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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

CaptainSweatPants Wed 06-Mar-13 22:33:45

That's what parents do
They might vent on here but they do just decline

cerealqueen Wed 06-Mar-13 22:56:04

Because weddings are often about families and that often includes small people who take up space and cost money which people without small people, often don't like.

gwenniebee Wed 06-Mar-13 23:04:56

Because weddings also often involve being away for one or even two nights, which can cause problems for childcare. And because sometimes brides (and grooms) take offence when people decline invites for "no good reason" - and not wanting to leave your children counts as "no good reason".

I do agree that it's their day and they call the shots, but if you decided to rule out any other sector of society, people would get extremely uppity about it.

Vinomcstephens England Wed 06-Mar-13 23:08:24

I don't understand it - seriously, this is the bride and grooms day, they're paying and I honestly think that if there's ever a day in their lives that they get to say exactly what's happening then they can! That doesn't mean the people they invite have to like or approve of their decisions, but that's just tough. Decline the invite then.

And it doesn't just happen in MN - I've heard grumblings through to outright bitching and nastiness in real life about child free weddings. No it's not a personal slight on your little cherubs, the wedding isn't about you!

And no, I'm not married so I'm not speaking from bitter experience! Just my observation....

yummumto3girls Wed 06-Mar-13 23:10:56

Because friends should appreciate that some of us have no family to call upon, no sitters to ask and therefore being asked to leave our children for a whole day and evening is impossible. If they want us to share in their joy, as we would wish, then facilitate it but letting children attend. They are free to choose to not have children but then that excludes a lot of people. We obviously would decline in such a situation, no problem and would not question it, that's the joy of being a parent!

CloudsAndTrees Wed 06-Mar-13 23:11:14

Because it costs a lot of money to be a wedding guest by the time you have paid for a gift, transport, accommodation, probably new outfits, overpriced drinks at the venue, and then had to arrange childcare on top.

Personally, I like a child free wedding, but then I have easy access to willing grandparents who are happy to have my dc for a weekend. If I didn't, I'd have to miss seeing people I care about get married, and that would make me sad.

TheChaoGoesMu Wed 06-Mar-13 23:13:18

I dont care if the kids are invited or not. But, as in the case of my sil, she wants a child free wedding, she lives miles away, and we dont have weekend baby sitters. As long as the bride and groom are aware that those with children may not be able to make it [like sil] then no problem.

Tincletoes Wed 06-Mar-13 23:13:22

I think it's absolutely fine not to invite children, and it is daft to get annoyed or offended if they are not invited.

I also think it's absolutely fine to think that if your children aren't invited, it becomes too complicated to attend, that the bride and groom need to realise that not wanting to leave your children is perfectly acceptable, and that if you don't invite children you should not be offended if some of your guests cannot come.

PoppyWearer Wed 06-Mar-13 23:14:12

I don't understand it either.

We got married quite young so only had a handful of children to accommodate and bent over backwards to help the parents, we even hired a wedding nanny/crèche at the expense of hundreds of pounds.

All we wanted was a child-free ceremony. It was a civil ceremony lasting 15 minutes, and our friends couldn't even do that for us.

Our wedding video has a child chuntering through our vows. I can't even watch it.

And DH's 3yo goddaughter was brought to the wedding in a blatant "bridesmaid" dress and stood in many of the group photos as if she were my bridesmaid (she wasn't).

I have two small DCs of my own now and have left them with parents and sitters even when bf'ing to attend weddings and even a christening (bizarre!) child-free as requested.

Your wedding, your rules. End of story.

Tincletoes Wed 06-Mar-13 23:14:25

Few too many commas there... And that should say OR if it becomes too complicated

TheChaoGoesMu Wed 06-Mar-13 23:14:28

Should add, sil is not happy about us not making it either.

Mintyy Wed 06-Mar-13 23:15:23

Yanbu. Genuinely can't understand it. Don't they realise how much weddings cost?

I do think it's their choice and you either go without them or politely decline. But my friend is getting married in a couple of months, only DC of close family invited. I'm absolutely fine with this, but what's pissing me off is that whenever she sees me she says "I haven't invited kids, I thought you'd want a break from him." She then looks at me as if waiting for me to thank her for doing me a huge favour confused. DS is 11 weeks; my idea of a break from him is a shower, not a full day and night in another county.

thezebrawearspurple Wed 06-Mar-13 23:20:39

Ime, the only people who get offended by it are the types who never control their awful children, it's like they're insulted that they don't get to inflict their misery on everyone else and subconsciously they know that it's THEIR children that have encouraged the b&g to go childfree/child restricted.

It's extremely arrogant for anyone to presume to tell another what they should do with THEIR wedding, something that these narcissists don't get. The world doesn't revolve around them and their kids, how insultinghmm.

brummiegirl1 Wed 06-Mar-13 23:21:44

I think it is up to the bride and groom about whether to have children at their wedding or not but do think that they should not be offended if people cannot attend.

FamiliesShareGerms Wed 06-Mar-13 23:22:31

Genuinely the only time I've been at all het up about a child free invite was when DS was just 4 months but still tiny (prem), ebf, the invite was from DH's brother, and DS was the only child in friends and family circle at that time (so no issue of "invite one, have to invite ten").

Otherwise we cheer at a bit of grown up time, as children can be a bit of a nightmare at weddings and late receptions. But we're lucky to have family who can usually look after them now the DC are older.

But I think from some of the stories on here the angst comes from some thoughtless planning on the bride and groom's part, as although it is Their Big Day, we are supposed to be guests and as such a bit of consideration would only be polite.

Inertia Wed 06-Mar-13 23:22:55

They do.

Problems arise when the bride and groom see their arses with people who are then unable to attend.

landofmakebelieve Wed 06-Mar-13 23:23:06

I'm a mum of two small children, and am completely with you. I COMPLETELY don't get the whole taking the hump because the small people haven't been invited thing. hmm
I love my two small people very much. I'm a SAHM and look after their care/am there for them all the time.
If someone even dares to think they can invite me and husband away for the weekend at a wedding, and kids are not allowed?!
Hell yeah, we'll be there if we can. grin
Been invited to a child free wedding this year, in fact. Looking forward to it.
It's all lovely being invited to a wedding with children involved, I've been invited to some of those and they're all very nice.
I must say though the ones I enjoy the most are the ones where I can leave them with the grandparents overnight and have a 'proper' night of relaxing.
If I can't though? I realise it's not always about me. It's up to the bride and groom. If they don't want kids, that's their prerogative. Nowt to do with me.
It's their day. Stupid to be annoyed.

bedmonster Wed 06-Mar-13 23:24:03

Yanbu. Just decline and get over it.
I have never been to a childfree wedding though, but have chosen not to take mine to lots (just the ones where the bride and groom aren't close to out dc).
I know we are lucky to have a big family who are more than happy to mind out dc, but for those who don't, or claim to want to do everything as a family, it seems to be turned into such anger towards the people who are paying for their own day. They don't want kids there spoiling it for them, take the hint and leave them be!

ApocalypseThen Wed 06-Mar-13 23:24:16

I think parents are under the impression that their darlings go free. But they don't - each one over three adds to the cost of the day. And the costs mount really quickly at a wedding. It's just not feasible to invite every child from a financial perspective.

FamiliesShareGerms Wed 06-Mar-13 23:37:40

I should add, the reason I was het up at the family wedding situation was that in effect, like with WillYou (probably), I was being excluded from the wedding because DS was just too little to leave for the whole time. That's not a particularly nice message to send out for no good reason beyond sheer thoughtlessness

MimikosPanda Wed 06-Mar-13 23:50:24

I don't like it when an invite comes and it is 'child free' because it automatically means we can't go. We have no one at all to leave the DC with so we have no options.

It doesn't annoy me but I am often sad that I am missing a friend's special day when I'd like to be there to celebrate with them.

I'd never say anything though, just send a polite RSVP explaining that we can't come because we have no childcare. Often when I next speak to the couple they are surprised that we can't come, I think they just expect that their friends with DC will just leave them with family for the weekend, they haven't thought that some people haven't got anyone to leave them with.

nokidshere Wed 06-Mar-13 23:57:21

I went to two family weddings a couple of years ago where children were invited - but I left them home with Daddy instead and went along for some much needed R&R by myself.

ravenAK Thu 07-Mar-13 00:02:26

Doesn't bother me at all if our adorable children aren't invited - perfectly happy to have a childfree night out, if it's local-ish. Bit of a treat in fact.

BUT then you get stuff like dh's long-term mate (I know & like him, but only through dh, had met his b2b twice I think) sulking because we RSVP'd that dh would be attending alone.

Their childfree wedding was 300 miles away. We had 3dc aged under 7. We were also quite skint, so no chance of paying for a 2 day babysit, & had no family in a position to have the three of them for 48 hours. Sometimes it just does not compute!

VestaCurry Thu 07-Mar-13 00:02:48

Having kids is a good excuse not to have the faff and expense of child-free weddings.

StuntGirl Thu 07-Mar-13 00:04:03

YANBU - as long as the bride and groom don't get snippy over people declining due to it being child free.

Personally I prefer child free weddings and would have one myself if I ever got married.

bedmonster Thu 07-Mar-13 00:06:15

Mimikos I understand that you don't have anyone you can leave your DC with, but when you say 'We have no one' then presumably either you or your DP could stay home while the other went to the wedding? It's about seeing your friends get married, couldn't the person closest to the bride or groom still go?

DP and I really enjoy going to weddings without the DC, and used it as a rare chance to let our hair down and relax without them, though as I said upthread, I do appreciate that we have family willing to have the DC. Saying that though, it's not often that we get invited to weddings as most of our friends have decided to 'live in sin' - ourselves included grin

Nokidshere sounds like an excellent plan even though kids were invited!

DioneTheDiabolist Thu 07-Mar-13 00:17:15

But it isn't a deliberate attempt to exclude anyone.hmm.

I get it if you are complaining that your friend is being off with you because you couldn't come. But for anyone to be off with the host because they can't bring who they like is not on.


