Is it Really Selfish to Not Invite Kids to Your Wedding?

Recently, Chaunie Brusie posted an opinion piece over on Your Tango about why she thinks it is selfish to have an adult-only wedding. You can imagine the debate this set off with people chiming in from both sides of the fence on this topic. While most people argued the matter in a mature fashion, stating an opinion and the reason behind it, there were a few comments that made me wonder if they were actually posted by children.

Of course, I have an opinion on this topic, because frankly I have an opinion on almost everything. I’m sure you’re all just dying to hear what I think, too, because we all know that ranting and raving on a blog changes people’s minds about a firmly held belief they are passionate about.

Kids, Weddings, and the Parents Who Are the REAL Problem

You know, most people who have adult-only events do not choose to do so because they dislike children, want to make your life difficult, or want you to have to shell out money for a babysitter. The REAL problem anymore is that some parents don’t make their children behave at home and thus the children have no idea how to behave when they get in a situation where quiet respect is called for, say a wedding ceremony.

Out of the last three weddings I was invited to, two allowed children. At both of those weddings, you could barely hear the couple reciting their vows because there was a child screaming through the ceremony. At the first, the parent did not get up and take the child out, even though it clearly stated in the program that there was a cry room at the back of the church. I cringed for the couple who had worked so hard to plan this wonderful ceremony.

I should also add that these were not babies. The children disrupting the service were four or five years old and thus their lungs were very well developed.

I don’t blame the children. They are just children. I blame the inconsiderate parents who did not a) train their child to behave like a human being at home, or b) if the child was just having a bad day because every child does at some point, take them out of the church so the couple could have a quiet ceremony.

Who Is the Selfish One?

Ms. Brusie, I don’t know you. I have no idea what led you to write the post you did about adult-only weddings being selfish. Perhaps your feelings were hurt or you were having a bad day. However, I will say that the tone of your post is pretty self-righteous. Why would anyone care whether you have to hire a babysitter? Don’t you hire a babysitter when you go out for an evening with your husband or somewhere that those under 18 aren’t allowed? How is this any different?

Even if this is a family member and the rest of your family is attending the wedding, it will be on ONE side of your family. Doesn’t the father of your children have someone you can get to watch your children for the day? If not, you might want to look at why no one is volunteering to watch them.

Keep in mind that I have two daughters, now grown. I have been invited to weddings where they could go and I have been invited to weddings where they could not go. I also have had to take a crying baby outside until the ceremony was over to avoid interrupting the vows. I’ve had to sit at home because I didn’t have  babysitter.

I’ve been there. I’m not completely without sympathy, but I also believe that a couple’s wedding day should be everything THEY want and not at all what YOU want. I have always respected the spirit of the invitation and if I didn’t have a babysitter, I didn’t whine about it. I just didn’t go to the wedding and instead sent a gift to them and wished them well.

But, I Am the Parent Who Takes Their Child Out

If you say this, then here’s a newsflash. Some kids are LOUD. They are much louder than you realize. Just because you stand at the back of the room does not mean we can no longer hear the screaming. Just because you think it’s a joy that your child is running around the reception tables, shrieking and tripping little old ladies, does not mean everyone else thinks it is a joy.

Here’s a hint: When people start throwing glances your way and conversations stop, that is our signal to remove your child, calm him down and not come back until he can behave like a human being instead of a crazed wild beast. We aren’t glancing because we think it is cute that he just knocked over the wedding cake.

You can absolutely think a child is adorable, but be completely irritated by their behavior.  I once dealt with a child at an event (not a wedding) putting his sticky hands all over my brand new, and rather expensive cloth purse while his mother laughed hysterically at how “cute” he was. He was cute, but his sticky hands that ruined my purse were not.

I know of another child that always puts his hands on every bit of food laid out buffet style. Who knows the last time those hands were washed. Again, completely the parents’ fault for not teaching him, gently correcting, or watching his behavior and stopping it. Still, would you want that at your wedding?

The Bottom Line

Don’t take it so personal. Your child might be an angel. However, there are other children tripping old ladies, ruining purses and knocking over wedding cakes. If the bride and groom make the rule that this tripping, cake destroying, purse killer of a child can’t come, they have to include all children to keep things fair.

Everything I’ve written in this post will not change a single person’s mind. Before reading this post, if you thought that adult-only weddings were cruel attacks on you and your children, then you likely still think that. If you thought they were a brilliant idea and you truly wish no other child would ever attend another wedding, then you probably still think that, too. Essentially, we’ve all just wasted another few minutes of our lives over differing opinions that really don’t change anything.

Guess what? If you comment, we can probably waste another ten minutes, so feel free to share your opinion.

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Crabby Housewife

Crabby Housewife

Lori is a full-time housewife and writer, living in the Midwest with her husband of 27 years - they have two daughters. They have a house full of pets and her house is never quite perfect.