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Children at Weddings; Avoid or Embrace?

(43 Posts)
Jenniferkate Wed 04-Jul-12 15:58:36

Trying to decide whether or not to invite children to your wedding is a tough one... What does everyone think is the right thing to do?

mrsthomsontobe Mon 04-Mar-13 22:23:16

i personally would only invite family children or very very close friends children. i have been to 2 weddings. 1 where i was bridesmaid my daughter came, didnt understand why she had to sit with dad and wasnt allowed next to me (she was 3 at the time) was a little distressed but nothing to bad. she was there all day and left about 8 o'clock just after the 1st dance. the second wedding we went to , we were just guests, i had just had my 2nd daughter a month before but left her with grandparents and only took my eldest (4years) she was there all day, was very good, had a few dances at night and was picked up by grandparents at 9.30 which was a perfect time as from 9 she was starting to getting tired. this then left me and my partner the rest of the night to enjoy ourselfs without worrying about children.

momb Mon 04-Mar-13 22:05:43

We are getting married next year, and have booked the venue, a registrar, a bouncy castle, garden games and a circus entertainer even though we haven't sorted a caterer or a phtographer yet!!

NumericalMum Mon 04-Mar-13 21:41:00

What do you all do with your children when you go to "child free" weddings. We had to turn down an invitation last year as there was nobody to have my DC. In the end they insisted we come anyway and she was good as gold and had a ball (she was just 4). We went to a wedding in another country (so involving a long weekend stay and children weren't invited. THe bride didn't even have her own children. I made it very clear that we couldn't come and leave our DC in another country and obviously knew no babysitters there so she organised her nanny to have my DC too. Luckily my DC is very easy going about who she stays with!
The third wedding last year my sister was available to have my DC and there was a mix up and DH (it was his family wedding) had not told them DC wasn't coming and they had such a family friendly wedding I was so disappointed that DC wasn't at that one!

We had children at our wedding, but my mother insisted no babies. I was quite annoyed as my poor cousin had to find a babysitter for her 9 month old (obviously granny was at the wedding!) but they did come thankfully. I love children at weddings personally!

BertieBotts Mon 04-Mar-13 14:14:50

Embrace - but make sure the wedding caters for them! Took DS to a wedding which wasn't set up for children and it was very boring and overwhelming for him.

Am already planning child-friendly things to plan into our wedding grin

firepitguru Mon 04-Mar-13 13:47:53

Embrace! I got married last week and it was fab! Loads of kids, grand old house-make sure the venue are happy with kids charging about and aren't too precious. Our hosts were outstanding and didn't mind in the slightest kids taking over the place. In fact the children were barely seen, off playing with each other. It was lovely. Relax and enjoy it!

squinker45 Sat 02-Mar-13 21:52:14

Child free weddings shouldn't even be a thing.

It's not like children are a different species - these are people who will grow up and be part of the lives of the bride and groom in the future. Whoever started the idea that it should be a normal thing - it's wierd!

Fine if you don't want to take your children, but to actually say to people they cannot come is awful awful awful, and people fall out, forever, over the difference in opinion - which could never possibly be resolved as once a couple have decide they are not inviting children they get all defensive and convince themselves it's perfectly fine, normal, standard behaviour to exclude people, important people, family and friends from your wedding, of all things, based only on their age.

What's next - granny-free weddings? nobody over the age of 50? It's just as arbitrary. And discriminatory.

Of course, I have no previous experience in this area, nor have i ever been excluded from my best 'friends' wedding as I had a five month old who couldn't be left, and was not permitted to attend. ahem

And I haven't spoken to her since

breatheslowly Sat 02-Mar-13 18:43:22

It depends on how many children you know as they could add 50% extra guests or so if you know lots. DD has been invited to weddings but we tend not to take her, though are lucky enough to have parents who can take her for a weekend. It is nice that she is invited, but with a 2 year old with a 7.30 bedtime, it doesn't seem practical to take her

derektheladyhamster Sat 02-Mar-13 18:01:48

I like to go to a wedding without my children, so even if they are invited i don't take them, i want to get drunk grin

RatPants Sat 02-Mar-13 17:58:05

I invited children to my wedding but wouldn't want to take mine to a wedding iyswim. Would rather get dressed up and go with DH and a have a few drinks and not be zookeeper for a change. grin

Trills Sat 02-Mar-13 17:52:10

Are you aware that you've posted this in the "childminders, nannies, au pairs" section?

People who are statistically more likely to enjoy spending time with other peoples children?

Flowyzoey Sat 02-Mar-13 17:43:22

I may be in the minority here, but I don't think it's a clear cut decision. I actually wrote a blog post about this very subject a few days ago so would appreciate people's feedback on it if anyone would like to comment on the post and share their views? Am I OK to post a link, or is that not the done thing?

ninasneurons Fri 06-Jul-12 16:11:50


DerbyNottsLeicsNightNanny Fri 06-Jul-12 14:34:22

we had children at our wedding & I don't regret it (we didnt have children of our own at the time). Went to a wedding last year where family children were invited but not children of friends, we would have loved to be able to take our DS but understood & respected bride & grooms decision even though its not a decision I would have made myself. Going to a wedding in 2 weeks with no children at all - not even the grooms young nephews will be there. I think its down to invididual couples to decide what suits them - whatever you decide you may upset/offend some people but I think thats the nature of weddings!