Op without reading all the responses because they would make me cross our wedding was no children except for 3 nephews. We had lots of friends with young children. Our reasoning was space (venue could only cater for a certain number which would have been blown away if we had included children) and that we wanted an 'adult' party where our friends could relax/have a drink/have fun. None of our friends (to our knowledge) were cross... many looked forward to and enjoyed a weekend away and a lie in. We appreciated the people who couldn't make it due to childcare, and we did not expect presents because we appreciate childcare for our party is expensive and not necessarily what people would choose to spend their money on. Other than that it is at the prerogative of the invitation receiver... if you don't like it don't go imho

HouseOfBears Thu 07-Mar-13 00:27:28

If people want childfree weddings that's fine, but what really bugs me, as someone said earlier, is when they dress it up as doing you some massive favour so you can "let your hair down". They are perfectly entitled to have the wedding however they like, but to a lot of people with children, childfree is a huge inconvenience and not a reason to jump for joy with relief that you can leave the pesky kids at home!

MimikosPanda Thu 07-Mar-13 00:28:48

Bedmonster We have done that for weddings that are local but we haven't for weddings that are weekend away weddings. If I desperately wanted to go to a particular wedding we could do that but I wouldn't want to.

It's no big issue and I don't begrudge them their choice of wedding or anything, I was just trying to get across that in our experience most couples work on the assumption that you have someone to leave your kids with.

MimikosPanda Thu 07-Mar-13 00:32:41

I should add that for a family wedding one of us travelled long haul to attend, leaving the other behind with the DC, not something we want to do again!

Startail Thu 07-Mar-13 00:44:59

Because a wedding isn't just a party, it's a public legal and sometimes religious commitment to each other.

Traditionally you share that commitment and belief in the importance of being a monogamous couple with your friends, family and community.

To me it feels very wrong to exclude children from witnessing one of the things that forms part of our heritage and is part of the glue that holds society together.

That Weddings have become not family celebrations, but a huge game of one upmanship is very sad.

DioneTheDiabolist Thu 07-Mar-13 00:54:53

Starship, so do you believe that any wedding party that does not include your DCs or involve the entire family and community is a game of upmanship? Why do you you think that others have to have their wedding in a manner that fits your expectations?

WafflyVersatile Thu 07-Mar-13 01:22:14

Parents should not be offended if children are not invited. If it does not suit, do not go. Brides and grooms should not be offended if parents decline the invitation for child related issues.

Not going to weddings saves both you and the bride and groom money.

unitarian Thu 07-Mar-13 01:33:35

My DD was the youngest/only child in our extended family for many years. When she was 12 her 30 year old cousin got married in Cornwall. Neither she nor the groom lived in Cornwall. They live about 20 miles away from us - in the north midlands.
Our niece was marrying into a very large family and begged us to be there so that she would have some relatives at the ceremony - but there was a no children rule. No exceptions.

We had a dilemma - DD could stay the weekend with my DB and SiL but that meant an hour's drive further north to drop her off and added another hour to the journey to Cornwall. Or she could stay with another married cousin in Dorset. We opted for that but underestimated how much that detour would add to the journey time.

If you have a no children rule then get married somewhere accessible - not a castle on a cliff edge at the arse end of nowhere that is impossible to find or gain access to after midnight! (No locks on the bedroom doors either but that's another story.)

EverythingInMjiniature Thu 07-Mar-13 01:51:22

I often think its a divide between being one of the first of your friends/family to get married and/or have children or the last.

When DP and I first got together I couldn't understand ever having a child free wedding. When we got engaged we made a guest list and it nearly doubled when children were included, we are one of the last of his group to marry. We couldn't find a venue to fit everyone for the ceremony, and weren't about to fake a religion to access a larger space hmm.

We are inviting our nephews and babies are welcome, would hate for anyone to leave a tiny one. So far the only complaint is from cousin of DP I have never met and he has seen once in 10y. It makes me cross that we have to exclude DC we have seen regularly since birth (and are much younger) in favour of his family but I'm trying to keep the peace smile

ChocChipCookieMuncher Thu 07-Mar-13 02:20:34

We went 'child free' because didn't trust all our guests to control their DC! (sad but true, some of them seem oblivious to their DC distrurbing other people when we're out in pubs, restaurants,letting them run riot etc) . I had been to weddings where you couldn't hear the couple making their vows due to the noise of rowdy kids in church. We knew we would really regret it if that happened to us. Then the extra cost of course....We did get a few digs and comments re our decision. The classic was "But you won't have my beautiful DC on your wedding photos....". Say no more. (I am a Mum myself)

MidnightMasquerader Thu 07-Mar-13 03:16:04

YANBU at all.

One of DH's best friends got married in his bride's hometown which was a 5 hour drive away and necessitated two night's staying over. They had a no children rule due to budget.

When he explained that to me, I said, no problem at all, completely understand, but I would have to sit it out - since DD was 4 months old at the time, and EBF. I couldn't leave a bottle-refuser who was used to me being around all the time, for 2 nights for anyone.

In the end, they said they could make an exception for an EBF baby under the circumstances which was lovely, but had they decided the rule was hard-and-fast, then fair enough, I'd have stayed home. Their wedding, their choice. We left DS with a babysitter for two nights and took DD with us.

Our wedding was child-free, except for a breastfed baby.

Fair enough if having a wedding with lots of children is your preference - and I can absolutely see the appeal assuming the children aren't the type to run amok, and/or the parents aren't the hopeless, ineffective types. I've been to weddings with kids present, and they've been great. Everyone's had a ball. Fab all round.

However, why can't other people see that child-free weddings can be great craic, too? A proper grown-up knees-up, gathering together people who love a good night out is brilliant. Both scenarios are great - so why not just go with what the B&G want, rather than coming over all sanctimonious with the 'legal and religious commitment' comments? With all due respect, Startail - your stance, while very worthy I'm sure, isn't go to persuade the childfree-types to your way of thinking, at all!

mrsstewpot Thu 07-Mar-13 07:09:45

My cousin is having a child free wedding this year and as it's at the opposite end of the country and all family who could babysit will be attending themselves, we won't be going sadly. I completely understand it is their wish but I can't help but feel a bit sad. Someone upthread said it's not about exclusion but I do feel excluded!

I would never say anything because it's their day and of course it should be just the way they want. However we have had to keep tabs on my very family orientated Grandparents who just cannot get their heads round a child free wedding and make sure they don't say something to the bride and groom!

OrangeLily Thu 07-Mar-13 07:13:47

I went child free because my DH was scared of interruptions during the ceremony and then his tiny baby niece ended up coming. smile

Amusingly enough a close family member has decided to go child free recently. This includes me and DH despite the fact that they attended our wedding. I was assuming this would give them the hint that we are not children anymore. shock

greeneyed Thu 07-Mar-13 07:16:55

I had a child free wedding as i had just found out I was infertile and wanted to minimise reminders - there were however 5 heavily pregnant people there on the day!

I am attending a wedding in a couple of weeks 4 hours away requiring a two night stay. It is no kids and we have gad problems sorting a sitter for our three yr old however they are also stryggling through fertility treatment so the last thing they need is loads of young families around.

I have missed a wedding when ebf however never questioned the bride and grooms no kids decision.

exoticfruits Thu 07-Mar-13 07:24:35

The timings if weddings and the location generally mean that anyone with children can't get child cover and therefore can't go. Sometimes it is just a good excuse but sometimes you are really disappointed.
To me, weddings are family affairs and I can't see why you want to exclude part of the family- however if you have friends and family who don't control their DCs I think it is understandable.

sashh Thu 07-Mar-13 07:25:52

Do any children actually enjoy weddings?

I hat to see those exhausted kids asleep on two chairs put together at 11pm.

Chandon Thu 07-Mar-13 07:28:09

Well, it did bother me that I could not bring my 8 week old DC when I was asked to a wedding, as it meant I would not be able to come.

It was in another country as well, so I was expected to fly down on my own ( DH abroad that time for work), which I was happy to do, but then I was supposed to leave the baby ( breastfed), pump enough milk for the day and leave him with an unknown babysitter in a hotel all day.

Well, obviously I understand the no kids rule, I asked about babe in arms but they said no-no-no.

So I just did not go. I sent flowers and a present and a card. But I was never forgiven for thinking my baby more important than their wedding, and for being a breastfeeding nut and surely the baby could take the bottle for a day. Still, I do not feel it was unreasonable of me, as I really just could not figure it out. My baby did not take the bottle, ever. Some don't. And I am aware that is my problem, not theirs. But then they were so cross with me.

StuntGirl Thu 07-Mar-13 07:29:11

Thing is, I personally wouldn't want kids at my wedding but I couldn't give a shit if someone else makes a different choice. I'm well aware everyone has different opinions and choices, and understand that sometimes they differ to mine.

RedHelenB Thu 07-Mar-13 07:32:06

weddings are about celebrating your union with friends & family in my eyes & that includes children. But it isn't the modern way it seems!!

mrsstewpot Thu 07-Mar-13 07:34:16

Chandon that is really poor form on the bride and groom's part! Rude and definitely bridezilla-esque!

Katienana Thu 07-Mar-13 07:35:22

I have one coming up in summer when ds will be 8 months, its a 2 night stay and he us bf. My parents are going to come and look after him bit it is a big expense. Plus I will have to express loads for him which isn't as easy as you'd think. On the other hand if he was invited I'd miss the night do anyway so what can you do?

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!

freddiefrog Thu 07-Mar-13 08:42:30

I really don't mind if someone wants a child free wedding. I quite like the chance for a day/night out where I can drink, dance and let my hair down.

If someone wants a child free wedding, that's entirely their prerogative, however, it's entirely my prerogative whether I go or not. On a couple of occasions we've declined a child free wedding invitation, because of lack of childcare, and the bride has had an almighty shit-fit. It's tough luck, if you want to be child free, fine, but you have to accept there will be people who can't/don't want to leave their children and won't come

Zipbangboom Thu 07-Mar-13 08:50:50

I totally agree with freddiefrog.
The ridiculous thing is that 5 years later its those people who then complain about child free weddings!

MrsBucketxx Thu 07-Mar-13 08:55:10

if is child free thats fine I have had to decline myself in the oast and dh went without me,

the thing that pissed me off was that certain children where allowed and mine weren't

it shouldnt be one rule for one and another for someone else.

ChaoticisasChaoticdoes Thu 07-Mar-13 09:01:47

It does amuse me when an OP posts about being invited to a cf wedding and someone comes on and says a wedding is a family event. Err...the OP's children are not family nor are they friends of the bride and groom.

