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  • August 26, 2016, 12:32:11 AM

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Author Topic: No babies at the wedding? Well, mine are coming!  (Read 2290 times)

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buvezdevin

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Re: No babies at the wedding? Well, mine are coming!
« Reply #30 on: August 08, 2016, 09:08:04 PM »
Ziti-K, it may make you less sad to realize that no one is saying the presence of children, or sheer possibility of their presence is an ambience-destroying nuisance.  At any wedding or other event, the decision to include or not include children has an impact on a number of aspects of the event, and may lead to some guests declining, or being all the more happy to attend without children or, with as the event particulars provide.  The ambience is usually not negatively impacted either way, other than by those who cannot comprehend a decision different than they would make were it their decision to make.

wow...as I said, I had a child free wedding! So, I can comprehend it. this topic is really pushing some buttons...

I was commenting on, and referencing a specific part of one of your posts.  The topic was not pushing any buttons for me.
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Jape

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Re: No babies at the wedding? Well, mine are coming!
« Reply #31 on: August 08, 2016, 09:15:29 PM »
Let me preface this by saying I have NO problem with child-free weddings and believe it is up to the couple to decide who to invite.  But I'm not sure I understand the mindset of "I didn't invite children because I wanted my friends to have a night off".  I think that's disingenuous.  You didn't invite the children because you didn't want them.  That's fine.  Why not own it?  Because what you're saying is effectively, "I want my friends to have a night off whether they want it or not."  Because they might not see it as a night off.  It might mean more work for them, having meals prepared, clothes/toys/stroller/portable cot packed and transported, babysitter booked/paid for...  A wedding was a logistical nightmare for us when our children were small.  We didn't have family locally and we had just moved to the area and didn't know anyone to babysit.  We made it work and were happy to accommodate our friends' wishes, but it was more work than taking them would have been.  It's not a reason you should invite the children - but call it for what it is.  You don't want children at your wedding.  That's your right and no-one should question it, regardless of your reasons.   
I understand your point.  I don't think (though may have missed such a post) that it's been said a child-free wedding is done to make it easier, or harder for anyone.  Yes, to make it child-free so guests are not in parent mode was offered as an example.  While I agree with, and understand your point that perhaps it involves more effort for parents to attend any event, I think your suggestion that people own their choice implies a need to defend that choice - I suggest a defense is not a reasonable request or requirement whether the event includes or does not include children of any age.

Sorry, poor choice of words maybe.  I just meant be honest about your reasons.  Some parents like being in parent-mode and would rather have their children there - so you're not really doing it for them.  You're doing it for you, which is absolutely fine and shouldn't need to be justified.

buvezdevin

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Re: No babies at the wedding? Well, mine are coming!
« Reply #32 on: August 08, 2016, 09:22:19 PM »
Let me preface this by saying I have NO problem with child-free weddings and believe it is up to the couple to decide who to invite.  But I'm not sure I understand the mindset of "I didn't invite children because I wanted my friends to have a night off".  I think that's disingenuous.  You didn't invite the children because you didn't want them.  That's fine.  Why not own it?  Because what you're saying is effectively, "I want my friends to have a night off whether they want it or not."  Because they might not see it as a night off.  It might mean more work for them, having meals prepared, clothes/toys/stroller/portable cot packed and transported, babysitter booked/paid for...  A wedding was a logistical nightmare for us when our children were small.  We didn't have family locally and we had just moved to the area and didn't know anyone to babysit.  We made it work and were happy to accommodate our friends' wishes, but it was more work than taking them would have been.  It's not a reason you should invite the children - but call it for what it is.  You don't want children at your wedding.  That's your right and no-one should question it, regardless of your reasons.   
I understand your point.  I don't think (though may have missed such a post) that it's been said a child-free wedding is done to make it easier, or harder for anyone.  Yes, to make it child-free so guests are not in parent mode was offered as an example.  While I agree with, and understand your point that perhaps it involves more effort for parents to attend any event, I think your suggestion that people own their choice implies a need to defend that choice - I suggest a defense is not a reasonable request or requirement whether the event includes or does not include children of any age.

