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Kids at Weddings

Kids At Weddings

By Amalah

Hi Amy,

I never thought I’d be writing you, but I’m having trouble resisting posting passive-aggressive updates on Facebook and Twitter requesting help from my friends, so here goes.

My fiancé and I just went to his sister’s wedding. It was a bit of a wake-up call for me, as I hadn’t really comprehended how different his family is from mine. Most of the differences were fine and some were wonderful, however, one glaring difference has just caused a big fight between us and put a stop to our own wedding planning. His family always invites children of all ages to weddings, and it causes a lot of upset feelings when children are not invited. My family, and my parent’s friends, do not invite children to weddings. Until now it had never occurred to my fiance that children wouldn’t be invited to our wedding, and vice versa for me.

Here’s the twist that makes compromise a bit difficult. I don’t particularly enjoy having lots of children around. One or two children, one-on-one, that’s fun. Many children, especially at events not designed especially for children? Not a big fan. Kids get crabby, some parents aren’t attentive – and in the case of the children at least, I totally understand. They’re still learning and no one can expect them to behave like little angels all the time. And even the most engaged and attentive parent can’t actually control their children, they can only guide them. Which is why I don’t always think weddings are the best place for kids. At my own wedding – a high-stress, chaotic day – I worry that I might start crying, or even worse, snap at the kid or their parent.

Several of the compromises we have thrown around have already been dismissed so I would like your advice and the thoughts of your readers. Some background info – the venue isn’t a hotel (backyard type wedding), and my fiancé already dismissed the idea that we set up a special event for the kids to go to instead of the wedding – like a pool party or movie or game night. We want a fairly casual outdoor wedding, so it wouldn’t be possible to set the time back late enough that it would be too late for kids to attend, and we wouldn’t have the excuse that the event is too formal. It’s either kids at the wedding leaving me a ball of annoyed stress, or a very unhappy fiancé with no guests on his side (he says his family will boycott the wedding if the kids aren’t invited – it’s happened before, and the other couples were trying to save money, not evil, mean, migraine-prone women like me who are easily annoyed).

Maybe you and your creative readers have some ideas for an amazing compromise? Or should I resign myself to a courthouse wedding and dinner with our parents (which is where our argument left us)?

A

Hmm. Okay. Call me a people-pleaser like poor Oh Crap from Wednesday’s column, but I feel compelled to warn you up front that you are probably not going to like my answer.

You don’t think kids belong at weddings. I generally agree, with a couple exceptions. I don’t think kids belong at evening formal weddings that stretch long past bedtime,  at fancy non-kid-friendly venues. Casual backyard-type weddings? I don’t think it’s at all inappropriate to have children, provided there’s enough space and nothing dangerous like open, unfenced pools. But even this depends on the couple.

The couple. Who are always perfectly entitled to their preference about kids or no-kids. But NOT just the bride. Your fiance says not inviting children will cause a lot of upset in his family, to the point of boycotting the wedding. Oh my GOD. You just…can’t let that happen. Full stop. Sure, you disagree and think they’re all being crazy and unreasonable and it’s your daaaaay too, but…gah. Welcome to married life. His family is going to be YOUR family.  In fact, go ahead and start thinking of them as YOUR family.

Is a huge kerfluffle over kids at the wedding REALLY how you want your big introduction to them to go? Being the bride who hates children? (I’m not saying you do! But I can guarantee that’s what members of his family will think, given the general details of the wedding that don’t particularly scream “NO KIDS”. And I would also bet cash money that they’re a family who knows how to hold a grudge.) I get that it’s not what you pictured, and even though I’m a parent I hate kiddie birthday parties with the heat of a thousand suns because there are just. so many. children, but I feel like you might be imagining a worst-case scenario for you (misbehaving kids stressing you the hell out) that STILL isn’t as bad as the worst-case scenario for your fiance (family strife, boycott, etc.). This isn’t a case of what you want vs. what he wants. It’s what you want vs. what his entire family and side of the guest list wants.