I do agree that the bride and groom shouldn't throw a tantrum/apply pressure if someone chooses not to attend though.

Wrt to some children being invited and others depends on the children. I think it's acceptable to invite family/siblings children only but not friends.

ChaoticisasChaoticdoes Thu 07-Mar-13 09:02:59

That should say "about being invited to a friend's cf wedding".

Really must learn to preview hmm

CockyFox Thu 07-Mar-13 09:03:08

I don't drink midnight so being the only sober one at the table is not that much fun.

pigletmania Thu 07-Mar-13 09:05:29

I totally agree with you Freddie, fine have a child free wedding but din have a hissy fit when those with Chidren cannot make it very selfish

MidnightMasquerader Thu 07-Mar-13 09:06:21

Ah, well, I can well imagine.

CMOTDibbler Thu 07-Mar-13 09:21:21

I dont care if people have child free weddings or not - its their choice. But, they should not dress this decision up as 'making it better party time' or 'letting your hair down', and accept gracefully anyone declining due to childcare.

DH and I don't have overnight childcare available to us, and pay for every minute of childcare we use. We'd decline anything but a local, evening invite without ds. I wouldn't pay to travel, stay etc on my own tbh

bigbadbarry Thu 07-Mar-13 09:24:12

bangwhizz it meant I said that's fine but we won't be able to come: she said well perhaps I shouldn't invite your parents so they will babysit. They have known her her whole life and would be beyond hurt. Maybe I should have stuck to my guns but it would have been beyond bolshy. DH just didn't go,

wongadotmom Thu 07-Mar-13 09:25:43

My Dsis had to have a child free wedding due to limit on numbers, as she could only have 50 guests at the register office and daytime reception. All children were welcome at the evening reception and it was lovely (although I did miss the DC's during the day)

My wedding was 3 years later. All close family and friends and their children were at the church and daytime reception, but we had a limit of 72 at the daytime reception. The children behaved beautifully throughout the wedding, reception and evening party and I am so glad we had them there to share our special day.

It's the bride and groom's day and nothing to get het up over! YANBU.

pigletmania Thu 07-Mar-13 09:25:53

I totally agree cmot, we only do local child free weddings due to having children especially one with sn. It is not easy to get chidcare and if I put her in residential te cost would be high and also leaves te problem with who to look after ds. We have no relatives tat are local and friends have teir own children and problems

ChaoticisasChaoticdoes Thu 07-Mar-13 09:27:13

She emotionally blackmailed you!! shock What a that really is out or order.

Iaintdunnuffink Thu 07-Mar-13 09:28:37

I don't mind child free weddings but people can't get huffy if invites are turned down due to a no child policy. Most of the posts about child free weddings don't seem to be about offence that their child isn't invited but about the difficult logistics and expense.

I turned down a child free wedding last year, it was a relative and no one I was close to. I'm still hearing Chinese whispers about how I didn't want to leave my child, how I was turning it down on principle confused Being the mother, blame and responsibility was laid at my feet, not my husband's. My youngest child was 5 and terrified of being left at a party at the time. It wasn't worth paying out hundreds in childcare in this situation! Or me rushing around trying to catch the ceremony and miss all the fun after.

When child free weddings have come up for friends either I go by myself or my husband does and there are no negative feelings. I limited children at my own wedding as it is expensive, it's impossible to Invite all children of all your friends.

I couldn't imagine one of my brothers or sisters getting married and not inviting nieces and nephews. I honestly would be upset if that happened, we're not that sort of family and all get on well. I only have one brother who isn't married and I can't see him not wanting children in the immediate family to be invited, he's a grey uncle.

Iaintdunnuffink Thu 07-Mar-13 09:30:05

Great uncle! He's not grey grin

iliketea Thu 07-Mar-13 09:38:34

I don't mind being invited to a child free wedding, but I do mind the bride have a drama about turning the invite down.

Me and dh were invited to my cousins child-free wedding in my home town (500miles away). All my family were also invited, so no local childcare and noone we know well enough to leave then 2yo dd with for 2 overnight stays local to us. So I rsvped saying I was coming alone. It caused such a drama (somethig about odd numbers at tables etc) that I very nearly didn't bother going. If you chose a child-free wedding,then you need to expect some parents will be unable to attend, not make a big fuss about it.

bringmeroses Thu 07-Mar-13 09:52:17

Brides are allowed to have dramas, it's part of the whole 'I'm so special' thing you get caught up in. I think anyone choosing a child free wedding, or only children of close relatives, is perfectly entitled to do so as long as they understand that they will be excluding guests who don't want to leave their DCs - and simply not wanting to leave them is good enough reason IMO.

I attended a friend's wedding on my own once leaving DCs with DH; I was glad to be there for her but it felt a little awkward all round. She really wanted me to get childcare but it wasn't an option, and I have to hope she understood!

I DO feel for anyone who's suffered noisy kids during a ceremony - months of planning, thousands of pounds spent, and a baby starts wailing or toddler starts chatting loudly. In these cases parents should immediately take their DC away from the service. Yet so many don't! Why?!!

Bananasinfadedpjs Thu 07-Mar-13 10:02:44

We only tend to go to the weddings of people that we consider very close friends - I do sometimes turn invites down if I feel it is someone I don't know that well.

If a couple didn't invite our children too, then I'd be sad that our children obviously didn't mean that much to them - and to me that would mean that they weren't a close friend anyway, so I wouldn't go (this has never actually happened, by the way).

My friends are important to me; my friends' children are also important to me - if I care about someone enough to go to their wedding, then they'll have a close relationship with my whole family, and they'll know my DC and (I hope) want them as guests in their own right.

specialsubject Thu 07-Mar-13 10:12:04

children don't enjoy weddings - hardly an event of interest to children, is it? And as poppywearer says, they can actually ruin the event because they find it so boring.

if people can't come because they can't get sitters, so what? There will be other parties.

mrsjay Thu 07-Mar-13 10:14:28

I didn't have children to my wedding there was no room as it was a small registry office and we couldnt afford the adults and the children so they wre not invited people were fine with it no dramas or anything,

I did have an evening reception was an open invite as it was in a large hall, nobody brought their children, DD was there but my friend who didnt come looked after her at night for us,

do you think children like weddings? any wedding ive been at with children they look bored the last one there was children as bridesmaids and page boys their mum looked frazzled as the girls were faffing about with their dresses didnt want to be in photies and they were all running about bumping into people,
I saw the mum put them in a car at night go to the bar and knock back a large drink grin. Unless you put on things for small children to do they are going to be a bit bored imo

fluffyraggies England Thu 07-Mar-13 10:14:38

"why such parents just don't wish them the best and decline the invitation as it doesn't suit"

they do. If they've got no child care they've no other option!

I've never seen anyone decline on principal.

Clearly some people have a different idea of what a wedding should be than others. That's not ground breaking news. It's no sin and nothing new to disagree with others choices and ideas.

The only thing that is quite ridiculous and a fairly new phenomena IME is the child free wedding being organised by the B+G with the expectation that their guests will 100% be able to find a way to do as requested, and definately not decline. On pain of a family rift.

While i'm here may i just say ditto for the weddings where everyone is invited across the country to the ceremony at 11am, a few of those guests are invited on to a 2nd gathering at midday, and then everyone else is then expected to twiddle their thumbs for 7 hours and then magically re-appear later for the knees up. Again risking a family feud if you don't do as you're told.


MiaowTheCat Thu 07-Mar-13 10:22:47

Because people can't see or understand that others have different ideas of what constitutes a wedding than others. All this "family celebration" stuff... not everyone has a family that would do it celebration-style and not Jeremy Kyle style. Just because a couple of Star Wars fanatics want to dress up as stormtroopers and have giant fake lightsaber fights for their wedding - and it doesn't tick your tickbox of a wedding constituting a load of young kids running around all over the dance floor at the disco - doesn't make their wedding less valid or wrong or whatever.

People can't understand that other people have reasons for finding the company of children difficult or painful (I had a child-free wedding - I'd just come out of a run of miscarriages and didn't want an entire day of "ooooh when's it going to be you having the baby" pressure from people... someone ignored it and rolled up anyway just too close to the start time for anything to be said - resulted in me spending a bit of the day sobbing in the toilets), or that they've had bad experiences with kids at weddings in the past (we went to one recently where the younger kids were all fantastic - but a bunch of 9year oldish kids wrecked the hotel toilets, ran riot and when the groom tried to get a photo of him with his best men together - the trio from their school days... they ran through the photos every single attempt yelling, pulling faces and wrecking them - while their parents sat and smiled indulgently), or that numbers are just really limited.

Fine if you can't come - you can't come... but look at the utter indignation on the kids' party thread about uninvited siblings being foisted on those parties that someone's paying for - yet people continue to believe it's perfectly acceptable to do exactly the same where weddings are concerned. If you can't go - you can't go... you don't go around telling the couple their wedding's "wrong" or stirring up a family hornets' nest or whatever else.

babanouche Thu 07-Mar-13 10:32:06

My cousin recently got married. Sent out an invite saying no children. Then called me and said obviously my 2 lo's were invited. Mine are the only 2 kids in the family. Despite others saying kids don't enjoy weddings, mine do. They love big parties, who wouldn't? Then the bride called and said no, she'd put her foot in it and the kids weren't invited. This was coming from her mother. I felt awful about it but eventually we didn't go because my eldest was really excited about it and it just seemed really unfair to him.

I also think, given they fucked up, they should have found space for them.

I didn't send a card or gift. Now their day will always be tainted in my eyes and in the eyes of a lot of people in my family.

A lot of families are spread apart these days so if there's a wedding it's a great opportunity for the kids to see everyone & feel included.

If you're in love then why wouldn't you want those who love you there? Surely if a kid makes a bit of a noise during the ceremony it's not that big a deal? They can always be taken out if it gets too bad. The point is to celebrate your love surrounded by friends who wish you well. Why piss people off by making things difficult for them?

CelticPixie Thu 07-Mar-13 10:32:42

It's just not always financially viable for people to invite children to weddings. It's up to the couple getting hitched at the end of the day, but I never fail to be amazed at how precious some parents get over this kind of thing.