Sorry, poor choice of words maybe.  I just meant be honest about your reasons.  Some parents like being in parent-mode and would rather have their children there - so you're not really doing it for them.  You're doing it for you, which is absolutely fine and shouldn't need to be justified.
Totally get it, and you raise a good point for whenever people may feel a need to offer reasons - "making it easier for X" is not a good rationale for Y's personal choice, especially when it may be harder for X, but is still a reasonable choice by Y. 
Never refuse to do a kindness unless the act would work great injury to yourself, and never refuse to take a drink -- under any circumstances.
Mark Twain

Ceallach

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Re: No babies at the wedding? Well, mine are coming!
« Reply #33 on: August 08, 2016, 09:26:03 PM »
I'm certain that we offended some of DH's relatives by not inviting their kids to our wedding.  Particularly when they saw there were kids from my family invited.  But it's not something I've lost any sleep over - I invited kids I knew and loved, but there's no way I was extending the guestlist to random kids neither of us had ever met, just because they happened to be the children of other guests. If they had showed up with their kids anyway I probably wouldn't have objected, but if they made a rude comment or confronted us about the guestlist the way the OP experienced then they would have been asked to leave. 

I admit I'm another who finds the concept of a "child-free wedding" a bit odd because I think people should invite whomever they want to attend.    Age or other demographic factors don't need to be announced as *invitation criteria*.         I guess it's to avoid offending people e.g. "It's not because we don't like Sally, we're not having any kids attend!" but in that case it backfires as it seems there is always somebody offended!  So you can't really win either way.    So I don't get the point of it really.     Perhaps "Child-free Wedding" just rolls off the tongue better than "There were no children on the guestlist"....    ;D
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buvezdevin

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Re: No babies at the wedding? Well, mine are coming!
« Reply #34 on: August 08, 2016, 09:41:10 PM »
I'm certain that we offended some of DH's relatives by not inviting their kids to our wedding.  Particularly when they saw there were kids from my family invited.  But it's not something I've lost any sleep over - I invited kids I knew and loved, but there's no way I was extending the guestlist to random kids neither of us had ever met, just because they happened to be the children of other guests. If they had showed up with their kids anyway I probably wouldn't have objected, but if they made a rude comment or confronted us about the guestlist the way the OP experienced then they would have been asked to leave. 

I admit I'm another who finds the concept of a "child-free wedding" a bit odd because I think people should invite whomever they want to attend.    Age or other demographic factors don't need to be announced as *invitation criteria*.         I guess it's to avoid offending people e.g. "It's not because we don't like Sally, we're not having any kids attend!" but in that case it backfires as it seems there is always somebody offended!  So you can't really win either way.    So I don't get the point of it really.     Perhaps "Child-free Wedding" just rolls off the tongue better than "There were no children on the guestlist"....    ;D

I think some people hosting events may opt to not include children for the same reason you included some children, but not all of the guest's children.  While I understand your reasoning, some would find it less awkward to not include children than to say, in effect, I know and welcome you, but not your children, however I do know and welcome the children of other guests.
Never refuse to do a kindness unless the act would work great injury to yourself, and never refuse to take a drink -- under any circumstances.
Mark Twain

Ceallach

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Re: No babies at the wedding? Well, mine are coming!
« Reply #35 on: August 08, 2016, 09:45:05 PM »
I'm certain that we offended some of DH's relatives by not inviting their kids to our wedding.  Particularly when they saw there were kids from my family invited.  But it's not something I've lost any sleep over - I invited kids I knew and loved, but there's no way I was extending the guestlist to random kids neither of us had ever met, just because they happened to be the children of other guests. If they had showed up with their kids anyway I probably wouldn't have objected, but if they made a rude comment or confronted us about the guestlist the way the OP experienced then they would have been asked to leave. 

I admit I'm another who finds the concept of a "child-free wedding" a bit odd because I think people should invite whomever they want to attend.    Age or other demographic factors don't need to be announced as *invitation criteria*.         I guess it's to avoid offending people e.g. "It's not because we don't like Sally, we're not having any kids attend!" but in that case it backfires as it seems there is always somebody offended!  So you can't really win either way.    So I don't get the point of it really.     Perhaps "Child-free Wedding" just rolls off the tongue better than "There were no children on the guestlist"....    ;D

I think some people hosting events may opt to not include children for the same reason you included some children, but not all of the guest's children.  While I understand your reasoning, some would find it less awkward to not include children than to say, in effect, I know and welcome you, but not your children, however I do know and welcome the children of other guests.

Yes that's the reason I mentioned in the post you quoted - that they don't want it to be about the person's child specifically, so they go with a blanket rule instead.     

