if you want a child-free wedding you have to expect some people with children won't attend

(47 Posts)
wanderingcloud Sat 26-Jan-13 14:11:18

that's it basically. I'm not knocking anyone for wanting a child-free wedding. You're paying and its your day. But if you do, surely you expect that some people with kids will not go? Even if you don't have kids of your own?

AIBU to believe you should be able to think beyond your own pre-wedding bubble and see that other people have their own priorities and that might involve putting their children first?

YANBU at all.

Snazzynewyear Sat 26-Jan-13 14:14:52

YANBU. Same for issuing evening only invites to a weekday wedding to people who live more than 2 hours' drive away. I swear some couples think guests should build their own time machines to accommodate the Blessed Day's requirements.

onetiredmummy Sat 26-Jan-13 14:16:34

Hahaha OP, depends how much of a bridezilla you have there.

To my mind, I would expect some people not to come yes, but then it is not my Big Day hmm When you have a wedding to plan you can go a bit crazy, don't let them bother you smile

Jins Sat 26-Jan-13 14:16:56

This is because they feel that you have to be invited but they aren't bothered either way whether you are there.

Go or don't go but don't let it upset you smile

ShephardsDelight Sat 26-Jan-13 14:17:12


not everyone has access to a babysitter etc.

Pigsmummy Sat 26-Jan-13 14:18:04

I see where you are coming from, I am feeling terrible as I have to decline an invite because it's child free and not in this country (I have a baby) both are their choice yet I feel bad?! They should really expect declines for this reason shouldn't they? I am expecting some come back from the decline, expressing disappointment and questioning our decision but it's their choice to get married overseas and not invite my dependant!

I got married, it wasn't child free as that would have alienated most of my family but it was in half term holiday so I expected that some people couldn't come if they had booked a family holiday and I was fine with that.

redexpat Sat 26-Jan-13 14:18:24

YANBU. But I'd love to know the backstory... I'm guessing a bridezilla is marrying your Bro, or Dhs bro, in some faraway castle, which means an expensive stay overnight, where you don't have anyone who can babysit and is throwing a hissy fit because you're not coming.

Or is this just a thread about a thread?

DoJo Sat 26-Jan-13 14:18:43

Whilst I agree that it is reasonable to expect some people not to come, your last sentence seems to imply that anyone who does attend a child-free wedding isn't putting their children first which I don't necessarily agree with - children can benefit enormously from time spent without their parents.

DoJo Sat 26-Jan-13 14:21:56

Of course that might just be my reading of it because I'm leaving my son with his GPs for the first time to go to a wedding, and I'm a little apprehensive about it because even if everything goes swimmingly, I'll really miss him!

expatinscotland Sat 26-Jan-13 14:23:02

People say they're giving couples a chance to have a lovely child-free time. They're doing their guests a favour in that.

Madmum24 Sat 26-Jan-13 14:27:12

^ Many people would love child free time, but unless the bride/groom are paying for an on site babysitting service then that won't be an option for many. Not everyone could afford a babysitter/have access to family/consider leaving small children on an overnighter.

specialsubject Sat 26-Jan-13 14:29:26

an invite is optional. If you can't or don't want to go, just decline politely. No need for angst.

irlouise13 Sat 26-Jan-13 14:31:29

Its a wedding invite, not a court summons, you don't have to go and the bride/groom prob don't care all that much!

LittleChimneyDroppings Sat 26-Jan-13 14:35:18

My dh's younger sister is getting married soon. 6 hour drive away and no children invited. We have no one to baby sit for that length of time, but sil is very pissed off that we can't make it. She cant have it both ways though.

wanderingcloud Sat 26-Jan-13 14:36:35

Sorry dojo didn't mean to imply leaving your children isn't putting them first. Of course sometimes it's great, if you have suitable childcare it can be brilliant for everyone.

But the expectation that everyone can/should have to arrange suitable childcare for a weekend not of their choosing.

I wouldn't care if the bride in question wasn't bothered if I attend. Apparently though, I must. But I can't bring DS (18 months) or bf 3 month old hmm

FredFredGeorge Sat 26-Jan-13 14:36:39

Of course you do. I think you have a strange idea of what a wedding invite is - it's not an expectation that you'll attend, it's an invitation to attend if you want to and it's convenient...

I've never met anyone who has the opposite view though... so I'm not sure why you're asking. what is someone actually doing?

Whathaveiforgottentoday Sat 26-Jan-13 14:37:23


We had a almost childfree wedding but there were a few very young babies there as they were too young to be left behind, plus a couple of friends who dont have the luxury of grandparent babysitters so again they brought their kids.

Most left them behind and enjoyed a child free night.

We expressed in the invitation that we'd rather they didn't bring their children but if it wasn't possible, then we'd rather they were there with kids than not at all.

We felt it was important that our friends could attend. I suppose it depends on how important your friends and family are to you.

I think that's fair, yes, the couple should not expect everyone to attend.

But from what I can tell, most couples actually don't expect this. Rather, the people who can't come are the ones all angstful and upset, as if an invitation does equal expectation.