I went to a family wedding last year, no kids invited, fine by me. Not by others though, one cousin got very arsy because his kids had not been asked meaning that he couldnt go, and then when he saw some photos on Facebook and saw children there and made lots of digs about how kids had been invited just not his. The kids who where there were the bridesmaids and pageboys! Another brought their child to the night do anyway because they had no child care for the evening. Harsh as it sounds, tough, its the couples day and they can do what they want.

MrsBucketxx Thu 07-Mar-13 10:39:00

no kids shoukd mean just that no exceptions brides maids included,

would they mot cause the same amount of fuss, trouble.

mrsjay Thu 07-Mar-13 10:41:41

No bridesmaids paige boys allowed is a bit harsh maybe they are the children of the B n G or nieces nephews, friends and relatives children are different, imagine the cost if each person brought 1 or 2 children each hmm

people can invite children or not just baffles me why some people get so precious and upset about it

MrsBucketxx Thu 07-Mar-13 10:44:38

if they do want to invite some and not others they shoukd telk the guest the reason, I.e they can't afford it, not state no children then invite a whole bunch.

this will only offend people.

Superene Thu 07-Mar-13 10:45:02

If all the children of all my wedding guests had been invited, and had come, there would have been 63 children there. That is why we had a child free wedding. We would have had to ask fewer adult guests to accommodate the children, and it would have been not nearly so much fun. Although one of my friends who had said only he was coming, changed his mind without telling me and his wife, his baby and the nanny came too. Thankfully I only discovered this when I got the photos back and couldn't work out who the random stranger holding a baby was.

HeadFairy Thu 07-Mar-13 10:45:06

I don't get this wierd English thing about excluding large chunks of the family from a family celebration purely because they're under the age of 16. Just odd. When I got married, whilst it was "our day" we had a big wedding to invite all our family because it was a family event. That meant including all the children too.

mrsjay Thu 07-Mar-13 10:48:48

I wonder if it is to do with people thinking why isn't my child as important as That child my child is just as important and precious

mrsjay Thu 07-Mar-13 10:49:25

not everybody can afford a huge family wedding though headfairy

mrsstewpot Thu 07-Mar-13 10:51:24

Our wedding venue offered free meals to kids 12 and under (no, it wasn't Pizza Hut grin) so it isn't always a monetary issue.

Chaos makes a valid point regarding the difference between family and friends' weddings. I would understand my child not being invited to a friend's wedding and those of family members being present if it was a family affair.

I think that's why I feel excluded from my cousin's forthcoming wedding. Of the 16 cousins plus partners who are all invited (so appearing to be a big family affair) only my brother and I will be unable to attend as we are the only ones with children.

babanouche Thu 07-Mar-13 10:56:32

mrsstewpot, that's it exactly. Are ALL of your cousins 16 partners close to the bride and groom, or is it simply that they're adults. I would be upset in your position. Only 2 family members with kids is hardly breaking the bank.

LaQueen Thu 07-Mar-13 10:57:39

He who pays the piper, calls the tune...

The bride & groom, are perfectly entitled to have exactly the wedding they wish...and guests are perfectly entitled to accept/decline as they see fit.

We didn't have any children at our wedding - it was quite a formal affair, in a sophisticated setting, and it just wouldn't have been appropriate (or remotely enjoyable) for young children.

At the very last minute, my little nephews did have to attend, due to SIL having a family emergency...which I was a bit hmm about, but couldn't see a way out of it.

Personally, I love a child-free wedding, and merrily drop the DDs with their GPs, get my posh frock out, slip my heels on, and sprint for the champagne smile

Luckily, our friends are very like us (not surprisingly) and never have any qualms about being child-free.

I don't have much time for all the Oh, we're a family unit, invite one, and you invite can't seperate us, where I go, my children go, too...

Fine. Okay. Whatever...while you sit grimly at home, clutching your children to your indignant bosom, seething at the unfairness of the bride & groom...

...everyone else will be whooping it up on the dance floor, and knocking back the vino.

I doubt you'll be much missed smile

CoffeeChocolateWine Thu 07-Mar-13 11:01:10

Do people get het up about it? Most parents I know welcome an opportunity to have a good time just with their partner and without having their kids to look after. I know I do! In fact even if the kids are invited I sometimes choose not to take them. Admittedly I know we're lucky to have grandparents who would jump at the chance to look after the kids for a day and/or overnight. The only time I've ever had to decline was when DS was tiny and I was breastfeeding.

However, this does bring to mind an occasion a few years ago when we were invited to a birthday party...a Saturday afternoon BBQ (continuing into the evening) at their home with big garden. The birthday girl was pregnant and my DS was about 9 months old. She said that no kids were allowed as it was her last opportunity to enjoy a child-free birthday. I couldn't help but feel a bit offended by this as I could not work out why it had to be child-free - a Saturday afternoon BBQ out in the garden. Fair enough if it's at a hired venue where seating and catering expenses came into it but we were all asked to bring something to chuck on the BBQ and I would have brought my own food for DS anyway as he was so young. Maybe I was being unreasonable as it was her birthday and she can do what she likes but I declined because I actually thought she was being a bit inconsiderate. Plus my DS had only started nursery that week and it broke my heart to then have to get a sitter for him at the weekend...poor little lad would have thought I'd abandoned him!

Ironically, this girl is the now the person MOST likely to be offended or get het up if her DS was not invited to an event!

LaQueen Thu 07-Mar-13 11:02:18

But, then...I am the least precious person you could ever meet.

Our DDs weren't invited to the wedding of one of DH's oldest friends (a 30 year friendship), and the groom is actually DD2's godfather...I noticed there were a few other children at the wedding, but I wasn't remotely bothered that our DDs hadn't been invited.

I assumed the bride & groom had their reasons, and it wasn't for me to question.

Plus, they had the reception at a Mexican bar, with a live band, and I was too busy perfecting my salsa moves, to have been shepherding the DDs anyway smile

babanouche Thu 07-Mar-13 11:04:45

LaQueen, you're right. There are two different types of people in the world and weddings are an excellent way of finding that out.

Glad it works out for you that you have gp's you can drop the kids off with but if it's a family wedding surely the gp's would be at it, no? Then see how happy you feel about being told to leave the kids at home.

LaQueen Thu 07-Mar-13 11:07:20

Bab if it's DH's family having a wedding, then I'd just leave the DDs with my family.

Failing that, I have several friends/godparents we could easily leave them with.

Failing that ...then we just wouldn't be able to go. No big deal, it's just one day [shrugs]

mrsstewpot Thu 07-Mar-13 11:20:54

Ah * Baba* you raise another valid point with regards to the closeness of partners. In my situation the groom (my cousin) obviously feels obligated to invite the 16 cousins' partners (and also obligated to invite some of the cousins as he will not be close to all of them, particularly those living abroad) so why doesn't he feel obligated to invite my children?

Goodness - I am starting to get 'het' up now! My future weddings will be just bride and groom in Vegas, no guests at all! wink

Can anyone truly say their wedding was completely as they wanted it? Absolutely nothing was tweaked/changed from original plan to suit guests and otherwise go against how you wanted it to be? Weddings are a minefield!

vladthedisorganised Thu 07-Mar-13 11:21:06

I think the OP is absolutely right.
If I'm invited to a child-free wedding, I'll look at how feasible it is for me to go, and decide based on that. I wouldn't expect the bride and groom to get arsey if I couldn't make it (hey, it's another free space you can allocate!)

In my own experience, I've taken DD to two weddings and both were the most stressful days I've had in ages. She was very quiet and well-behaved throughout - mainly because at the first squeak or twitch of activity I scuttled outside with her. I missed all the food, all the speeches and most of the ceremony, then had to leave early so she could go to sleep. DD didn't much enjoy it and neither did I.

We had a 'no under-10s' policy at ours because we only knew one couple with children under 10 well (who really didn't want to bring them). DH's cousin threw a hissy fit because her children were being 'excluded' and 'it was supposed to be a family occasion' - DH hadn't seen or spoken to said cousin in 10 years.

What really baffles me is also when bringing children to a wedding is set out as a favour to the bride and groom (we had this from DH's cousin as well). "You'll be missing out on a proper wedding by not having the little ones (that we'd never met) there". Er.. nope, no regrets..

atthewelles Thu 07-Mar-13 11:22:51

YANBU. I can never understand the indignation of some parents when their children aren't included in wedding invitations. If you really cannot get a babysitter then simply regret the invitation.
Some people just don't seem to understand that a lot of brides and grooms have so many nephews and nieces and friends with children that it would be impossible to invite them all.
Also, there are often some children that you simply don't want at your wedding because you know that their parents will let them run around during the ceremony making noise and drowning out the vows and basically being the centre of attention as always. (Actually there's a brillilant thread running at the moment about a strange wording on a wedding invite which shows one way of getting around this problem).

I'm Irish and over here it really isn't the default position that children are invited and that you have to specify on the invitation if it is otherwise. Its actually the opposite and people would rarely assume that their kids are included unless their name is actually on the invitation. I have rarely heard of a parent taking offense at their children not being invited and am always surprised when I read so much indignation over it on Mumsnet.

ilovechips Thu 07-Mar-13 11:27:32

I agree with what lots of people say - totally up to the couple to have child free, their day after all, as long as they don't then get arsey when people with children can't go!

My sister got married last week, 250 miles away from where we live. My two daughters (youngest 8 months) not invited. She said she knew I wouldn't have childcare so far from home but "couldn't please everyone". Her choice which I respect, even if it was a little hurtful deep down!

Snoopingforsoup Thu 07-Mar-13 11:27:46

I just don't go. We have no one to babysit for 3 nights (as weddings seem to have become in length over the past decade) and I don't give a shit what the bride and groom think of me not being there. My circumstances don't allow me to partake and I have never given it a second thought. My friends are still here and understand. My DH's friends however....I think it's a shame they're not TOWIE slebs as their do's should really appear in Hello! Always abroad, always chic, always child free. Let's hope they all renew their vows when DC is a teenager and can l!

Snoopingforsoup Thu 07-Mar-13 11:30:42

I can go

cloudpuff Thu 07-Mar-13 11:32:08

Im not fussed either way and if I had a big wedding instead of pissing off to local registry office I probably would not have invited kids either as there are dozens in the immediate family and I know for 100% fact that it would be me looking after them while siblings get trollied.