So. Yeah. I don’t see any way around it, unless you do decide to overhaul your wedding concept to destination or elopement or to a venue with rules about children. His family traditions count too. This will probably be the first of many traditions you not-so-secretly find to be annoying. I admit I’m a little concerned that it turned into a huge fight and an courthouse impasse — is the wedding stress really already running that high? Even without kids in attendance, is it possible that you’re just struggling with some serious anxiety to begin with? You’re already calling your future wedding day “high-stress” and “chaotic,” which…not exactly what most brides have in mind, especially this early in the planning phase, when you should feel like you still have the power to do whatever possible to minimize wedding-day stress.

Have disagreements about his family/your family or differing backgrounds come up before? You mention the recent wedding as being the first time you comprehended how different his family is from yours. That’s a loaded statement, and I’m guessing you’re talking about more than just wedding guest lists. Again: You’re marrying into this family. If you have problems with them, talk about it now, preferably in pre-wedding counseling, and not during fights over every Thanksgiving and Christmas from here to eternity.

But stepping back to the wedding: You’re going to proceed and do everything in your power to reduce your stress level. To stop with the fears that your day is going to be out-of-control chaos and migraine-laden because one little thing went wrong. (Kids misbehave, sure. BUT SO DO PLENTY OF GROWN-UPS, particularly at weddings.) I really think you should look into hiring a professional wedding planner, or at least enlist the help of a few friends on the day of the wedding. Delegate everything. Put people in charge of everything. I’m assuming some of the kids in his family are pre-teens and teenagers, no? Hire them. Pay them a few bucks to serve as babysitters, little-kid-entertainers, general-child-wranglers. Set up a kids’ table or tent (somewhere hidden, if possible, away from the food and tables and dancefloor or whatever) and stock it with crayons and a Wii or whatever else would appeal to the ages in attendance.

And say it with me: Your wedding day is going to be fine. Beautiful! Low-stress and casual, not high-stress and chaotic. A wonderful day celebrating with your family and his family — including your new cousins and nieces and nephews. Plus, you already know that you’ll never have to find a babysitter for your own hypothetical kid at any and all future family weddings.

Amalah
About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch

Amalah

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Ama...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to [email protected].

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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camille
Guest
camille

My husband and I had a backyard reception at my parents house where kids were welcome…we had 80 guests and 20 of them were ages 1 through 10. It was a fantastic time, and, in the end, we barely interacted with the kids because they were so busy playing in the yard. The key to the successful day was the crapload of toys we picked up at the dollar store to keep them entertained…foam rocket launchers, balls, gliders, bubbles, those skipping things that go around your ankle. I think we spent maybe $40, and it was easily the best money… Read more »

Morgan
Guest
Morgan

We wanted a childless wedding. We got married at 7:30 at night. Dessert buffet and open bar, no meal. Totally kid unfriendly, and we let everyone kind of know it upfront. We still had about a dozen kids show up – mainly in nursing age but not all. One kid cried through the whole ceremony – I think – I was pretty in the moment and didn’t really notice. Did it matter one BIT? Did it ruin anything? Of course not. It even made for some cute picture. It’s really only as bit of a deal as you make it… Read more »

Diana
Guest
Diana

I went to one wedding with about 30-50 children in attendance. The keys were to 1) hire babysitters, 2) set up a children’s play area off to a side with toys, 3) arrange child friendly food, probably served earlier than the adults meal. If you do all that, the kids will have a great time and you won’t have to interact with them at all.

