have to invite children, REALLY don't want to

posted 2 years ago in Guests
Post # 31
173 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

I’m really pretty damn sure having someone to watch and entertain kids under 7 isn’t rude, but is in fact a positive thing that’s better for everyone including the kids. Websites like the Knot list it as a nice courtesy that everyone appreciates. That way the kids have more fun, the parents don’t have to worry about watching them, and neither do you. Just make sure activities are provided so it’s a better option for the kids than your boring adult wedding would be. Games, coloring, kids movie screening, pizza. Doesn’t matter how feral your particular crowd of kids might be, they’ll be happier that finally someone thought to invite them into a side room to watch cartoons. It can’t be rude, it’s literally going out of your way to cater to their needs.🙂

Post # 32
8168 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

moominboopin : 

 I am a stressy person, who likes everything, and I mean everything , to be in order. So just one cry, or laugh during ceremony or speeches seem like a disaster to me. And just kids being kids will upset me at my wedding.

My boyfriend thinks having a childminder and children in a seperate area is also rude. So i just really really don’t now how to make it work ,so I don’t   hate my own wedding. 

I’m with you in much preferring a childfree  wedding (or similar ceremony  ) and I get furious too with parents who think their  children screaming  is perfectly  OK  – or even amusing .

But I have to say that what you say of yourself – and it was very brave to  say it – is kind of OTT. One cry is a disaster ? You might hate your own wedding?  I think maybe you need to do a  little  work on this or everyday life itself  will bring you to your knees . I don’t think it’s  quite enough to dismiss it as ‘well I’m just a stressy  person’ ; what you describe  is  edging  towards the pathological  dear  OP ..


Post # 33
5978 posts
Bee Keeper

I think there are a few issues going on here. 

1. Neither you nor your fiance want children at the wedding and plan to be CFBC- yet your fiance will not even consider your reasonable compromise of having a childminder/ separate room with toys etc during the ceremony. You say he’d ‘rather die than be rude’. To me all of this adds up to a marriage where you’ll continually be expected to give in to his family’s wishes on all kinds of issues  so that you don’t rock the boat or upset anyone. 

ITA that this is his wedding too- so the groom should get equal say to the bride, but in this case the groom wants his family’s wishes to supercede both his and the bride’s and he isn’t even willing to compromise. 

2. elderbee :   “I don’t think it’s  quite enough to dismiss it as ‘well I’m just a stressy  person’ ; what you describe  is  edging  towards the pathological  dear  OP ..”

IA with this. You seem extremely rigid and precise to a degree that sounds worryingly over the top. Even though I adore kids and had them at my wedding, I do support the bride and groom’s right to have a child-free wedding- but the idealized ceremony you describe in perfectionist tones sounds like it has you wound so tight that even the slightest variation (someone coughing for example) will utterly ruin the pristineness of your ceremony. Truly, and I say this with concern not at all as a barb at you, this sounds worrying enough that you should speak to a doctor or therapist, this is far more than being a ‘stressy person’, it sounds as though stress consumes and controls you. 

Post # 34
29 posts
  • Wedding: December 2016

first of all: i think you really need to wrap your head around the fact that there will be things that won´t go accordingly to your plan at your wedding.

I had a wedding with children(92 guest, including 9 chidren aged 1 month- 9 years) and believe me, what i remember most, what bugged me, was my husband forgetting to pick up the bouquet, so we needed it to do togehter while we should arleady be taking wedding photos with our photographer, so our wedding shots were cut short and we were a bit late for the church (which i actually thought was funny and absolutely typical for us). And we had a lot more small things that went “wrong”.

BUT i loved my wedding, because it was my wedding.

If you don´t want to be rude and exclude children and you still want to be sure that it´s quiet in church, i would advise yout to mention preparations for children already on the invitations, e.g. seating possibilities are provided infront of the church for parents and children if the feel the ceremony is too long for the children.

Generally speaking it is a good idea to hire childcare persons to look after the children and provide entertainment. Just havwe in mind that especially children under the age of 3 won´t stay for a longer period of time with persons they don´t know, if at all.

Make some child entertainment bags as guest presents for the children.

Usually the parents should take small toys for entertainment for their children too.

If you and your husband are absolutely against children and can´t wrap your head around it, do what you think it´s best. Just don´t forget that their may be bigger issues than kids on your wedding, that could go wrong, if your easyly stressed out.


Post # 35
751 posts
Busy bee

nurseybee55 :  HE only gets this day once too. If those kids are members of his family, he has every right to expect them to be there.

Why do people always seem to forget tgat a wedding is TWO people getting married.

OP: stop being overly dramatic, and compromise. Your whole marriage will be about compromise, may as well start from day one!

Post # 36
6061 posts
Bee Keeper

FIs family also thinks its rude not to invite kids, but we stuck together and went ahead with no kids. It was awesome. Mother-In-Law was a bit miffed and kept trying to get us to change our minds but we didnt and we were happy that we didnt.