We have had half a dozen wedding invites over the last year all close immediate family and all of them had children invites I pissed most of them off by not taking dd due to five of the weddings being on a weekday no way the school would authorise seven weddings (includong my own) in one school year so I took her to the weekend one only.

Stepbro is getting married later this year and the shit its causing cos I wont take dd out of school makes me not want to attend the wedding at all (whole other load of back issues though).

ChocsAwayInMyGob Thu 07-Mar-13 11:36:15

I personally prefer weddings with children, but completely accept that not everyone does. In my view the rule of thumb is that the B and G are completely entitled to have a child free wedding on condition that they do not grumble when guests with kids can't come.

The other point I wanted to make is this: People without children often think you can just "get a babysitter" and sometimes don't understand that you can't just get one out of Yellow Pages. They therefore get riled when parents say "we can't get a babysitter for the whole weekend".

HeadFairy Thu 07-Mar-13 11:36:45

MrsJay I appreciate that, but then the choice for us was to downscale other things to allow us to have children at the wedding. It was only 20 children, and I didn't go to the lengths of providing entertainment, in fact in terms of cost it was pretty cheap as quite a few were babies, but I did do party bags with age appropriate stuff in them. Their meals were much cheaper than the adult meals, they didn't drink any alcohol, a friend of mine brought some face paints and set herself up painting faces for an hour, they played with balloons, danced, chased each other around the room and at about 10pm they all collapsed in a heap on one of the sofas and went to sleep. They were by far the easiest guests to entertain grin

I never got annoyed. As many have said it's up to the B&G. But it can be a total PITA if you have children, especially more than one. And it's sad when there is a wedding you would love to attend but can't.

I can see why B&G might not want kids present but personally I prefer it.

Quenelle Thu 07-Mar-13 11:40:17

I wouldn't mind if I was invited to a childfree wedding although it hasn't happened since we've had DS. But we have two sets of grandparents who are always willing to have him overnight.

They didn't have them in my day (21 years ago today actually) and in any case I wouldn't have dreamed of excluding my nieces and my best friend's son.

I think it's a shame that some people have the attitude that 'children don't belong at weddings'. It surely depends on the wedding? I love family-style weddings where children are catered for. We went to one last year where the guests joined in dancing during the ceremony itself and at the reception afterwards. There were ride-on toys and a quiet room set aside for children if it got too much for them or they interrupted the speeches. The whole day felt like a proper celebration of love and family. Which is what getting married is all about for me really.

babanouche Thu 07-Mar-13 11:42:30

I think there's different ways of doing it. There's not inviting EVERYONE'S kids because you don't know them and it would cost a fortune. I do understand that.

But there's also this ideological thing of kids being little horrors who are obviously just going to WRECK the day and oh well wouldn't it be better if we could all just keep our children locked away and not inflict them on society until they're 18. And I think that's a bit unreasonable really.

Yes, you can say who pays the piper calls the tune and sadly that does seem to be the way the world's going in every regard. But to not consider your guests is shortsighted and ultimately self-harming because you create ill will and it's sad.

cloudpuff how funny that you've got the opposite problem. Completely understand you not wanting to take your dd out of school for so many weddings. Seems to be a LOT of loving going on in your neck of the woods!

babanouche Thu 07-Mar-13 11:43:48

quenelle "The whole day felt like a proper celebration of love and family. Which is what getting married is all about for me really. "

EXACTLY. That wedding you describe sounds divine.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 07-Mar-13 11:45:06

People do decline.

But when it is your brother then said brother thinks that his sister should be there and gets the hump - despite not wanting her child.

And when it is a family wedding, then the likelihood is that many of the possible babysitting options will also be at said wedding!

I think weddings are about families and love, and to me that includes children. I'm afraid I judge people massively who don't want DCs at their wedding, it says a great deal about them as people IME.
They normally turn out to be the most unbelievably PFB pushy-middle-class parents as well.

Jins Thu 07-Mar-13 11:45:38

Part of the reasoning behind our choice to 'elope' abroad was that we didn't want children there. I wasn't that keen on children before I had them and if I'm absolutely honest I don't go a bundle on them now (although mine are great)

I didn't take them to weddings when they were little as it's a long day and they were bound to play up at some point. Stress I didn't need!

I certainly don't turn down invitations to child free weddings but I have declined a child friendly one in recent years. Much more fun to send a card and a gift and look at the photos afterwards over a couple of drinks smile

PrincessOfChina Thu 07-Mar-13 11:47:34

I don't get it. I have better things to do at most weddings than chase around after DD who is probably not really enjoying herself anyway and who is confused by the random meal times, random relatives/friends and random bedroom. She stays at home with family where possible. If this weren't possible then one of us would miss the wedding.

We won't be inviting children when we get married as it would add another 32 guests to our list and I just don't want that many children there (although we will allow young, breast fed babies). If our guests are unable to leave them with family etc then that will be a shame but I will understand. And perhaps if we were rolling in it I would have a venue that was able to accomodate children in a way they would enjoy, but I expect our budget will not run to that!

rollmopses Thu 07-Mar-13 11:48:37

Anything, anything that gets me off from going to a wedding is a blessing. The 'No DC' bit would fit the bill perfectly as it, splendidly at that, presents the childcare excuse.

fluffyraggies England Thu 07-Mar-13 11:50:15

was a little hurtful deep down

I can imagine that was hurtful. I think if you are closely related to the bride or groom, and the banning of children means you cannot attend the wedding, then i don't think it's being ridiculous or petty to be 'het up'. Hurt. Disappointed. What ever you want to call it.

Friends and aquaintance's weddings - meh, yeah, no big deal.

But - and I may be way off here, i bet the majority of people who are saying it's 'no big deal' - just miss the wedding, stay at home with the kids, it's the B+Gs day - are not imagining this wedding being their sister, or brother, or husband's sister, or brother's wedding. How would that feel? To be the only close family not able to attend.

Snoopingforsoup Thu 07-Mar-13 12:41:38

I was not invited to my father's wedding. We're not estranged, he just didn't want us there. I was not a toddler, I was 40 odd. That's a new slant on a 'child free' wedding eh? Pleased to report my young half-brother got to go.
I think this is maybe why I genuinely don't give a shit! When you've had that sort of kick in the fanny, you don't worry about friends demands for their big day. I have to say, I find weddings to be a bit of an ego showcase these days - I'm glad I got to go to all my cousins weddings as a kid and watch my aunties jiving in strappy sandals. I have warm memories of dancing, laughing with my younger cousins and none of us being a nuisance...we'd have got a clip around the ear had we tried it...

ViviPru Thu 07-Mar-13 12:50:43

This is like anything on AIBU; the rights and wrongs of a decision about having children at weddings will be debated until kingdom come. It's about how the situation is handled by all parties that establishes reasonableness.

We've only invited family children to our wedding. This equates to 8 children. If we opened the invitation to all children of our guests we would have around 25. Our venue can't accommodate that many extra people, and in truth, we don't want that many children there.

We gave guests the option of coming all day, or joining us from 8pm for an evening reception instead if that better suited their childcare requirements. All this was made very clear in the invitation. All but one couple are coming all day. That one couple has declined entirely, they were very apologetic, as were we, and it was all resolved without incident.

Not rocket science, is it?!

babanouche Thu 07-Mar-13 12:53:10

snooping, that's so true. I have the same happy memories of being at weddings as a child and I'm pissed off & sad my own dc's won't have this of my cousins recent wedding. And the weddings to come if the others are the same. But somehow I don't think they will be - recent wedding was designed to be an affair no one could compete with. hmm

DewDr0p Thu 07-Mar-13 13:11:29

Generally I am very understanding of people not wanting to invite children to weddings - esp if you marry later and everyone has lots of children, it could seriously limit who you could invite.

Having said that it was very upsetting when a very close friend refused to allow me to bring my 10 week old to her wedding which was 4-5 hours away from where I live (so necessitated a 2 night stay) I was bfing and she couldn't understand why I couldn't just dump him on my parents and go. (This was esp tricky as my older 2 dcs were very little too - dc2 was only just 1!) In the end we politely declined and said we would love to do something to celebrate with them when they returned from honeymoon and at that point, she did relent and say we could bring the baby. She stuck us in the far corner of the room away from all our friends who were all sat together sad Happy to say dc3 was impeccably behaved all day and I was grown up enough to manage not to comment when she later chose not to leave her own baby behind to attend a mutual friend's wedding grin

atthewelles Thu 07-Mar-13 13:21:13

Wow baba, myself and my cousins don't even go to each other's weddings(there's a whole heap of us) never mind inviting the children along as well.

I agree if a brother or sister of the Bride or Groom is finding it difficult to get babysitters a bit of flexibility is required to ensure that they can attend the wedding. Likewise if a very close friends is bfing.

But otherwise then I don't understand people taking umbrage.

babanouche Thu 07-Mar-13 13:23:53

Our family is large and very tight, atthewelles, plus they were invited then not invited. If it had been a straightforward no kids thing I wouldn't have liked it but I would have understood.

babanouche Thu 07-Mar-13 13:25:11

Should have added that even my other cousins were a bit hmm that my kids weren't invited. I get that some cousins don't have much to so with each other but we've always had a tight family. Up til now anyway but that's a whole other thread.

goldenlula Thu 07-Mar-13 13:29:36

I do not get upset or hurt about my children not being invited to weddings, but I would expect it to be understood if we do not attend if we can not get a sitter or it is to far to travel and leave the children. We are invited to a 30th birthday party of a relation from dh's side. It is no children, mil will be there and my parents are flying back from holiday on that day so we can on go. Well, actually I can't go. Dh may attend without me, he isn't sure yet.

kneesofnorks Thu 07-Mar-13 13:34:12

Only time I got 'het up' about my children not being invited was dp's sisters wedding, we were told no children, which wouldn't have been a problem if we hadn't been sat at a table with her friends 3 children (who I think we were meant to be in charge of since mum was sat at the top table), who we only cottoned on were going, along with other children a few days before - though apparently as they're not his children then they weren't "known" to the family, despite us having been together 3 years at that point and done all we could to build a relationship with his family...