As I said, I think that doesn't achieved it's desired outcome because people who are going to get offended seem to get offended anyway!
"Nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something"


Hmmmmm

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Re: No babies at the wedding? Well, mine are coming!
« Reply #36 on: August 08, 2016, 10:26:54 PM »
Let me preface this by saying I have NO problem with child-free weddings and believe it is up to the couple to decide who to invite.  But I'm not sure I understand the mindset of "I didn't invite children because I wanted my friends to have a night off".  I think that's disingenuous.  You didn't invite the children because you didn't want them.  That's fine.  Why not own it?  Because what you're saying is effectively, "I want my friends to have a night off whether they want it or not."  Because they might not see it as a night off.  It might mean more work for them, having meals prepared, clothes/toys/stroller/portable cot packed and transported, babysitter booked/paid for...  A wedding was a logistical nightmare for us when our children were small.  We didn't have family locally and we had just moved to the area and didn't know anyone to babysit.  We made it work and were happy to accommodate our friends' wishes, but it was more work than taking them would have been.  It's not a reason you should invite the children - but call it for what it is.  You don't want children at your wedding.  That's your right and no-one should question it, regardless of your reasons.   
I understand your point.  I don't think (though may have missed such a post) that it's been said a child-free wedding is done to make it easier, or harder for anyone.  Yes, to make it child-free so guests are not in parent mode was offered as an example.  While I agree with, and understand your point that perhaps it involves more effort for parents to attend any event, I think your suggestion that people own their choice implies a need to defend that choice - I suggest a defense is not a reasonable request or requirement whether the event includes or does not include children of any age.

Sorry, poor choice of words maybe.  I just meant be honest about your reasons.  Some parents like being in parent-mode and would rather have their children there - so you're not really doing it for them.  You're doing it for you, which is absolutely fine and shouldn't need to be justified.

Maybe not for the parents who want to be in parent mode all the time. But the reason could be for the benefit of the other guests who occasionally enjoy a child free event. Or for the parents who don't want to feel like they must bring their kids.

TeamBhakta

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Re: No babies at the wedding? Well, mine are coming!
« Reply #37 on: August 08, 2016, 11:57:03 PM »
I think that's disingenuous.  You didn't invite the children because you didn't want them.  That's fine.  Why not own it? Because what you're saying is effectively, "I want my friends to have a night off whether they want it or not."  Because they might not see it as a night off.  It might mean more work for them

Because it would be rude most of the time to tell guests straight out "We do not want to have children at the wedding because they'll annoy us / cry / take attention away." Just like you tell people who fish for invitations "Sorry, we're keeping the guest list small" instead of "You're my least favorite relative I see every 10 years"

MariaE

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Re: No babies at the wedding? Well, mine are coming!
« Reply #38 on: August 09, 2016, 01:27:01 AM »
.

I'm not judging anyone for having a child free wedding. I do think its pretty crappy to exclude nursing moms when all of the nursing moms I know keep their babies quiet and happy through discrete nursing. Toddlers and young kids are harder to keep under control, but they can also be watched by other people (like a babysitter) much more easily than a nursing baby.

that's nice for you. The nursing mom I knew was far from discrete and loved to make sure everyone knew that she was nursing her kid and made sure she was the center of attention - no matter what the gathering. I was just glad that she stopped coming to book club before we had to talk to her about it because she was making people uncomfortable. You can't extrapolate your experience to every one else's. People have reasons for excluding who they exclude and you trying to make them feel bad for that is pretty rude.

whoa! stating my opinion is not "trying to make other people feel bad." I hope you do not feel bad because of opinions that internet strangers express! I included all of that background about my experience as a way to explain my perspective. obviously if you have different experiences than your perspective will be different. sorry that a nursing woman made you feel uncomfortable!

Just as a heads up, as it sounds like you're not aware of it - in that case, you should probably chose a different phrasing than "I think it's pretty crappy to do xyz" another time - that wording does make it sound like you were judging people for doing xyz.
 
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gellchom

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Re: No babies at the wedding? Well, mine are coming!
« Reply #39 on: August 09, 2016, 04:10:16 PM »
I get it that (as in so many other contexts) it's tempting to try to reach for an objective rule or standard.  But I agree with those who have said that there is no reason to declare the wedding "child free" or invite all or none of your guests to bring their children.  Many families and communities, including mine, usually invite children who are relatives, but few if any of other guests' children.

I can see it being a problem to, say, invite your brother's children but not your sister's, or all the children on the bride's side and none on the groom's.  But that's no different from the general wisdom of inviting all or none (or very few) of a given category -- first cousins, club members, five out of six siblings, etc.

And I personally put nursing newborns who can't yet be apart from Mom in a separate category.  We've never had any problem with that.  But that's just because I think it raises different issues, not because I think there is any greater obligation to include them.  It almost feels more like a handicap-accessibility issue than a guest list issue, KWIM? 

If I had children living at home (of any age, not just little ones), not only would I not expect them to be invited to an unrelated friend's wedding, just because DH and I were, I'd be very surprised if they were, except for very close friendships in which the whole families are close friends.  And sometimes only one child is invited, if that one is a friend of the bride or groom.  Not offensive at all in my opinion -- whole families do not have to be invited like permanent couples are. 