Post # 37
884 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 1983

Who is making the decisions in this marriage? The bride doesn’t want this, the groom doesn’t want this, but the groom’s family would be upset so we’ll do it their way–? A terrible precedent to set, letting the inlaws make the decisions.

Post # 38
1408 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

DeniseSecunda :  I love kids and didn’t mind having them at my afternoon wedding, but I also think some of OP’s concerns are legitimate. A friend of mine did not invite children, but a guest brought baby anyway. Baby cried during vows, so that part of ceremony was inaudible on video recording. As a child I went to many weddings, as back then most were daytime events, with kids usually included. I have a memory of running through a house where a reception was being held, and an adult yelling at me because I was running through the room where the wedding cake was set up. At another wedding, my sister and I went out on dance floor and I remember an adult coming along and politely getting us off the floor. We were little kids who meant no harm, but now I understand how the adults felt. A friend of mine also recalls finding other kids at a wedding and raising a little Cain with them. Does this always happen? No, but I don’t think it is unreasonable for this bride to be concerned. Many weddings today are formal nighttime affairs, and a lot of money has been put into that one day.

Post # 39
17 posts

1) Weddings are about family. These kids are family too. Why should people accept you as family, if you won’t accept them?

2) you can hire a professional wedding nanny to sit at the kids table and look after them, so the parents can relax.

Post # 40
713 posts
Busy bee

OP, people invite kids to weddings because they are part of our social fabric. I *wanted* my little nieces and nephews at my wedding, and so did my husband. Our wedding was about celebrating with loved ones – more about fun, laughter and merrymaking than perfection in execution. Now that’s us of course, and not everyone does things that way, but you genuinely seemed to want to understand why people invite kids to weddings. 

And surely you have more than snails on the menu! If your menu is versatile enough to suit the varied tastes of your adult guests, you should be good. My 2 year old eats more or less what we do, and she’s rarely exposed to ‘kids menu’ items. If my child were a fussy eater and super specific about what she ate, I’d just bring that thing along as backup rather than expect it to be served. 

As others have pointed out, you don’t need to change your venue either. Weddings with kids *do* take place at non Chuck-E-Cheese locations. 🙂

Post # 41
403 posts
Helper bee

eirlys :  I think I am more worried about the parent who gave their one year old a lollipop than any wedding – just saying. 

Post # 42
403 posts
Helper bee

I hope you and  your husband can come to a decision together – children or no children and it is your call.  As long as you have a principled approach ie invite one friend’s kids because they are well behaved versus another friend you don’t invite their kid – that wouldn’t be very nice or rational.  A more principled approach might be only the wedding party kids and that’s it.


There are always inherent risks with children at weddings.  Though I think a lot of the blame really goes to the parents.  It is always adding to the risk factor of having children in a wedding party – they tend to be less predictable. 

Some of  you said you have never seen kids ruin a wedding but I do remember reading in one thread a kid smearing feces on the bride’s dress.

I think many of us  think kids are cute and we accept some yelling and crying and some tantrums maybe even some joking belching or flatulence, some running around.  Admittedly the kids seem more cute when they are our kids.  

I am helping with a good friend’s wedding right now and there are two boys 5 and 7 and the parents think they are just cute because they are holy terrors.  They destroy things and the father will say boys will be boys.  If you are okay with that kind of behaviour – running, screaming, fighting that’s fine.  As long as you are prepared.  I happen to love kids but I admit a couple of hours of these two boys and they aren’t so cute – I think that might be part of the problem the parents and uncles and aunt treat it as cute.  But it is wearing thin.  Smeared feces on the bride or a crushed wedding cake might happen – its the nature of the beast in having kids present.  But they are the hope of the future.  – You just have to decide how much of a gambler are you and how much is family tradition means to you and your fiance.  I agree rarely do the ruin a wedding totally – they might be a bit of a pain – screaming during the vows, running on the dance floor or pushing things over.  There is bound to be some throwing up and bodily functions but heck that easily could be your inebriated guests I suppose.

Make a decision;make sure your finance is with you and go with it.

Post # 43
701 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2015 - Backyard

It’s not rude not to invite children unless they are under one year old (so moms can breastfeed / not be kept from their young baby). It’s you and your husband’s wedding, you only get one, make it how you want it!


I didnt invite kids to my wedding because it was at our house (backyard) and with 100 guests, half of which had kids, we would have had an additional 25-30 kids which was just too much. 

Post # 44
2055 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

I don’t think I’ve ever been to a child-free wedding. I always thought of weddings as family events. I didn’t realize child-free weddings were a thing until I started reading the Bee. I can see where some families would be very surprised if they were told “no kids” at the wedding.

You will have to make lots of compromises in your marriage. This may be a good start. If you are very anxious, maybe it would be worth getting help with that. As PP’s mentioned, no wedding will be “perfect.” People will cough, laugh, and shuffle in their seats. 

Activities for the kids sounds like a good compromise, but there is no guarantee that any activity will keep their attention forever. 

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