They did say the children were invited to the evening do, but as we live 2 hours away I'm not sure if we were meant to leave them in the car park or the foyer for 4 hours?

babanouche Thu 07-Mar-13 13:35:37

knees that is so aggravating grrrr

MrsBucketxx Thu 07-Mar-13 13:48:32

thats what I was on about, no kids shouldmean just that,

knees thats shocking.

sweetiepie1979 Thu 07-Mar-13 14:06:57

Because marriage is about becoming a Bigger family your joining the family. I know a girl that wouldn't allow her sil to be Bring her 5week old, that's shocking. I think most people like a day out without the kids and will find a baby sitter anyway. But kids make a wedding sometimes a bride and groom get caught up in themselves a little too much.

cloudpuff Thu 07-Mar-13 14:25:28

yes babanouche they all breed like rabbits, cant wait for the second cycle to start in ten years when the neices and nephews start getting married.

I probably could get authoristaion for my step brother's wedding as it will be a different school year but then that would piss my other brother and sisters off so its less backlash for her not to go dd also found the one wedding she did attend very boring despite it being very child friendly so she would probably have a better time at school.

Jenny70 Thu 07-Mar-13 14:32:18

Ditto to the family or distance factor - if it's local and a friend or aquaintance then no children is fine, decide whether you can go, one can go or whatever.

But when it is a family wedding, everyone the children know will be at the event, everyone is talking about it and they are all aged 5-12 and can behave etc then it feels rotten to exclude them.

One family wedding we were invited to invited all the nieces and nephews of groom, but not my children (who were next rung along the family tree, so to speak) - but we were all staying together for the wedding weekend, so two sets of children went off to get dressed up etc, leaving our children feeling like cinderella poorer cousins (and they are well behaved, not spirited in the least, I swear!). Since my parents had come half way around the world to be there, it seemed rotten to say we wouldn't come to the wedding, but it did leave a nasty flavour. Had to travel 3 hrs to get there, organise a local babysitter and explain why they couldn't come when XYZ kids were going. Blerk.

alwayslateforwork Thu 07-Mar-13 14:42:33

We have been invited to a wedding where we were sent a 'save the date' 8 months before the wedding. We told the kids, they were massively excited (it's their godfather). We actually live in Canada at the mo, and the wedding is in London, so dh and I were panicking about the costs - it will be about £5000 for all five of us to fly back.

So, we've been flapping and trying to juggle finances for six months, just waiting for the actual invitation before we booked the flights. I'd arranged time off work (not easy as I've just started a job and not accrued vacation time, so it means taking time off unpaid).

Yup. Invitation arrived. And in the small print of the information sheets, it says 'sorry, no children'.

In all honesty, I don't have any particularly strong feelings about whether they invite children or not. But dear lord, I wish they had told me that months ago with the 'save the date'.

We can't go now, which is fine. I can't spend £5000 flying five people round the world when only two are actually invited. It's sad. I would love to go - but I understand their choices too.

I just wish I'd known. I've now had to make up some crappy 'can't afford it' speech, as I have no intention of telling my children they weren't actually invited. I know that's MY problem, but it still sucks.

And I can't help feeling pissed about the way it was done. They have people coming from all over the world - it wouldn't have taken too much forethought to make sure that we knew it was no kids right from the start.

alwayslateforwork Thu 07-Mar-13 14:46:08

(And I'm a sucker for babies at weddings. If the ceremony goes off with no baby crying, then it's not complete. grin I suppose I see it as some sort of fertility rite grin)


Illustrationaddict Thu 07-Mar-13 14:49:46

I didn't have children at my wedding because:

1. That I've been to weddings where children have played up during ceremony/speeches & had to be taken out, so parent misses out

2. That I've been to weddings where friends have brought babies & small children, so one parent has had to be on duty the whole time, so cannot relax, have a drink and let their hair down. I have witnessed said parents rocking their baby in the corner at 10pm, with that 'when can we leave' look whist DP is having great time drunk dancing

3. Many venues insist you hire a child minder

4. Many venues have number limits. Whilst a child may be a cheaper guest, health & safety dictate that they are still a number, so say you have 8 children to your wedding, it might mean you cannot invite 4 couples who you may have known for years

5. I don't believe that babies/toddlers can remember or appreciate being at your wedding, especially when the day is so long and they are constantly asked to be good, and wear an outfit which they find uncomfortable

I didn't have a child when I got married, I do now, and I stand by my decision. The only time I would take DC to a wedding it would have to be a family wedding where you have a wide network of Grannies & Aunties to give you a a bit of a break. If DC was invited to a friends wedding, I would either ask doting GP to spoil them for a day, or if that was not a possibility one of us would go and the other would look after DC.

Saltire Thu 07-Mar-13 14:59:02

The only time have ever been upset over my DCs not being invited to a wedding was when an old friend got married. By that time, there were 4 children plus my 2, in our group. The other 4 were all invited, my 2 weren't.
Otherwise it doesn't bother me

Pandemoniaa Thu 07-Mar-13 15:10:36

People can decide to have whoever they want at their weddings. But at the same time, it's not reasonable to put pressure on guests to attend child-free weddings when this isn't going to be possible. Also, decisions should be made early on so that nobody is under any illusion about who is going to be invited. Also, clear guidelines need to be issued so far as whether very young (and quite possibly ebf) babies count as "no children" or whether there's some sort of cut-off point for age. And then stick to their decision.

I also think it is a huge cop out when brides triumphantly claim that their decision to have a child free wedding is in the best interests of their guests with children - that old "but they can relax and let their hair down!" line of defence.

So yes, plan your day however you want it. But do accept that not everyone has childcare, not everyone can, or wants to, enjoy a night of unrivalled, bacchanalian revelry without their dcs and accept, with good grace, that if your invitation is turned down then it may very well be a direct result of the no children rule.

Illustrationaddict Thu 07-Mar-13 17:29:51

It really upsets me when people other than the bride or groom start to dictate what should be the etiquette at their wedding, it is their day after all.

When we got married you wouldn't believe how political decisions became. We had no choice but to cut numbers due to cost, venue size etc. This included axing cousins and having to tell MIL that no she could only invite x friends. I spent about a month worrying about telling my friends with babies about our decision not to invite their offspring. I genuinely wanted them to be relaxed and have a good time without their usual responsibility. It was not a decision taken lightly at all, but one formed from weddings I had been to previously.

One of my friends admitted to me whilst she had first been disappointed at DS not being able to come, that after the initial reaction she began to look at it as a weekend away with DH and she said they had the best time they'd had in ages at a wedding.

Just to illustrate my point, I went to a wedding a few months ago where children were invited. During the speeches, two children started to kick off. Parent took children out of the room, however they started to have a screaming contest outside the room. Many of the guests could hear them over the speeches. The bride was oblivious, until she got her wedding video back, and now thats all she can hear over her Dads speech.

ButternutSquish Thu 07-Mar-13 17:50:35

It's the Couple's Day, their rules etc but they should be pressuring anyone to come who can't or won't get childcare.

I'm getting married in 2 weeks and we have some children coming to our wedding. They are my neices, our godchildren and other children who we know well from being friends with their parents. Other people who have children have been invited but their children haven't.

No-one has said anything at all, although pre-invite we had the 'family unit' comment from a friend who has 3 children (who we don't know) but we haven't invited them and they are still coming. Not a murmur about 'family unit' at all.

We have some family who haven't been invited as we never see them and they don't bother to even send a Christmas card & we only want to invite people we genuinely want to spend the day with.

My DP was quite anti-children for the reasons of noise etc but I convinced him that these little people were in my/our life, so should be there. But I'm not inviting my Boss's 4 kids and another Boss's 4 kids,....etc

ButternutSquish Thu 07-Mar-13 17:51:03

'should not' of course

Jengnr Thu 07-Mar-13 19:06:36

We had a 'no children' wedding. Ish. I invited my niece (bridesmaid) and would have invited his niece and nephew (would have been pageboy, other was a baby) but BIL and SIL said they didn't want them to come. My brother and SIL had a friend pick up their daughter after the meal so they could let their hair down in the evening.

It wasn't for thinking 'children don't belong at weddings' it was because most of our friends have at least one child and it was purely a logistical issue. If we'd have invited children we simply would not have been able to invite many of the dear friends we wanted there. I would have liked to invite some of my friends children (those that I know and am close to) but that would then have been very unfair.

The only people who couldn't come in the end were a couple who were flying in from NI - she was heavily pregnant and advised not to travel due to high BP. sad. We had a brilliant wedding and the friends that got babysitters all agreed that they wouldn't have had as much fun had they had their children to look after.

Now I have a baby myself and we've been invited to a wedding but not the baby. Completely understand and will be getting a sitter for him. Had it been logistically too difficult to do (we are very lucky with family) my husband would go alone as it is his friend. When I was pregnant my best froend had a secret wedding in Kos and I went without my husband as he couldn't get time off.

kerala Thu 07-Mar-13 19:21:14

YANBU it depends on the circumstances of the couple too. My youngest sister and her DH both youngest of 3 siblings and married a year or two after the majority of their friends. Family DC alone are 9 under sixes if they had invited friends DC there would have been around 40, most toddlers rather than babes in arms or over 6s so the most (ahem) challenging age. It would have been mayhem - why should they have a family fun day wedding just because that was how the timing worked out whilst their friends and older siblings get elegant adult weddings as they married before most people they knew had children? Not fair to criticise IMO.

That said BIL had a child free wedding our two DDs only children in either family. We rarely see them but had lunch with them a few weeks before the wedding. Got a call that evening saying the girls were invited after all think he had imagined them as wild toddlers whereas now they are perfectly capable of sitting through a meal and colouring through the speeches. It was lovely having them there but totally respected their original decision.

CockyPants Thu 07-Mar-13 19:42:52

Ok folks, how about this story?
My only cousin on my mums side got married 2 years ago. Invites were sent out, no mention of kids either way. After we had accepted, suddenly cousin announces no kids at all. I have a DD who was 4, the only grandchild great cousin etc on my mums side. Basically it's just me my DB cousin and DD. cousin was moving to Oz a month after wedding. DD had never met my cousin and I hadn't seen cousin for years. I ask nicely if I could bring DD as this was probably going to be only time she would see him, and I wanted to say goodbye. Cousin said no. Had even said no to other guests who were breast feeding babies, so they had to decline too. I offered to pay for my DDs meal etc. My DF offered not to go so DD could go ie no change in costs to the couple. Cousin said no. My family and cousins Mum and Dad my aunt and uncle were devastated. She is their only grand niece. It's caused a huge rift in the family. Few weeks later cousin left for Oz. have not heard from him since.