If someone asked if they could bring their children to a wedding that wasn't even their family and then were outraged that other children were there -- "It's not even a child-free wedding!" -- I think they'd be way out of line.  If the HC/hosts have children in their lives that they choose to include, that doesn't mean that every single guest be invited with their whole family.  It's no more rude to invite some people in family units and others not than to let your best friend bring her boyfriend although you didn't invite every other single guest "plus one." 

It amazes me that people seem to think of other people's weddings as quasi-public events all about them -- they feel so entitled to bring dates or children or to have menu choices or their preferred seating or beverages and on and on.  It's a very important life cycle event in someone's life (and usually two families' lives), not just a party.  It's an honor to be included -- and that includes the reception.

mime

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Re: No babies at the wedding? Well, mine are coming!
« Reply #40 on: August 09, 2016, 06:48:52 PM »
I had a sort-of child free wedding. Or at least I tried to. The wedding was small-ish and there were actually 4 kids invited: DH's 2 nieces, 1 nephew, and my godson, because we were very close to those particular kids.

It was easiest to make the blanket rule that there were no other kids invited. The kids happened to belong to relatives that were not very close at all, and it also helped us keep guest list size down, and the ceremony peaceful. (half of the uninvited children came anyway... all on DH's side of the family. I guess they were taught a different etiquette than I...

As for reasons: I agree so much with Jape that the HC should just own their preferences about not inviting kids. It is OK to not want them there. It is presumptuous to think "I'm going to make life easier for them by eliminating the option to bring their kid," and would be irritating to hear.

-- That's coming from someone who would probably decline any wedding invitation in the near future whether my bunch of kids was invited or not. Logistics of sitters or of bringing them along are both waaaay less than ideal at this stage.



Ceallach

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Re: No babies at the wedding? Well, mine are coming!
« Reply #41 on: August 09, 2016, 08:02:50 PM »
The debate about making the decision for the guests to "give them a night off from their kids" reminds me a little bit of when friends of ours said they were getting married on a Friday "so that people didn't have to give up their weekend".     DH and I had a good laugh about that.   

The fact is, it was significantly cheaper for them to book the venue and suppliers for the Friday, and this couple was known for being particularly frugal and good with money.   

Of course as friends we didn't mind using up a day of our annual leave to attend the wedding, but the inference that it was somehow for *our* convenience was an amusing charade.   ;D    (All the guests and the bridal couple themselves were Mon-Fri office workers, so everybody had to take time off from work to attend, whereas none of us worked weekends).    Have the wedding that you want, but "Own Your Choices".   
"Nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something"


JacklynHyde

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Re: No babies at the wedding? Well, mine are coming!
« Reply #42 on: August 09, 2016, 08:50:05 PM »
OP here.  This has been FASCINATING to read, and I'm glad I posted it about it.

For the record, we didn't flat-out say "no children".  However, we didn't include the names of any minors or add "and family" to the invitations.  If your name wasn't on the invitation, you didn't have one.  For this reason, we also made sure to find out the names of any significant others we didn't know directly so we could welcome them to our circle of friends.

We thought long and hard about making exceptions to allow some older children.  Our best man and his wife (who did my hair and makeup) had a seven-year-old son who knew how to handle himself around adults.  They assured us that he would be happier at home with his visiting grandmother.

The guest who brought her children and her wrath had not contacted either me or my husband about the fact she was breastfeeding and couldn't leave the baby at home.  She would not have allowed her husband to go to the wedding alone (as is, she interrogated the one woman at the reception who had been her husband's friend in college and seemed to be convinced she would uncover past shenanigans), and he seemed intent on being present.  It might have made me rethink things and would have even allowed my cousin and his wife to attend with their newborn daughter.  It didn't work out that way.

This is truly helping me exorcise the demons of past wedding annoyance, and I hope might help others move forward.

LifeOnPluto

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Re: No babies at the wedding? Well, mine are coming!
« Reply #43 on: August 10, 2016, 06:36:52 AM »
Gee, the Bride sounds like a piece of work. Add me to the camp who asks "Who the heck yells at the poor bride on her wedding day?!"

And the husband doesn't sound much better. "I only attended because I didn't think [your husband] would actually go through with it." Huh? Who says that? Personally, I think your DH is better off without those people in his life.

If I was in your shoes, I would have told the wife: "This is my wedding day, and I'm not going to engage in a debate with you about this. Excuse me." Then I'd walk away. And afterwards, I'd tell my new DH that he was welcome to socialise with his old friend outside the house, but friend and his rude wife would not be allowed inside our house, and I'd otherwise want nothing to do with them.