Just decline and move on, unless the couple obviously pressures you I think you can assume they understand and are not bothered.

Pandemoniaa Sat 26-Jan-13 14:38:09

... you don't have to go and the bride/groom prob don't care all that much!

Strange to go to the bother of inviting them in the first place if this is the case!

YANBU, OP. it is the bride and groom's choice of course but provided they accept that some people may not attend then fine. It gets very unreasonable when guests are expected to justify why they've declined the invitation and, quite frankly, it takes the piss when child-free weddings are dressed up as opportunities to be away from your children.

expatinscotland Sat 26-Jan-13 14:39:01

'I wouldn't care if the bride in question wasn't bothered if I attend. Apparently though, I must. But I can't bring DS (18 months) or bf 3 month old '

Tell her no. There's no 'must'. It's an invite.

What exactly has she said to indicate that you must attend?

I agree OP and I dont mind at all if Im.invited to a childfree wedding as I have access to a babysitter. I appreciate that a lot of people dont though.

If I was invited to a child free wedding of a colleague or distant relatve I would decline, if without childcare, but if it was a best friend or very close family member, one of DH or I would go and the other would stay home with dd.

HecateWhoopass Sat 26-Jan-13 14:40:23

They are being unreasonable.
What have they suggested you do with your children?
You have to attend?
Erm, actually. No, you don't.
Weddings send some people dolally.

fairylightsinthesnow Sat 26-Jan-13 14:44:53

Littlechimney in your case, could your DP not go alone? It is odd not to attend a sibling's wedding assuming they have a good relationship. Generally I agree with the OP. we usually leave our two pre-schoolers with GP for things like this but when we got married we made it ultra child friendly as our two obviously had to be there so we had a bouncy castle and loads of toys (think the kids had a better time than the grown-ups actually)

wanderingcloud Sat 26-Jan-13 14:50:01

It's an old school friend.

To be fair, the expectation hasn't come direct from the bride but been passed on from mutual friends.

It's all a bit too teenage drama "thought you should know she said to so and so that blah blah blah" to get into details…

I'm just confused that everyone in said friendship group feels IABU to not go. It's not close by and would involve an overnight stay etc...

cheeseandchive Sat 26-Jan-13 14:50:32

YANBU at all

We had children at our wedding (about 15-20) and about 5 babies under 6m (including one two-weeker!) and made it as kid-friendly as possible (Wii area, disposable cameras, colouring in etc), partly because we love kids but because we knew that being kid-friendly was being parent-friendly. We also had an 'optional' evening do, so those who wanted to stay on could do, and those with kids/long drive would feel free to leave whenever they wanted.

There's a difference between someone who hopes you can arrange childcare/make the journey, and someone who expects it. One understands that her wedding is not the centre of everyone's universe. The other does not.

thebody Sat 26-Jan-13 14:55:49

I can't imagine a child free wedding as only in Britain could children be excluded from a family event like this. I had kids as bridesmaids and it was lovely.

However if the couple want it child free thats their choice.

You can accept or decline. Your choice.

ENormaSnob Sat 26-Jan-13 15:26:34

Yanbu. I wouldn't be going tbh.

I don't not particularly care about weddings, child free or not.

What I loathe is when the b and g dress it up as a favour to you to have a child free wedding because they want you to be able to relax and enjoy.

pigletmania Sat 26-Jan-13 15:35:46

YANBU I would tell them to go fish. If you can't go you can't go

KatyTheCleaningLady Sat 26-Jan-13 15:40:40

YANBU. I had a friend get married in a distant city on a holiday weekend. I told her that I'd love to come but couldn't get childcare for the whole holiday weekend. She just replied with a sort of plaintive "but can't you find someone... anyone." I respected her choice to be child-free. But, if she'd said "Oh, it's OK, bring him" I would have gone.

I did get the feeling that she was a bit miffed with me but oh well.

Anyway, they're divorced, now.

Tee2072 Sat 26-Jan-13 15:46:17

Those aren't friends. Friends are understanding and supportive of your decisions.

Just say 'no thank you.' And go about your business.

ProphetOfDoom Sat 26-Jan-13 15:46:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MrsBungleBear Sat 26-Jan-13 15:50:37


I had a child free wedding. Totally accepted that some people might not come because of this.

Everyone came except DH's uncle and wife who have not sent us a Christmas card since! grin

I was invited to a child free wedding in Ibizia when DD was only a couple of months old - we didn't go. Sent a nice card and present to the couple. No biggie.

I don't know why people are so mortally offended by it. Just don't go if you don't want to go without your kids or if you can't because they are too young etc.

feebeecat Sat 26-Jan-13 16:11:30

We had an invitation to a family child-free wedding that caused loads of problems. It was in a city centre location about an hours drive away and as it was family, all my baby sitters were already attending. I told bride that it was going to be an issue and that we might have to decline, she came up with a great plan that involved dropping my dcs with a series of old friends (one of whom I had not seen for several years, had never even met my dcs and was in no ways keen on children, the other in the throws of a very messy divorce). I was not sold on that plan, least of all as it would've meant me leaving wedding at least 3 times to relocate the unwanted children and hunting down parking back at venue.
We didn't go in the end, I was told I was an ungrateful so and so as they were only doing it so our dcs wouldn't be bored and we've not spoken since. She now has her own pfb and won't leave him with anyone other than her mum and only then for a couple of hours. I have, so far resisted the temptation to invite her out for the day, suggesting she bounces him around a few random strangers so he wont be 'bored' hmm
I'd like to think that she would now appreciate how unrealistic her demands were. But I doubt it.