Erin
Guest
Erin

I’m with Amy on this one. You are going to be so busy the day of the wedding chatting to all of your guests and dancing with your new hubby that you will barely notice they are there. Seriously. Don’t start a war with his family before you are even married or you will regret it. Let this one go and focus on the happiness of the day- everything will fall into place. (And congrats!)

sarah
Guest
sarah

When we got married, my brother and (current) stepson were both 6 years old. So many people asked if there would be kids at the wedding – it boggled my mind because OF COURSE. Those two could have cared less about being there, being included, etc, but for the family it was a statement that every member of the family is valued.  We had our ceremony on the beach & I provided goodie bags for the kids with quiet activities (coloring, bubbles) and snacks (blow pops & goldfish) because if you are asking kids to sit still for 15 minutes,… Read more »

Julia
Guest
Julia

I also saw some red flags reading about how big of a fight this turned into. Some may say finances are the biggest reason people divorce, but I think boundaries/in laws are a close runner up. You have to decide if dealing with a family like this is a dealbreaker for you, because this will not be the last time they threaten to boycott an event or generally try to make your life a living hell if you disagree with “their way.” If your fiance sides with them every time, or bends over backwards to keep the peace, the marriage… Read more »

lolismum
Guest
lolismum

Had a formal wedding of 300 people, about 30 kids, never even noticed them. People are eating,drinking, chatting, dancing, it’s a big party, why even pay attention to the kids, they are not your problem. A kid play table sounds great, especially at a backyard event.

And, yes, I agree with Amy, there are some serious underlying issues here that have nothing to do with kids. I think you should address them before getting married.

Cheryl S.
Guest
Cheryl S.

I’m with Amalah on this one. Formal wedding? No kids. [There were no children invited to my formal evening wedding. One table of people boycotted on my hubby’s side.] BUT, if you are having a backyard, informal wedding, AND this is going to cause WWIII in the family you are marrying into, you MUST invite the children. PERIOD. Like Amalah said — Welcome to the world of marriage compromise. I also agree that if you are this stressed out already, there may be some deeper issues you need to look into before you get married.

JCF
Guest
JCF

We had a cocktail-party type wedding reception in my parents’ backyard with about 130 guests (maybe a dozen or so of them were under 10), and I honestly never noticed them. I mean, yes, I was walking around chatting with guests and noticed that there were children, but nothing screamed CHILDFEST about the event. As far as I knew, everyone behaved, and there was live music, there were towering food tables, and lots of kid-friendly food and beverages (nothing special and specific for the kids, but just lots of yummy finger-foods), and the kids just had fun. Chances are that… Read more »

Christen
Guest

I, too, am in the throes of wedding planning and I think the guest list is the biggest point of contention for any couple/family. And it sort of leads me to wonder if your stress level is more about feeling out of control in this decision? I am by no means calling you a control-freak here, and I feel you (we are having a kid-free wedding and some friends have been cool while others are annoyed) but I also know that it’s not necessarily about the children themselves. It still costs money to feed them, set up the extra entertainment… Read more »

Christen
Guest

PS If this really IS about not wanting a celebration with kids hopped up on sugar tearing around or having to walk around the Slip-n-Slide in your wedding dress…may I suggest you two throw (or maybe your side of the family would host?) an engagment party with a more grown-up vibe. Invite both families and some close friends, but make it an after 6 cocktail party. You get the adults-only event, his family still gets to drag all their kids to a wedding.

Belle
Guest

I’ve never even been bothered my kids at a wedding. They always always always entertain each other if there are enough of them and they are around the same age. And I certainty don’t think, even if they are misbehaving, that it will even come to the bride’s attention. Parents, friends, SOMEONE usually has an eye on the children. Brides aren’t babysitting…

Dmom
Guest
Dmom

We had a very limited budget at our wedding but still wanted the big formal shin-dig that you always dream of. (That incidentally MY HUSBAND always dreamt of, I wanted to hit a beach somewhere with umbrellas in the drinks and get married at sunset, but…ehh) Anyway, we ended up having 64 people, inlcuding us and out children and we stated no children from the get go simply because EVERYONE we know has kids and it would have doubled our guest list. We had a couple of exceptions…1) our 9 year old nephew who we are both really close to… Read more »

