Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Would You Opt For A Child-Free Wedding?


We had about a gazillion children present at our wedding. I think in the photo above, I had just finished telling the hoards of children that they would have to wait until the speeches were finished before descending upon the cupcakes. Honestly, there were kids there I didn't even know! But I didn't mind.

In fact, I thought it was really weird when people had weddings and/or receptions that were child-free. But then something happened...




I HAD KIDS OF MY OWN.

Suddenly, as a haggard and rundown mother, the idea of a child-free wedding sounded amazing! (No offense to the children pictured;)

This summer, I'm the Maid of Honor in my sister's wedding, and she has boldly opted for a child-free reception. Hooray. Children are welcome at the ceremony, but are then kindly asked to go home with a babysitter while the adults go along to the reception. If Coco and Theo weren't in the wedding, I would debate having them just stay home altogether. However, Coco will be the flower girl and Theo will be the ring bearer, so obviously they'll attend the ceremony. Once the knot is tied, the idea is that J and I will drive them home, where our overnight babysitter will be waiting for us, and then we'll leave the car at home and take a Lyft back to the reception. We're getting a hotel downtown for the night so we don't have to worry about getting home by any particular time and can sleep like bricks and wake up and have a whole morning, just together, sans enfants. I am so excited!

But not everyone shares my enthusiasm. A guest texted me wondering about the kids policy as the RSVP on the bride and groom's website had limited their maximum number of possible guests to TWO. (Insert crying/laughing emoji here. So genius!) I responded that I knew kids were welcome at the ceremony, but not the reception. The response was, "Hmmmm." Then a few minutes later, I got another text notifying me that the bride had been asked directly if two kids, aged 9 and 12, could attend anyway. As of my writing this post, I do not know the outcome of that.

This parent's reaction makes me think that maybe I don't love my kids enough, but so be it. Coco and Theo can miss me for a night while I'm off being an unencumbered adult having fun!

What's your stance on the child-free wedding? Did it change after you had children of your own? Or maybe you live in a culture where children always, or never, attend? Please share your thoughts in the comments below! xo

13 comments:

  1. I'm the total opposite- I had kids and suddenly really wanted them to share in weddings, when before I felt it was the bride's call. But being asked to leave a breastfeeding baby (5 months old) behind and pump just pressed all my buttons! I really feel like we come as a family and our pair are too little to leave with a sitter. When I got married the youngest potential guest was four and we asked his parents what they wanted to do- he was welcome but the only kid. They chose to leave him with grandparents. It should be a conversation, not an ultimatum.

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    1. I kind of think babies can fly under the radar. They're not running around or knocking things over. Their needs are easily met by parents who are obviously paying attention to them the whole time. I would never expect a breastfeeding baby to stay at home. I also know moms who left their four-month-olds for a three-night business trip and pumped the whole time and thought nothing of it! ;) So to each her own. But I would feel the same as you and I always had a hard time leaving my nursing babes for any amount of time. xx

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  2. Depending on the circumstances either/or would be fine with me. It's the day for the bride and groom.

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  3. Not my day, not my rules. I respect whichever is asked of me. My biggest pet peeve though are unattended children at any event. Sometimes they're fine but usually they're causing trouble while their parents are busy chatting it up.

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  4. We had kids at our wedding. In fact, I tried to make the kids goody bags to enjoy during the reception. I failed at the goody bags, but that's another story. I never understood NOT having kids at a wedding UNTIL (like you) I had my own. My sister got married last summer and she gained two daughters in the deal. My kids and her two girls were in the wedding. She asked me what to do and I said "SAY NO TO EVERY OTHER CHILD." She was conflicted. Part of her wanted no kiddos (other than mine and hers, who generally behave like monkeys, but whom we knew would be able to handle the wedding and reception), and part of her felt a little badly about it. So, the rule was only family members. We still had a pretty good group of kiddos at the wedding with cousins' kids. Anyway, we did have some close family friends who were slightly offended. Kind of like you, I ended-up fielding some questions about it on her behalf.

    I think there is a lot to be considered. . . cost of the meal, venue, time of the wedding, and of course, who your people are. Do they all have kids? Do only some of them? We had a morning wedding with a lunch. So did my sister. It seems more appropriate for kids to be present at a day wedding. Evening weddings, however, are more for adults. Either way, I like what Jessica Doll says "Not my day, not my rules."

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    1. Safety is a major issue at my sister's reception as it's on a rooftop penthouse with drops on all four sides!!!

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  5. You always post such interesting topics!! The last wedding I went to was my sister's 4 years ago and we (excluding Paloma because she wasn't around yet!) were all in the wedding. If Hunter weren't a nursing infant and our main sitter (my mom) weren't having fun at the reception herself, I would have gladly handed him off to have some fun adult time. Seriously, my sister and I used to party together ALL the time and it was a bummer to not get to party with her at the biggest party of her life! I agree with your other readers, setting and time of day are important factors. If I am ever invited to an evening wedding, I would expect it to be no kids and I would happily find a sitter. That said, I LOVE the IDEA of kids at weddings. Like a brunch wedding on a farm? Of course there should be children running around!! Agree with bottom line, "Not my day, not my rules." I wish everyone would see it that way! We have had a couple family squabbles over not everyone seeing it that way ;)

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  7. Nope. Sorry but to me this is a really ugly American thing. It would be unheard of in Germany. Weddings are about starting a family and they are family affairs. It should be up to your guests if they want to bring their children or not. If they want an evening out, they should get a sitter!

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  8. PS I hate the "their day their rules" idea. You want your guests to be comfortable right? You are hosting an event! Also let's be honest, when you are traveling and maybe staying in a hotel, it's expensive and hard to find a sitter.

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  9. We continue to receive gushing feedback from our guests about the wedding venues NYC. Their manager and his team really went above and beyond to ensure a seamless, special and magical event. I felt we got really lucky when we found out this space.

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  10. We had a "no kids" wedding. At the time there were no children in either of our families, and a lot of our friends, who we hadn't seen for years, had kids we'd never even met. Several of them thanked us for having an "adult" party. A few chose not to attend, but we still have no regrets.

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