Pins Of The Week: Kids & Weddings

Friday, January 11, 2013



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Blogging about weddings is a first for me. I don't even have a wedding pin board! But recently, or not so recently, I got a save the date card for my brother-in-laws upcoming wedding. My boys' dad got an Ipad when he was asked to be apart of the wedding and stand up with his brother. Excitement abounded (especially for him) but I was among the excited too, because I quite like his little brother whom I have known since he was 12 (!) and I was getting the feeling this would be an extra lovely event (his fiance works in the wedding industry to boot). I was also just honored to be invited. I even had a vision or two of where I might go dress shopping (I don't get many reasons to get dressed up these days). But my excitement was snuffed when I was told on Christmas that no kids were allowed. Honestly I didn't even know not inviting kids was a thing. But in my mama-bear state I googled "children+weddings+UNinvited" looking to validate my shock and awe, but to my surprise it wasn't full of doting mothers complaining about bridezillas, but how-to's and supportive threads for implementing adult-only weddings and receptions. So, I was wrong, this isn't only a thing but it seems to be normal(?). I am so out of the 21st century wedding loop. However, I have been a mother for 15 years, I have been to, apart of and invited to many, many weddings. I have never been told not to bring to my kid(s). In fact when Fisher was 6 years old he was my best friends husbands best man (how adorable is that?!). I am used to that sort of thing. Of course different people call for different occasions and I can use discretion;  if I were to be invited to a wedding of a co-worker I'd probably not assume my kids were invited and not bring them along. But for a family or close friend? If they had trouble listening or were unruly, I'd probably still want to go with them but not attend the service itself. Like I said, I got discretion and this is just a first for me.

After the news I got an email from the bride-to-be (whom I have never even met, awkward) which addressed that she knew I had gotten the news and explained the reasons, re-inviting me; my reply was offering my best wishes, I understand her reasons but stating that as a parent I am simply plus three. That's just how I roll. If my "family" is invited that means the whole gang and if some are left out, I stay with the that bunch (I always root for the under dog.). And I just like my kids, I like having shared experiences with them, especially momentous ones. In a later email I was asked to reconsider attending and reassured that my older son, Fisher, is invited and wanted, so it's just my super precious little M+L that aren't invited from my family. There are a couple other reasons it grates on me but my tangent is already getting pretty long-winded but as a mama that generally makes me feel weird. I am their mom and they are my children but they are my equals as humans. I can't look at them differently than that and this makes me feel like I am being forced to. Even though I know that's not the message they are sending, it by default, would be one I would be sending them. I totally respect that it is her day and it should be just exactly as she wants it but being a parent is everyday. Sometimes I have to make choices one day because they might affect days down the road.

Am I am being cray-cray? Are weddings these days excluding children? I mean when I think of weddings I think of: bride, groom, flower-girl, ring bearer (half of the image of a wedding that I conjure in my head is children! and flowers, lots of flowers). In the end I don't harbor any bad feelings for her choices at all, I am not broken up about not going, I just don't want to feel like an ass for not going - which I do for now having been invited for a third time and having to say I am not going for a third time, oh wait, make that a second time. I am now wondering if my choice to (presumably) keep declining is right or wrong, or like I said just a personal call I have to make (i think it's the latter).

In the end I can understand the fear of having children around during such a special occasion. So for all those brides to-be that (rightfully so) feel a little nervous about the kids ruining, er, I mean attending their big day but still plan on having them there, I have rounded up some activities for kids to keep them quiet, er, I mean happy during the ceremony and reception.

Happy weekend and feel free to tell me I am being a total zealot.

14 comments:

  1. I've come across this before. As someone who is childless it hasn't directly affected me but just as I think a bride is entitled to whatever wedding she wants I believe you are entitled to turn down the invitation. You shouldn't be emotionally blackmailed into doing something you don't want to do, for whatever reason you have. You have explained you're reasons and that should be it, especially as you don't know the bride. Maybe you should talk to the groom instead and see if he "gets it".

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    1. from what i have heard the groom isn't quite as big on the idea so i am sure he understands. actually maybe she keeps approaching me about it for that reason? my kids dad backed down from being a best man at first when he found out kids were uninvited, but i told him that wasn't fair to his brother - i am so okay not going, he will be there to represent us and i feel like that's fine and fair. if you implement serious rules for your guest you have to be willing for them to say no, as you say.

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  2. I've never heard of such a thing. Good for you to be true to your values! The last wedding I went to this summer had like 8 children and they were super cute. On the other hand, some of the guests who had children left them at home by their own choice and they looked like they were having a great time, too. But each family decided for themselves.

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    1. neither had i. there are certainly weddings i wouldn't mind attending without kids but even if i wanted to attend a family wedding without them i couldn't do it, it would just feel wrong.