Bonnie
Guest
Bonnie

We had a pretty informal outdoor wedding just last year and of the 80 guests in attendance, about a dozen were 12 and under. Let me tell you I didn’t even NOTICE there were children there. Not only are you going to be too busy doing things like pictures and cake cutting and garter/bouquet toss, and the millions of things you’re expected to do before you can even sit down! Or maybe it just seems like that afterwards because it all goes by so fast. I agree with what everyone has said so far and they were all thins I… Read more »

Ginger
Guest

This exact thing was the biggest fight in my own wedding planning, between myself and my mother. Our end solution? We had a separate area for kids during the ceremony, when I thought it was really ok to be like “hey this needs to be quiet and calm and about us and these words” and then let the kids do whatever during the reception. We offered a side area with a movie, some toys and games and treats for the ceremony (and a babysitter), and then their parents were free to leave them there during the reception or they could… Read more »

Martha
Guest
Martha

I think this is great advice, Amy. I had a backyard type wedding and I think kids do fine at this type of wedding. I really valued the presence of my entire community at my wedding – including kids.

Eris
Guest

I wonder if the future bride is worried because the children were a nightmare at the wedding she just attended? All the other comments mention wonderful weddings and ideas but I have many cousins and have been to literally dozens of weddings and I have witnessed nightmare child wedding scenarios. Is “A” reeling from shell shock because she witnessed the worst possible outcome of having children around or is she just worried like any normal person would be? Out of 30ish weddings I’d say children were only a massive disaster at a couple, mostly screaming, yelling, or crying during the… Read more »

Kate
Guest
Kate

I want to jump in to commend Amalah on her wise advice. I also want to add that as a mother (daughter is 20 months), I ALWAYS make a point of asking specifically if children are invited to whatever wedding we’re invited to before deciding whether or not to go.  We’ve never “boycotted” a wedding out of spite/never taken offense if our daughter is not invited, but since many of the weddings we’re invited to are hours away, logistics do sometimes come into play as to whether or not we accept an invitation.   I say so that if you… Read more »

Missy
Guest

When I got married (in the Dark Ages, 10 years(!!!) ago. Shut up, I was an infant at the time), we had a ton of kids at the wedding. I had 5 flower girls in the wedding, too. It was pretty traditional in both our families to include kids, plus almost everyone was coming in from out of town.  And guess what? It worked out JUST FINE. The kids had fun, there was plenty of ginger ale to go around, and we set up a kids room with a couple of hired teen babysitters. There are some great pictures of little… Read more »

Karen
Guest
Karen

Forget the kids issue for a second. There’s a sentence missing from the original post: “Hi Amalah – I love my fiance very much and want to find a solution that respects him and his family’s tradition of including children at weddings.” Maybe I’m being too blunt, but if I were the guy, I’d turn and run for the hills before hitching up to someone who expects her wedding day to be chaotic and stressful; and admits to considering passive-aggressive Tweets as a potential outlet for communication. Would definitely recommend marriage counseling as a neutral forum for closing these sorts… Read more »

Julie
Guest
Julie

Since you mention you like kids in small, one on one situations, if possible I’d recommend getting to know some of the kids who are likely to attend from his side of the family in those kinds of small, one on one situations before the big day. That way it won’t be “OMG, KIDS!” it will be, “Hey, there’s Billy and Suzy. And isn’t Beth cute in her new sundress.” (Of course, this may not be possible if there are lots of long distance families.) Other than that, I second all of the advice above, including the “If you’ve seen… Read more »

Amy in StL
Guest
Amy in StL

I think it’s a huge red flag that her fiance is siding with his family instead of trying to work something out with her. I was married to a man who always took his mother/father’s side in every decision. She really needs to decide if she’s willing to turn over her whole life to his family’s whim or if she wants to live her life with someone who is on her side. Also, I think people are wrong who say if it’s an outdoor, casual wedding children MUST be invited. I don’t like kids at a wedding, I’ve never been… Read more »

lolismum
Guest
lolismum

Seriously Amy in StL ? Smearing poop on chairs? Are you kidding us? I have never ever seen children do that and I have been to dozens of weddings with kids and a million and four kiddie birthday parties. I have never ever seen poop on any chairs. Good grief, what kind of weddings are those?