Actually the opposite of a wedding, but at my nan's funeral there were quite a few family members that were most put out that DH hadn't come with me. They didn't seem to get that our only childcare was my mum, and she wasn't about to miss her own MOTHER'S funeral to babysit. hmm I kept being asked why I couldn't have left them with DH's family. Because he doesn't have any family! They just looked at me like this...confused I'm not sure what they expected me to do with my 5 and 2 year olds, so DH could come with me? Leave them with 16 year old DSD and make her miss a day of school perhaps? confusedhmm

Fillyjonk75 Thu 07-Mar-13 20:23:03

As a bride and groom, your first thought should be for your guests and trying to make things really enjoyable and as convenient for them. It's not about you, it's about everyone celebrating together with you. People still say to us unprompted nearly 9 years later how much they enjoyed our wedding, or even that it was the best wedding they'd been to. It's not about vast expense, showing off, it's about thought, care and attention.

Fillyjonk75 Thu 07-Mar-13 20:26:19

That's awful, cocky. sad

Jengnr Thu 07-Mar-13 20:33:36

You see I don't think Cocky's story is awful. It was a child the bride and groom hadn't met. If it was a child they were close to then that would be different.

And filly, it IS abput the bride and groom. That doesn't make it about expense or showing off.

DontmindifIdo Thu 07-Mar-13 20:41:49

Cocky - you hadn't seen him for years and he'd never met your 4 year old DD when he lived in the UK but wanted to use his wedding as a big good bye to him?

At the risk of being harsh, have you thought that if he hadn't bothered to look you up and you hadn't done the same for him for over 4 years, he might not be all that bothered about you being at the wedding or not? Plus, if you really cared about seeing him, why hadn't you seen him in over 4 years? Why hadn't he ever met your DD? Why should he change his wedding to accomodate someone he barely knows? (If he'd not met your 4 year old DD there's no way you can suggest you are someone who is close, had you even met the bride?)

Why did you need a big goodbye to him, you were hardly going to miss him, you don't get to change someone's wedding into the event you want it to be, plus if his parents were really upset you wouldn't get a chance to say goodbye to him, what was stopping them organising a leaving party for him...

Plus while yours might have been the only DC on your side of the family, that doesn't mean on his DWs side there weren't a lot.

wherearemysocka Thu 07-Mar-13 20:48:44

My life revolves a lot around the needs of other people's children. What time they come over for dinner, what we end up doing if we meet up for lunch, how much notice I need to give for a night out. That's fair enough, my life is much more flexible than theirs and I'm happy to do it.

I don't think it's unreasonable to ask for one day, one day which you have been looking forward to and saving for, where things go the way that you want. I like my friends' children but the presence of children at a wedding changes the dynamic. How many formal functions normally have children present?

Mia4 Thu 07-Mar-13 21:11:17

YANBU, their wedding their choice. However if they bitch about people turning down the invite, being unable to make, then they are unreasonable and becoming Bride and Groomzilla. Just as those who expect people to change their plans for their children are unreasonable.

Everyone can be reasonable so long as people say upfront a 'no' and it's accepted and no one is expected to change or seen as unreasonable for their wants.

bumperella Thu 07-Mar-13 22:05:40

So long as is made clear, then fine by me! Me and DH were invited to his freinds wedding at other end of country, child-free. I stayed home with DD, and he went to wedding. No big deal - the groom was primarily his freind so not a big issue for me to skip it.

It all seems to be more about looking to take offence and get uppity for family who you're maybe not really that fond of anyhow, rather than a genuine issue.

FWIW, I also agree with DontmindifIdo.

Kiwiinkits Thu 07-Mar-13 22:54:05

In NZ (and I'm sure in the UK too) weddings are piss-ups. Taking kids to places where adults are drinking and possibly drunk is really bad parenting, IMO.

piprabbit Thu 07-Mar-13 23:01:38

Because inviting every single member of the family (from both sides) except for the one child is rude.
But as the parents you have to suck it up - although I do think the B&G's choice can have long term negative repercussions on their relationships with the rest of the family (remember that the mother of the bride is also the grandmother of the excluded child - don't expect everyone to feel fine about your choice).

WallyBantersJunkBox Thu 07-Mar-13 23:17:11

I don't really care if people want child free weddings but I have to agree with a lot of the comments on here:

You should be very clear on the invite and/or save the date card - I have had two very awkward conversations, one where my DS's godfather told us infront of DS that he couldn't come because of numbers. DS got far more upset than he had envisaged (and that I had actually).

You should understand that the costs can run into hundreds for childcare, hotels for grand parents etc and not get uppity if people can't attend because of this.

You should understand that sometimes people don't want to travel for hours on end away from their partners and children for an entire weekend for a wedding where they may only know a few people.

I also agree that for me, weddings are to bring people together to celebrate having friends and family in your lives, and the weddings I have enjoyed the most have been the ones where the detail was in making the guests feel inclusive and entertained.

OrangeLily Thu 07-Mar-13 23:54:15

Cockypants that actually sounds like you were incredibly rude IMO. You tried to for the issue.

If your family were that bothered they would have made alternative arrangements for meeting up that were about that instead of the cousins wedding.

Can you imagine if he had said yes to you and the everyone else turning Up without their kids.... They would end up hurt and angry!

OrangeLily Thu 07-Mar-13 23:54:45

* tried to force the issue

DioneTheDiabolist Fri 08-Mar-13 15:34:46

Cocky, do you wish now that you just accepted the invitation as it was, or declined and wished them the best, rather than cause a family rift?

CockyPants Fri 08-Mar-13 17:44:53

We declined as there was no one to look after DD (my mum does all our babysitting and she went to the wedding).
The 'rift' is solely between DP and me vs my cousin. My Uncle and Aunt were really annoyed that DD was not invited.
Looking at posts discussing my tale....Whether you agree with my POV there is no need to be unpleasant. Orange Lily, rude is as rude does....

DioneTheDiabolist Fri 08-Mar-13 18:44:07

Why did you let cause so much trouble? Surely it would have been easier and better to simply accept or decline the invitation once you knew that your DD wasn't invited? I get that you were disappointed that she wasn't invited, but your cousin didn't know her and did explain to you why it would be unfair to make an exception.

Illustrationaddict Sat 09-Mar-13 21:22:50

It is an honour to be invited to anyone's big day, and just because their arrangements don't suit how you'd like them, they are not trying to make your life difficult, they just thought, politely, that maybe you'd like to celebrate with them. They didn't invite children, so why would you expect to take a child?

I deal a lot with committees at work. They are a right pain. This reminds me of that. Say you invite 80 people to your wedding, what if 20 people request you make an exception for them? You can't please all of the people all of the time.

If you were spending £14k on a big blow out treat for your friends and family, then f&f started chipping in about how they thought you should spend the money on different things, things you didn't want to spend your money on. You would feel pretty upset at how ungrateful your f&f were.

MidnightMasquerader Sat 09-Mar-13 21:51:12

Totally agree ^^

And for people to let 'huge rifts' occur in families because they didn't get their way at someone else's wedding is actually really sad.

CockyPants Sat 09-Mar-13 21:56:51

Save the date and invite cards did not say no children.
We accepted. About a fortnight or so before wedding, cousin announced no children.
If people want a child free wedding, fine, but make it clear immediately, so that guests know what is going on and to reply accordingly.
As for budget, my DF offered not to go to let DD go in his place. So it wouldn't have made any difference money wise.
Hope this clarifies. Apologies OP for the hijack.

Illustrationaddict Sat 09-Mar-13 22:19:59

I don't think they actually need to say 'no children' on the invite, all you really need to check is who the invite 'invites'. If it says Joe and Joanna Bloggs, but no mention of little Jimmy Bloggs, that should be enough of a clue.

It was obviously not a money decision, they simply wanted an adult celebration.

It's a real shame this has caused a family rift, but tbh I think you might have been overly sensitive on this.

WallyBantersJunkBox Sun 10-Mar-13 16:24:44

I'm sorry to go off topic, but i really don't think it is an honour, to be invited to someone's wedding. Infact, the honour is supposed to be on you attending as a guest.

This is why a traditional wedding invitation will request the "honour of your presence", not "your presence to honour the bride and groom."

How arrogant would that be?

Surely the day should be about bringing people you care about together for a celebration of two lives and families coming together, making them comfortable, feeding and watering them and making sure they have a good time. And I mean the whole immediate family, not just the bride and groom.

Or should it be a show parade where the focus is as to whether the ubiquitous Chicken dinner, medley of seasonal vegetables and trio of desserts was served in more elegant surroundings than anyone eles's.....whilst guests pay crippling prices for drinks and stand around bored sh*tless and starving in uncomfortable shoes for hours of photo shoots?

I've attended both types and I know hitch I prefer....

itsMYNutella Sun 10-Mar-13 18:00:22

I have nothing against a bride and groom wanting a child free wedding.

What does bother me is my friend repeatedly contacting me (when she often doesn't reply to my messages) telling me how much she would love it if I could come to her wedding, but that she will totally understand if I can't make it. We would have to fly over, hire a car, pay for a hotel room and then find someone to babysit 4.5month old DS hmm

It has made me really sad that since I moved to live with DP she has made plans to visit me and cancelled them 4 times and rarely rings me and doesn't reply to my messages. I have been to visit her though and I do hope she will make it over here soon.

Still18atheart Sun 10-Mar-13 18:24:31

I agree with Illustration addict. That was how my parents always played it. the only people who are invited to the wedding are the people named on the invite.

Illustrationaddict Mon 11-Mar-13 21:01:48

All I can say is, if it's that much bother and expense to go to your 'friends' wedding, why bother going?

As for the whole 'honour' rant, I just think that it was really nice of my friends to include me on what is meant to be the happiest day of their lives, so it is an honour for me anyway. It may cost me some money to attend, but quite frankly as somebody who got married a year & a half ago, I'm pretty sure that if it's not a long distance or destination wedding it will most probably cost the bride & groom more money to have you there, unless you are super generous with your gifts. Just saying!

DioneTheDiabolist Mon 11-Mar-13 22:47:44

It is most definitely an Honour to be invited to someone's wedding. I have been to lots of different weddings and have been honored to be invited to every single one. Because regardless of whether they are child free or not, or whether I can attend or not, I have a friend who loves me enough to ask me to share their celebration.

