- 7 years ago
Disclaimer: I’m writing an honest, open post about some of the issues I went through during the planning process, at the wedding and the after effects of our decision(s). I am in no way saying a) these things will happen to everyone or b) that I am qualified to make a judgement about anyone’s wedding but my own. I do however, hope this helps even one bride reading it.
The topic of kids or no kids at the wedding is one that gets discussed over and over again here on WB. I myself posted many different times, usually under ’emotional’ about how I felt about the issue. Originally, my now husband and I had decided no kids for a few reasons; the wedding was a later-evening event, we wanted it to have a very adult, upscale feel and we were very budget conscious. Our venue could hold only 130 (with big families, that is a small venue for sure) and we had already axed a LOT of great friends from the list. We are also the last of all our friends to be married/have kids so 70% of the guests would have one to three kids along with them if we included everyone’s children. So, a decision HAD to be made. We spread the message word of mouth and hand addressed the invitations to the invited people only. In addition, I filled out the RSVP cards by hand with the number of seats reserved.
None of these things worked. AT. ALL. While we didn’t have anyone crossing out our numbers and adding their children, we did have quite a few people very upset when they opened the invites. I got a few comments made behind my back, a few emails and one phone call. I heard that I (not we, mind you) was selfish, didn’t know what it was like to have kids (while true, I still find this to be irrelevent) and I was most recently accused of being selective about who was and was not allowed to bring their children, deliberately excluding some while including others.
Well, that one is true. After a TON of pressure from one of my siblings, I ended up telling him that he could bring his four and 6 month olds to the wedding. He was driving from our of state with his family, his wife (my beloved SIL) was a Bridesmaid or Best Man, and I couldn’t continue to fight with him about it. At this point, my husband and I said the only children were to be those from out of state and/or in the wedding party. That added up to about ten children, which not only pushed us over budget but also over capacity. When I realized that, I gathered up the invites and added the kids, dropped them in the mailbox and went home crying, trying to figure out how I was going to make something work.
Then there were the locals. Friends and family who contacted me (as early as the day AFTER they received the invite) to stir up trouble and upset me. These people did not care that we had been willing to arrange and pay for childcare at our own home. They simply were not coming if they couldn’t bring their kids. We stuck by the out of town decision – and they didn’t come. Most were gracious, but there is one family (who actually is family) who will no longer speak to ME (again, not WE) because of the issue.
There were five kids at our wedding. Four were my nephews. One was a baby that I was surprised to see (daughter of a friend) but I certainly wasn’t going to say anything about that.
Our wedding was beautiful, but it was not child friendly. I didn’t love having the 5 kids there who attended. The two infants who came cried through the ceremony, meaning my brother missed our vows because he took him outside. One of my brothers yelled at his son the entire night. Another nephew was adorable, totally stealing the show as he cut a rug on the dancefloor – and while it was cute for about 3 minutes, it got old really quick (maybe saying that makes me a bitch, but I promised honesty).
Planning a wedding can be very stressful. I cried myself swollen many nights over this one, singular issue. I write this tonight because the family who I just mentioned, who won’t speak to ME, is now causing drama about the holidays. They are not on my Facebook account, but found a different family member who is and had her save/email all our wedding photos (I only posted 17 for this very reason) so they could spy on me. They are mad because of the one photo of me dancing with my four year old nephew. Yup.
I fought with my husband over this issue today, on and off for hours, because there is nothing that they can ever do to make their words go away, to change the fact that they didn’t show up to the wedding, or erase the lies spread about ME as a result of one single decision. I carried all of the blame in the situation, and while that isn’t his fault, I still feel very strongly that he could have done more to defend me way back when all this went on instead of letting it slide (and he knows that I feel that way, but since he wasn’t the one who got yelled at/ridiculed/etc he doesn’t exactly relate to it well.)
Decisions are in the past and cannot be changed. I recognize that. However, I’m furious that less than two months after we are married it is STILL being thrown in our face as an issue. It saddens and angers me beyond belief. If I had it to do all over again, I still think I would have made the same decision. I do not believe there was anything wrong with our choice.
The advice I give is simple. Make sure the choice is mutual. You are going to need your husband’s 100% support on the issue – and he will need to be prepared to stand up for both of you when confronted. Also, be prepared for some backlash. Your friends will likely support you, your family may be very angry – or who knows, maybe you will be completely understood – just know that when it comes to kids, people are very, very vocal and passionate.
Wishing everyone out there the best. 🙂