Becky
Guest
Becky

I have to agree with a lot of the others that I would be really surprised if you’ll even notice the kids. I’ve been to a number of weddings, most of which included kids, and yet I can’t pick out a single incident or memory of a child that stands out. I can, however, remember the guest that got way too drunk or was dancing inappropriately or had a fight with her boyfriend. The fact is, adults can misbehave just as easily as children (and unfortunately there’s no one around to tell them to behave). I guess what concerns me… Read more »

NGS
Guest

Just to reiterate what Amalah said: I am forever the member of the family who hates children. I emphatically do NOT hate children, but I do not enjoy huge gobs of them together. My husband and I stuck to our guns (a few people boycotted) and didn’t invite kids. We had our 18 month old niece in for about ten minutes for family pictures and sent her away. But my inlaws? They STILL talk about how much we hate kids. My husband and I were on the same page, though. We were a united front. But I wish I had… Read more »

Txmama
Guest
Txmama

As usual, Amalah is dead-on here. The whole tone of the letter is really weird to me, although I can see where “A” is coming from. I do think it is not OK for the groom’s side to just assume all the kids are invited; that’s something the people doing the inviting get to decide. But I agree with 90% of the rest of you; kids, in general, do well at weddings. And when they don’t, in my experience, the parents take care of them! It’s very bizarre to me that it seems like the bride anticipates having to intervene… Read more »

Alison
Guest
Alison

What about guests that are out of town? I’ve been invited to two weddings this summer that are plane rides away. I have a one year old that’s still nursing, and that I don’t get to see nearly enough already because I work full time. Do I (a) spend even more money on the wedding weekend so I can take my daughter along and hire a babysitter I don’t know at the destination; or (b) leave her at home for three days (ugh) and run off to pump every few hours. One wedding was a cousin, and I just didn’t… Read more »

Anne
Guest
Anne

I am part of a big Irish family, and my mom wanted to invite all twenty-something of her first cousins (nearly all of whom have children), so we decided on the rule of thumb “no kids other than first cousins of the bride and groom.” And then we hired a babysitter on site to watch the young children of my mom’s cousins. The parents seemed to LOVE that option, because they could pop in to check on the little ones, but could also have a good, adult time. There are so many different options for how to handle this that… Read more »

ali
Guest
ali

We had kids at our wedding that sounds like a more formal affair than yours and had no problems at all. Actually, they made the evening really fun and were a blast to have on the dance floor. We had a candy bar instead of more typical favors, and the kids LOVED that (not so sure about their parents-ha). It’s all about attitude and how you choose to deal with the situation. If you decide to have a good time and have a fun day, you will. If you decide to be stressed out about everything and everyone’s potential actions,… Read more »

Christina
Guest

As someone who is getting married in two weeks and is pretty much just waiting for the ceremony to start because I have all the details set (what? I’m organized, okay.) I have X tips for you:

Christina
Guest

Apparently you can’t paragraph your comments…1. Disengage about family. The best choice I ever made was to just not discuss his family unless he asks. Don’t complain about them, don’t say anything. You will save yourself drama and help your marriage if you just take a deep breath and assume everyone means well. They don’t mean well but it doesn’t matter. 2. I personally called the mother of every child we invited (my family and his) even before they got invites and asked them what I could do to make their life easier regarding child care. I reminded them that… Read more »

