to attend a wedding if childcare is an issue.

PurpleDaisies Mon 29-Aug-16 09:32:17

I agree, it is very unusual to allow no babies under say, six months to attend a "child free" wedding. The vast majority of people can see the difference between a small baby and their older child who can be left with a baby sitter.

LittleBearPad Mon 29-Aug-16 09:32:29

Do calm down though Just. You are adding a degree of hysteria that really isn't warranted. The parents will make a choice / so will the bride and groom.

Actually the chances the baby is ebf at 3/4 months aren't high anyway.

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