Monday, 12 April 2010

Not seen and not heard.

We've got a few friends getting married this year.


I love weddings.

But if there is one thing that definitely divides people, it's whether to have children at the event or not.

I used to get offended when we were invited as a couple without the kids. What? They don't want all of us there. Why not?

I thought it spoke volumes about the bride and grooms attitude to children in general. But with the cost of the average British wedding over £20,000 it's understandable that every person costs, however small they are.

There's the other thing that people always worry that children will be too noisy during the ceremony, but most parents would take out a crying infant. Nobody wants to ruin the big day.

However, if you're dealing with a bridezilla, there could be trouble in store.

So what really is the problem? Is it the case that children are seemingly so unruly today that parents can't control them? Or as a society we are becoming less tolerant of kids?

Coming from a large West Indian family, not having children at a wedding is practically a cultural no no. Ditto The Boy who is Jewish. Frankly, it's unheard of and a bit alien.

Kids were part of our wedding even before we had our own, and we gave parents the option to leave their darlings at home if they so chose. We certainly didn't have NO KIDS printed in bold on the invite.

I do believe there is a element of your roots involved. I think our continental cousins are much more relaxed about this sort of thing. Ever seen an Italian or Greek wedding without children?

There is the argument that you get the chance to let your hair down without the little ones, but sorting out babysitting can be real headache especially if the wedding is far away and you need to stay overnight.

On one hand, we've taken the children and have spent half the time running after them outside of the venue (missing the ceremony), stiffling cries, carrying a suitcase load of snacks and toys, and changing bums in child unfriendly venues. Not relaxing.

Then there have been the times where we're dancing with the children, laughing and watching Minxy's face as she admires the bride in pure wonder.

The weddings we've been to without children (or very few at least) we're lovely. And quiet!

You also get those who didn't want kids at their wedding, but then once they have their own family they get upset when their offspring isn't invited to other people's ceremonies. Can't have it both ways.

I'm all for a bit of noise (not screaming during speeches mind) and kids are part of the celebrations. Besides a bad drunk is way worse than a crying child in my books. Horrible behaviour can come from adults too.

One thing's for sure, it can definitely be deal-breaker amongst friends. My sister told me about two mates who fell out over the bringing of children to a wedding. Five years on they still don't speak now. Ouch.

As it stands, we can't make all of the weddings because some are abroad, so enjoy the peace friends!


  1. When I get married (if he ever pops the question!) I will have children at the wedding.. But am I saying that because I have a child myself? If we had got married before Oli came along , would we of had kids there? I'm not sure!!

  2. I've done it both ways (that sounded rude!) first wedding no kids - upset my sister which I regret. Second wedding kids were very much part of it, my three were in the wedding party! We loved it. It was a blast. Maybe it depends on the age/stage of the couple too?

  3. I've noticed that the couples who insist on child free weddings are always the ones who are completely scandalised and furious a few years later if their kids aren't invited to a wedding....

  4. We had a few children at our wedding, but most of the people coming didnt have children.

    We have only been invited to one wedding without the boys, and it was OK, but we would have rather had them with us and often the children are great entertainment

  5. Well... if it is someones big day then their wishes should of course be respected, but I personally find it quite odd that someone would not want children at their wedding. Kids are a part of the cycle of life that a wedding also celebrates to an extent. They really add something to a happy occasion I think.

  6. We also have a few weddings this year, and I was actually really looking forward to taking the babies along with us. But I've had a couple of the invites through and they've gone for the 'no kids' option.

    We did have kids at ours, but then not a lot of my friends had children then. I guess people feel their day will be over-run with kids and babies now.

    For us it makes things a bit more awkward because the first wedding is up north, and we've never left the babies overnight.

  7. As well as celebrating others' love for one another, going to a wedding also affirms your own relationships, so being there with your whole family, especially if it's new is really important, in my humble opinion.

  8. We didn't have a no kids rule, but we didn't specifically invite kids either... Having said that, we only had one friend that had a little boy, and my sister's first child at the time. She was a flower girl and very much part of the day (although only 2), but the only child in attendance.

    I don't have an issue with a no kids rule, although I've only been to one wedding with Moo, and then she decided to cry just at the point of the vows - and I couldn't escape without making even more of a scene!

  9. That's always the way, I find. Stuck with crying child whilst everyone shoots you evil looks!

  10. I went to a wedding last summer with my daughter and she was a right minx the whole time, i actually wrote a post about it.

    I am more than happy to attend weddings without her, as i think i would be able to relax more and actually enjoy 'MYSELF', so 'No Kids' invites do not offend me in the slightest.I do However have a sneaky feeling deep down inside that as she gets older my thoughts on this might change, because she will probably want to and look forward to going to the festivities. Even now I would never not take my girl if the invite was for all of us, as i think people would enjoy meeting her and often it is big events like this that are the only times you ever get to meet some old friends/aquaintences/distant relatives families!
    When/If we eventually do get married we will definatly want kids at our wedding.

  11. For our wedding, we only invited children who we knew well - relatives and godchildren. It seemed to be ok and noone complained - at least we didn't hear about it. That way we had children we didn't mind hearing make a noise and wanted there to share our day and the adults who left their children at home enjoyed a fun day in peace.