Me
Guest
Me

We did not want kids at our formal wedding. One couple did show up with their baby. They looked completely foolish as it was obvious they went against our wishes. For the most part majority of both sides of the family were supportive. We are bringing our 1 year old son across the country with us for my BIL’s kid friendly wedding. If they did not want children, my son would have had fun with my parents. It would have fine with us if they wanted it kid free. Knowing where I am coming from I agree that you must… Read more »

gizella
Guest
gizella

so, I was the bride that did not invite kids, but I personally called each of my friends that had kids to talk about it with them. All but one couple did not actually want to bring their kids. I only had 50 guests due to finances etc, so it didn’t turn out to be a big deal. One couple was surprised, but ended up coming anyway and had a blast. However, I just went to an AWESOME kid-full wedding, where they hired a sitter to hang with the kids in the way way back, so that the parents could… Read more »

Life of a Doctor's Wife
Guest

I totally 100% agree with Amalah. But I want to add, I am very similar in that I am not a kid person, and I was super stressed over the idea of having kids at our wedding. But the instant I mentioned it to my mother, she put her foot down and said it would be too offensive to her sisters to leave the kids out. So I gave in because my stress around kids was less critical than the prospect of creating a rift between family members. And you know what? It was totally fine. The kids had their… Read more »

md
Guest
md

am i the only one bothered by the complete inflexibility of her fiance’s family? doesn’t “invite our kids or we will boycott your wedding” seem a bit controlling? what other things will the family be dictating in the years to come as her then-husband continues to spinelessly accede to their wishes? and the argument that she should give in because otherwise the family will continue to bring it up for years? really? i guess it’s good to know at the outset that decisions will be made in deference to his family’s passive-aggressive tendencies.

Aimee
Guest
Aimee

This is one of the biggest reasons that we will be eloping! I am with all the commenters who find large groups of children overwhelming and stressful. People automatically assume I hate children since I am childfree by choice, which is just not true at all. Since I already have to defend myself against these accusations (made without provocation on my part! I like most kids, really.), I am not going to add to it by having a big wedding and no kids. I would rather deal with the bitching about us not having anyone at the wedding instead of… Read more »

Jenny
Guest
Jenny

I kind of agree that you might have to allow the kids to the wedding just to keep the peace. And I suppose that you have already made up your mind, but I really think kids at weddings can be a really, really great time. The are fun at the dance and do stuff that make everyone laugh. There is nothing cuter than a picture of the bride dancing with a little kid. I will have the exact opposite problem as you because I will want everyone to bring their kids to my wedding, even if they want a night… Read more »

JenVegas
Guest
JenVegas

Aimee above said that “The ONLY thins a wedding should be focused on is the creation of a NEW family,..” And that’s true. By nature weddings are a FAMILY event, about family. (Family meaning both blood relations and the folks you just call your family, you know?) Kids are part of families and in my experience as a fairly recent bride, attender of weddings (as guest, bridesmaid and flower girl long, long ago) and organizer of weddings kids are a great thing to have at a wedding. They make for adorable pictures, everyone loves a little kid on the dance… Read more »

Liz
Guest
Liz

I had a backyard wedding and invited kids. I barely noticed them, and they had a great time. So did I! Honestly, you’ll be so busy visiting with friends and family that you won’t really be aware of the kids. By the time it’s your wedding day, you’ll have let go control over all those details you’re obsessing over right now. You can finally enjoy the party!

I still hold a grudge against an aunt who didn’t let me come to her wedding when I was 5.

M
Guest
M

I am also in the minority view that the answer should not be “you must invite kids, end of story.” There are indeed good reasons to seriously consider having kids at the wedding – namely, your future husband’s feelings, as well as the feelings and comfort of those guests with children that you want to be with on your wedding day. But I have never had any patience for family that threatens to boycott a wedding. This is the beginning of your marriage, which is going to be a lifetime of negotiations. It is understandable that this is difficult because… Read more »

Erin
Guest
Erin

Honestly, I didn’t even notice the kids at my wedding. I was too busy greeting people and drinking champagne. My mom put together little goodie bags for them with coloring books and slinkies and things, and they were all fine. They ranged from age 2 to 10, and the 10 year olds were old enough to have fun being part of a grown up event, and the little ones just had a blast dancing and stuff. No one got cranky or threw a tantrum, and we’ve got some fabulous video of a 2 year old, a 6 year old, and… Read more »