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  3. I'm really glad you posted this so that I can see your point of view. I am getting married in the summer and I'm not inviting kids. But hear me out. I have a huge extended family and all my cousins are married with at least four children each. We are trying to keep numbers down so we simply said no kids. I have never even met most of my cousin's kids and I see no reason why they should be at my wedding. I also don't love kids as they usually attach themselves to me and I didn't really feel like dealing with that on my wedding day. That being said if someone close to me, such as my sister or a good friend, had children, they would certainly be invited. But I've never met most of the children in my family.

    We also didn't want to have to come up with entertainment for the kids at the reception. I love the activities you laid out but that is just one more thing on your to-do list. And we didn't want people leaving at 8 because they needed to put their kids to bed. We want people to feel like they can relax and not be tied down by their kids.

    My sister recently got married and also had a "no-kids" policy. She was actually thanked by a few people for not allowing kids either because the parents wanted a good excuse not to bring them or because it made the atmosphere more relaxed and people were able to visit.

    So those are my reasons as a bride-to-be. I fully understand and respect your point of view though and I think you did the right thing for you.

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    1. thanks wren! i have only ever been to family/multi-generational weddings or super exclusive (just a couple people) weddings, so it's taking my brain some time to process this "new world" : )

      ultimately i think it would have felt quite different if i would have been told upfront and also asked like "we are having an adult only wedding, i would love for you to be there but understand if you feel like you are unable to attend without your children." then i would feel like they were acknowledging my kids or at least my love and care for them was being acknowledged, rather than feeling like they are seen as heathens (my kids are also really well behaved so that might make me more sensitive). sure there are times i like to have time away from my kids but not at "everyone is invited but you" events, you know? besides my 15 year can get his learners permit and so he could be my designated driver (HA! just kidding!!!)

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  4. People need to let go of the reigns a bit when it comes to the wedding madness. The bride-to-be probably doesn't see anything wrong, but she's just getting married, she isn't curing cancer or doing anything noble. She's honestly just having a wedding, entering into a marriage wherein SHE will likely have children of her OWN, and instead she's choosing to make ONE DAY so important as to not invite family. Just because they are young. The wedding itself does not need to be a humongous event where everything is "perfect" and "storybook." It's just an expensive party that has no bearing on the rest of your life with the person you're marrying. It's a 5 hour party that turns brides into TERRORS and they try to micromanage and dictate awful terms to everyone around them all for the sake of exercising control. Brides need to realize it's NOT ALL ABOUT THEM, and that a wedding isn't an excuse to make it all about you. It's about families coming together in support of love.

    Ahem. Soapbox over. :) As you can tell I've known some serious bridezillas in my day, haha. I also can't imagine not having my own wonderful nieces at my wedding. It wouldn't be right. My sister-in-law made me a bridesmaid when I was 10 when she married my brother, should she not have invited me because I was a kid? Good for you for standing up for your little ones and taking their side on it. It's not worth the aggravation or heartache of leaving your kids with a sitter. Don't feel bad about it at all. Be grateful you're compassionate enough to be upset over the prospect of being sans-kids. Even for a night. xo

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  5. I am on the fence about this as I can see both of your points. Haven't been to that many weddings yet, my friends are somehow the non-marrying kind, but all had children present, especially when they were close family. Most of the time the kiddos had a role in the wedding as well, like ring bearer or flower girl. I was a flower girl as a child too, loved it and was over the moon about wearing the fancy dress. But it's good that you stuck of for yourself and what you believe in. You rock mama bear! Have a great weekend!

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  6. A tough one... I agree with Stitched Together. I hope that it will work out fine in the end.

    LUXESSED

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  7. What brilliant activities. The kids / wedding thing is just so tricky but honestly, I'd say save kids for the christening and keep the wedding for the adults (as a guest I love the excuse of leaving my little ones at home and dancing the night away!).

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  8. I can completely understand your feelings and, no, you're not cray-cray for having them. While you're respecting the bride's decision not to include children, the same respect should be offered to you in your decision not to attend. I really hope this doesn't continue to cause any more tension for you. My sister and my brother-in-law had a falling out with his cousin because my sister and BIL decided they couldn't afford and were logistically unable to attend his cousin's wedding, which was held in Hawaii. (Their decision also meant he couldn't be a groomsman). Mind you, my sister just had her second baby. Two years later, they still don't talk to each other. :(

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    1. oh my goodness i am not bent out of shape about it at all! i think i live in a bubble because i'd honestly never, ever heard of a no-kid wedding, of course i mean for weddings that aren't destination, vegas or courthouse weddings. so at first i must admit it seemed really weird to me, but i am finding out that this is so common these days. i will still always error on the side of if you invite one - you by default must be prepared that the whole lot will show up, but hard feelings, none! i just don't want to feel terrible for not going, tension is what i don't want. i will certainly attend the reception if that is an option : )

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  9. Mmmm is a hard decision Christine on one hand I think you should go because she is about to become family and she probably will understand she is wrong...but on the other hand is really hard to hear you can't bring your kids to his aunt wedding.
    I'm sure you will take the best options.
    Kisses

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    1. really good points . . . it's not until august so i have lots of time to toil over it : )

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