Illustrationaddict Tue 12-Mar-13 20:10:42

Totally agree DioneTheDiabolist, I just don't get all the negativity towards being invited to somebodies wedding, embrace the fact they like you enough to ask you!

Jabiru Tue 12-Mar-13 20:33:56

I had a child free wedding but when I got married, not many of my friends had kids and one that did had willing local grandparents. It's harder when you get older and your friends have kids. I totally appreciate the cost though.

We declined an invitation when our daughter was 17 months old. The wedding took place over 2 days in the south west of England on NYE. Neither the bride nor groom had any connection with the south west (we are all in the north) and they really couldn't understand that it was impossible to find somebody to look after our daughter over new year. In the end they offered to hire a nanny at the venue who would arrive 15 minutes before the ceremony and cost us £200. There was no way I was putting our daughter through that (and paying for it) so we didn't go.

The couple have 2 kids now and I often wonder how they feel about their two day extravaganza looking back.

WallyBantersJunkBox Tue 12-Mar-13 22:59:27

Yes but in this day and age, how many weddings are "local"?

Most people go off to college and meet friends from around the UK or overseas.

The last wedding we attended cost us well over €2000 to attend when you add up travel, hotels (yes the venue of their dreams was the only place to stay without a 40 minute drive to anywhere with hotels so we had to suck it up and pay €250 a night for two nights), clothes, gifts etc.

What about the person on MN who received the invite stating €100 minimum gift voucher, no Coast dresses. shock Is that someone whose wedding you'd be honoured to attend?

Would they be ok if you turned up in a track suit, with no gift and parked a caravan in the grounds of their stately home, because the onus was just on you attending their special day? I guess then you'd know if they were true friends or not. grin

I'm just too practical I guess. When a wedding party (and I'm not talking about the ceremony, which of course is an intimate event) is all about the bride and groom, and not about looking after the guests I find it a little bit immature and selfish.

But then people are either all for weddings or not bothered. I have enjoyed some, but I really don't get that excited about them. So I will have to agree to differ...

maddening Tue 12-Mar-13 23:04:12

Possibly because after the expense of hen do's, stag parties, expensive hotels in far away places and the gift list it would possibly help not to have to pay for or organise childcare in order to watch them get married and eat a mediocre meal of their choosing and be bored by their relatives giving speeches about them. 

GreyGardens Tue 12-Mar-13 23:05:21

yanbu Op. This one really is the battle of who could could care less...

WallyBantersJunkBox Tue 12-Mar-13 23:37:22

Oh dear Maddening I think you are in the same camp as me! grin

Perhaps it's a viable condition. Wedding fatigue.

maddening Tue 12-Mar-13 23:51:42

And I'm veggie so would always get the goats cheese starter and some tart for mains with balsamic vinegar.

maddening Tue 12-Mar-13 23:57:03

Actually the whole wedding thing is pants- I generally ddon't enjoy them anyway.

My favourite one was a pagan one by a waterfall with a simple buffet picnic then back to her parents back garden - all 20 of us - plus little ones (inc the bride and groom's dc) playing around and nice food and drink. Left at 9pm. They specified no gifts (I gave them a token pagan gift). Was lovely.

The rest of them are all the same and dull.

WallyBantersJunkBox Wed 13-Mar-13 00:01:36

Ah well thank your stars you weren't at a colleagues "Christmas" wedding, when a girl at our table said she couldn't eat the turkey dinner as she was a veggie. Cue them bringing back the same plate where they had scraped off the turkey slices (but left the meat gravy) and added a lovely clump of grated Cheddar to the plate!

We were gutted as it was the last of the turkey too. And the last of the china plates. And roast potatoes. confused Our table (12 work friends, at the back) ended up having a plate of red cabbage and brussel sprouts served on those blue plastic school plates. This was the only food served at 6pm after a wedding ceremony that commenced at midday.

We had to pack the one sober person into a car to buy all the boxes of crisps in the nearest newsagents and then sneak out to scoff them in small groups as not to offend the bridal party....

ComposHat Belgium Wed 13-Mar-13 00:09:48

This thread is a mumsnet classic/recurring nightmare and when I see one of these I always guess how many comments it will be before someone wails .... 'but weddings are all about family.' It is an utterly predictable response and utterly trite and meaningless statement.

It wasn't disappointed on this thread - post no. 3!

Our wedding is not all about family, it is about celebrating our day with people we are close to. Not children with whom we have a passing relationship with at best.

maddening Wed 13-Mar-13 00:10:37

You'd have to get drunk and pretend it wasn't happening.

ChaoticisasChaoticdoes Wed 13-Mar-13 00:17:55

Those who are among the first to get married, within their friendship groups, usually have the wedding they want and don't have to worry about the number of kids because, as has been said previously not many of their friends have kids. So why can't those who are amongst the last to get married, within that group, also have the wedding they want without having the added cost of numerous extra kids, that now exist?

FamiliesShareGerms Wed 13-Mar-13 07:28:58

Chaotic - maybe those who got married first did want the sort of wedding where there are lots of kids running around? Why the assumption that the wedding people want doesn't involve children?

And those who get married later don't have to invite children at all, but they just need to have some inkling of thoughtfulness that means they understand that by not allowing small bf babies to attend they are saying that the mother can't attend; and if they want a three day extravaganza on the other side of the world then quite a few parents won't be able to make it.

It really is as simple as that!

ApocalypseThen Wed 13-Mar-13 07:40:24

It's not as simple as that. If it were, you wouldn't have parents trying to pressurize brides into allowing their children/assuming invitations include their children/bringing their children uninvited.

ChaoticisasChaoticdoes Wed 13-Mar-13 12:36:35

Maybe some did want children there but you can't expect your friends to have children just so you can have children at your wedding grin

I don't think expecting all your friends to attend is reasonable whether that be a 3 day extravaganza abroad or not.

I'm thinking more along the lines of the bride and groom being able to have a wedding in a nice venue that has a more formal, adult feel to it than a child orientated informal affair. Not them expecting you to come but extending an invite to say they'd love you to be able to be there if you can.

Unfortunately, there are some people out there who get offended by the fact that their child(ren) hasn't been invited. They insist that a wedding is a family event and that children should be invited even if that means having 30+ children running around everywhere, increasing costs and changing the dynamic.

I went to a child free wedding of a friend of mine. It was a formal wedding and I was glad they weren't invited because they would have been bored stiff and I would have spent all my time keeping them occupied. Instead I went along alone, even though I knew no one but the bride and her immediate family and had a good time. The timings between ceremony and food weren't brilliant but that was even more reason to be glad the DC weren't there.

I appreciate that not everyone has childcare on tap. I didn't myself, I gave my ex nearly two years notice and reminders that I would need him to look after the children on that day. I know that some do have to decline because of lack of childcare but if you can get childcare and want to go then it's a nice thing to do.

MortifiedAdams Wed 13-Mar-13 12:38:43

I dont decline - I accept and find a babysitter, preferably one that can have dd overnight so I can let my hair down. However I do have family that can help so realise its not possible for evryone.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 13-Mar-13 17:30:47

Mortified I think you are really lucky to be in that position. Most people I know aren't.

Illustrationaddict Thu 14-Mar-13 20:17:24

WallyBantersJunkBox - your friend sounds a bit OTT, doubt I would have got an invite to that one, doubt I could be friends with somebody who expected such lavish gifts and expectations to stay in certain expensive hotels. I said no gift on my invite and we gave a list of all kinds of local accomodation to guests who were coming from a distance, although most of our guests were local and only had a taxi fare home, and of the ones who did travel, most stayed with friends anyway.

I've no issue with a child free wedding. My friend is getting married this year and its child free. My dd will still be mostly breastfed ( just turned 8 months at that point), and if there's not a place I can express, I'll have to just go to the evening function, as I can't not express for a whole day.

Ragwort Thu 14-Mar-13 20:46:06

I've no issue with a child free wedding - but when we went to the trouble of finding chidcare for our DC I was throughly put out to be seated on a table with the bride's children shock - youngish teenagers who I didn't know (we were friends of the groom) and who clearly had no interest in making small talk to DH and I for three tedious hours the evening.

Illustrationaddict Thu 14-Mar-13 22:06:32

Not much fun, but then again you can't really blame the bride for inviting her own children, would have been a bit rude not to!

The phrasing 'whilst we would love to invite the children of all our friends, we are only able to accommodate children of close family' might have been useful on that invite. Then again do teens count as children?

maninawomansworld Tue 19-Mar-13 10:18:24

Yes I know, some people have a real problem with it.
We are marrying soon and we have invited 5 children who we see a lot and know as people in their own right, rather than merely being the DC's of our friends.
A few people aren't happy about this but it's my wedding, I'm paying and I don't want it turned into a fecking playgroup! The children who are coming are very mature for their ages, well behaved kids who (most of the time) you could take anywhere and I'm looking forward to them being there.

Ragwort Wed 20-Mar-13 09:12:41

man - I think that's fair enough but if you have a formal seating plan I assume you wouldn't sit the children with adults whose children are not included in the invite (see my point grin).

Illstration - no, I wouldn't expect the teenage children to not have been invited but I would expect them to have been seated with their own family or family friends rather than some random strangers - which is what we were to them.

Quite honestly I am now at the age when I just turn down invitations to occasions that I am not going to enjoy - I expect most hosts/hostesses are only too relieved when not everyone accepts the invitation grin.

SirChenjin Wed 20-Mar-13 09:19:42

I don't know anyone who gets het up about children not being invited to weddings. Otoh we've had to decline invitations to weddings where our children (we're talking 2 teens and a 5 year old) haven't been invited because we have no-one who could take 3 children for an entire weekend - and then had to justify the decision to the bride!

DioneTheDiabolist Thu 21-Mar-13 21:04:00

SirChenin stick around. I didn't know it happened either until I became a Mnetter.shock

AmandaLF Fri 22-Mar-13 07:52:38

Doesn't bother me. Me and DH have a wedding this weekend. The invite didn't say ds's name so we double checked with the mother of the bride and there's no children apart from family. We've decided to make a night of it and have booked into the hotel so we don't need to come home.

We also have a wedding next weekend where ds is coming so I won't be drinking.

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