APL
Guest
APL

I know others have posted similar scenarios, but for what it’s worth, here’s what happened with us… I love kids (especially since I am a new mommy to a fabulous little girl), but I did NOT want them at my wedding. I even went so far as to hire a babysitter for the ceremony just in case some showed up, because the thing I REALLY didn’t want was some kid babbling away during my vows. Well, how did that go over with the fam, you ask? My side of the family ignored it and brought kids – and one talked… Read more »

charlotte
Guest
charlotte

I appear to be in the minority here….but let me just say that I love kids, and whenever I get married they will absolutely be there, I haven’t ever considered not having them……But I don’t believe that someone should be forced into something they’re not happy with because a family threatens to boycott. Hello???? That’s blackmail!! Any loving family who wants to be at the wedding of their son, brother, nephew whatever should not place conditions on that. I can’t believe it! “we want to see you get married, but only if you do it our way”? That raises my… Read more »

Kimm
Guest
Kimm

For during the ceremony, what about hiring a couple of babysitters, putting the kids in a bedroom or 2 at the venue-if it’s a house- watching movies or playing games. That’s what my brother in law did. Then the kids came to the reception. I think that’s a good compromise. The kids won’t interupt the ceremony, but they can be a part of the wedding at the reception.

kari weber
Guest
kari weber

I agree with Charlotte that the situation here is frustrating. On one hand- I don’t have a problem with kids at weddings. We had a very formal afternoon wedding and the kids came- and I couldn’t even have cared less. We didn’t have any problems at all. But- why is his side being so unreasonable? On the OTHER other side though…. his family being manipulative or evil may have NOTHING to do with her fiancé. He doesn’t control their behavior, but that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t want them at his day. Perhaps it SCARES HIM to think that his family… Read more »

Rachel
Guest
Rachel

I had a somewhat-formal wedding of about 180 people (ceremony at 6, all my bridesmaids wore floor-length black dresses, almost nobody wore jeans, etc) and like your fiance’s family, my family has never had a wedding where kids weren’t invited. I would (very roughly) guess that we had maybe 30-40 kids under 12 at mine? And we didn’t provide any type of kid “games” or “activities” or anything. And everything was fun. None of the kids went wild, a lot of them had a blast dancing on the dance floor (I have several adorable pictures of my 6-year-old ringbearer break… Read more »

ms martyr
Guest
ms martyr

Like one of the previous commenters, I wanted a simple ceremony with just immediate family and my best friend. My husband wanted a “party” so we ended up with a church wedding and inviting 200-250 people (I really can’t remember)This is to say I can fully understand this bride’s stress coming on early. I was stressed from the moment it was decided to have a “big” wedding which I absolutely did. not. want. I don’t even remember if kids were an issue and if there were any there, except for my husband’s six year old stepbrother. I just wanted the… Read more »

Holly
Guest
Holly

My much older cousin didn’t invite my sister and I to his wedding under a “no children” clause. My mom and grandmother almost didn’t go. Because, guess what? At the time, I was 20 years old and my sister was 16. Ha! Two years later, when *I* got married – we invited them. I think it was a huge wake up call that the one of the “children” who was not invited was suddenly getting married herself.

Jenn Bo
Guest
Jenn Bo

My wedding was an outdoor wedding @ 5 pm. There were a few children who attended (maybe about 8-10). We were pretty fortunate that there were not many guests with small children. I thought about having activiites for the kids, but the variety of ages made this difficult. Instead, I found out what each kid “liked”. I made little gift bags with appropriate themes (e.g., animals, dora, thomas, etc.) Then I had the gift bag waiting at the table (outdoor, but I still had assigned seating). I think this helped keep them preoccupied during dinner and the parents thought I… Read more »