I have done quite a few wedding nanny jobs lately which seems a good compromise - kids allowed but somewhere for them to go & play and someone to supervise them.

Hulababy Fri 06-Jul-12 14:20:58

I have been to a lot of weddings over the years, I have a big family, plus most of our friends are married too. None of the family wedding have been child free. They been in a range of places from churches to hotels or registry offices. In all that time I have never seen children allowed to run up and down, make lots of noise or cause havoc. A restless child has always been taken out. So it is perfectly possible to have weddings with children present and not have lots of chaos from them.

Only ever been to two child free weddings - of friends. They were ok, they were nice but they were an entirely different experience to going to a true family affair type wedding with people of all ages.

IME the family affair type ones were more fun overall, more relaxed and a more heartening experience. But that's my opinion only, not everyone wants that for their wedding.

DoingItForMyself Fri 06-Jul-12 13:22:31

If my DCs got stressed I would remove them from the situation and go back to the hotel room, as its no fun for me or them if they're tired. In reality, mine have always been happy running around with all the other children/napping in a pushchair, while we drink wine and chat to friends/relatives, then when it gets late they all have a little dance and we go home - I'm not a wild partier so I would be leaving by 9 anyway!

I haven't been to loads of weddings, but those that I have attended have always been pro-kids. The only one that wasn't was a friend whose wedding was a couple of weeks after my DS1 was born and she tactfully said that she wouldn't expect me to come as the baby would still be tiny and I probably wouldn't feel like it anyway (+ she didn't want screaming babies ruining her day, ha ha!) so needless to say I didn't go, I did think it was a bit odd at the time.

TroLoLoLo Fri 06-Jul-12 13:17:55

Depends on family and numbers, personally don't mind either way.

Rocky12 Fri 06-Jul-12 12:38:14

Oh blimey Doing... You must not be going to the same weddings as others, blowing bubbles, a joy and weddings. Are you having a dream....

Lottapianos Fri 06-Jul-12 12:38:03

Personally - avoid like the plague! My own view is that it's a day for adults, it doesn't mean anything to very little ones and they end up getting overwhelmed and out of hand. And parents are not always considerate with how they manage the ructions.

But whatever floats your boat.

ZuleikaD Fri 06-Jul-12 12:34:20

Blimey, Doing - really? Last wedding I went to both DD (1.5) and another toddler were massively stressed by 6pm.

Rocky12 Fri 06-Jul-12 12:33:30

Think by default you will have to invite the useless parents. I asked my SIL whether she was OK with my 3 year old, said I really didnt mind at all as the cemonery was very formal. And I really didnt mind. She said she wouldnt dream of not having him there but if she had said she wanted a more formal occasion or he was welcome to the party etc I wouldnt have minded at all.

DoingItForMyself Fri 06-Jul-12 12:23:32

Rocky, I would say those are both arguments for not inviting rude and useless parents to your wedding rather than not inviting children grin

Zuleika, I've never seen small children screaming the place down, I've seen them sprinkling petals, blowing bubbles, dancing, running round the grounds/gardens, my 3 yo DS was included in a v comical moment of the speeches. Lovely DCs with considerate parents are a joy at weddings.

ZuleikaD Fri 06-Jul-12 12:09:18

Apart from anything else, every time I've seen small children at a wedding they get massively overwhelmed and end up screaming the place down.

Rocky12 Fri 06-Jul-12 11:32:11

Avoid, when I am making my vows I dont want a small child screaming, running up and down the aisle or otherwise making what is a formal event comical. The parent who let her child run down the aisle to see the bride standing on her veil on her way thought it was very funny. The wedding had be stopped whilst this parent got hold of her daughter who proceeded to wail the house down.

I know you will all say its down to the parents to ensure that this doesnt happen but it does. The last wedding I went to had a young child and her mother in the row reserved for the immediate family. She was asked very nicely to move but insisted her 2 year old 'wanted to see the bride' and said she would stay where she was and just tried to shuffle along. One of ushers eventually had to have a quiet word and she moved off. So unless you are OK with this sort of behaviour I think avoid.....

YouOldSlag Thu 05-Jul-12 12:46:23

Embrace, but provide a distraction like ^^ balloon man, room with toys/DVDs/helper in maybe?

In my eyes, it's not a wedding unless there's a shot of the bride dancing with a little boy or girl with a comical height difference.

ZuleikaD Thu 05-Jul-12 12:42:02

We avoided because it was purely an evening do (got married at 5pm) so wouldn't have been practical for most in any case. I hate the whole-day kerfuffle (it was my second go-round grin) so decided to limit it to a thoroughly excellent few hours.

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