Januarymadness Sat 26-Jan-13 16:20:59

I think it is the same with any choice you make about a wedding. You have to realise that your wedding may be your priority but it is not everyones.

Dh and I got married on a Friday and in school holiday times. We realised that that meant people may be away, unable to take te off etc. But as a lot of out CLOSE family were teachers or shift workers etc it actually made a lot of sense and no more difficult than any other day.

We were delighted when some family members came from a long way away and we were both very grateful for the effort. It certainly wasnt an expectation.

fluffyraggies Sat 26-Jan-13 16:26:14

What I loathe is when the b and g dress it up as a favour to you to have a child free wedding

^^ this.

It's just a nitty gritty thing, hard to explain, but the invite we recently had for a CF family wedding annoyed me with its wording!

Can't remember the words exactly but it was a big fancy invite, all 3D butterflies and inserts - fine (we did similar ourselves) - but right at the bottom of the last bit of card in small type it said something like:

''oh, and please don't bring any children to the ceremony or the do, because we all want to let our hair down don't we''

hmm nice

We once attended a child- free wedding paid for by the bride's very wealthy and very uptight parents.

The groom, however, came from a very large, very child- centered Mediterranean family, who totally ignored the instructions and brought ALL the children in the family. There were about fifty kids there altogether and everyone had a wonderful time.

Except the bride and her parents, who refused to mingle and just stood glaring at them all from the sidelines.

I've never understood all this faffing about with weddings - just get married ffs. It' s not a Hollywood production, just a bit of paper (bah humbug)

wherearemysocka Sat 26-Jan-13 16:41:27

I guess couples can't say 'Whilst some of your children are lovely and a delight to be around, we find others to be ill disciplined brats whose parents will simply look on indugently whilst they wreak a day that we have paid a lot of money towards and would like to go smoothly'.

Probably a bit more diplomatic to dress it up.

LittleChimneyDroppings Sat 26-Jan-13 16:45:55

fairylights I did say to dh that he's welcome to go on his own, but he doesn't want to. In fairness he has a disability that would make it difficult, although not impossible, to travel by train. I don't think he wants the hassle of it though and he'd be utterly exhausted by the time he got there. I could drive him, but 6 hours is a long way, and what do I do when I get there, esp with small kids. Difficult one.

badguider Sat 26-Jan-13 16:48:25

If you have any kind of wedding you should accept some people can't/won't come - its an invitation not a bloody subpoena!!

EggsMichelle Sat 26-Jan-13 16:57:59

YANBU - we had a child free wedding ceremony and breakfast, with children invited to the evening for anyone who may not have been able find child care but wanted to join the party. I would never have been upset/offended if people had been unable to attend because of children, but it was also my wedding and I didn't want children running around/screaming during my nuptials.

BegoniaBampot Sat 26-Jan-13 16:59:55

I'm surprised some folk have child free weddings but won't make exceptions for siblings children, especially if they live away. Or even for other folk who have to travel or can't get babysitters or are Bf etc. Surely the guests are the most important thing at your wedding. We didn't the children of our guests who lived locally and could get babysitters. Exceptions were made for folk who had to travel and stay overnight and nieces and nephews.

Snazzynewyear Sat 26-Jan-13 17:47:29

Might be asking the couple if any other guests are travelling from near you who DH could get a lift with? Then you can explain that otherwise he won't be able to come as if the DC aren't attending you will have to stay at home with them. Just to point out the consequences.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Sat 26-Jan-13 17:53:42

I'm not sure what the big deal is. Not everyone wants kids at their wedding, we didn't as we both work with them so wanted a chid free day for a change. We told our friends in advance so they had time to sort child care, no one complained. In the end we had a bf baby there as we wanted our friend to come.

We've also gone to a wedding without our LO. If you can't get childcare all you can do is ask. If not then decline. You don't have to go, there is no 'must'. Likewise if the bride & groom insist then yes they have to expect that some might not go. What I don't understand are people who absolutely can't attend a wedding without their child or get uptight if their kids aren't invited. Get a grip.

expatinscotland Sat 26-Jan-13 18:00:31

'Might be asking the couple if any other guests are travelling from near you who DH could get a lift with? Then you can explain that otherwise he won't be able to come as if the DC aren't attending you will have to stay at home with them. Just to point out the consequences.'

Or just not bother. Don't see why it's her problem to sort out a lift for the DH. Just tell them you can't come. End of.

DontEvenThinkAboutIt Sat 26-Jan-13 18:04:15


She is being silly.

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