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Author Topic: No babies at the wedding? Well, mine are coming!  (Read 10945 times)

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JacklynHyde

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No babies at the wedding? Well, mine are coming!
« on: August 06, 2016, 09:18:59 PM »
I post this because, ten years after the fact, I am still unsure how I should have handled it.  Also, I hope the discussion might help anyone else who might face something similar.

My husband and I had decided a long time before our wedding that we would make it adults only.  It was semi-destination (halfway between our childhood homes, in a town where we spent a lot of time when we were dating long-distance), so those who were invited but who had children had to decide if they were comfortable leaving their children in the care of others or if they would simply decline.  My favorite cousins declined because they had recently had a baby, but we had made this decision and stuck with it.

One of my husband's college friends and his wife, however, brought a baby and toddler to the wedding and reception.  In addition, the wife confronted me angrily at the reception about it.  She yelled at me that I was selfish to try to force her to leave her nursing baby behind in a hotel or at home.  This is a woman I had only met once and my husband had known for a couple of years through her husband.  She had brought cereal for the toddler and was obviously supplying nourishment for the baby, as she made sure I knew.  :-[  Her husband simply told me that they had to come because he didn't believe my husband would go through with the vows and had to see it for himself.

My reaction was to mutter something incoherent and steer clear of both of them for the rest of the night.

Thankfully, I don't think my cousin or his wife were upset that someone else brought a baby when they stayed home with their newborn.  That thought was one of my biggest concerns during and after the confrontation.

Should I have handled this differently?  Should someone else have dealt with the children?  Was I fine letting the children stay despite losing the company of others who followed my wishes (to their credit, they were quiet during the ceremony)?

Again, I look back on this occurrence as an opportunity for others to avoid my previous pitfall.

Danika

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Re: No babies at the wedding? Well, mine are coming!
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2016, 09:50:44 PM »
Wow, your DH's college friend and his wife were so out of line!

First, they brought uninvited guests to your wedding. Second, the wife confronted you and was rude to you at your wedding. Third, she yelled at you. Fourth, the man said that he didn't believe your DH would marry you! Wow!!!

On the spot, I would have said to them as I saw them entering with the kids "I'm sorry. This is adults only. You'll need to take the kids and go." And then when they started berating me at my own wedding, I would have said forcefully "Leave now! Or I'll call the police! Leave!" And I would have said it loud enough that a few guests near me would have heard. And I would have started asking people to help me kick these rude ingrates out of my wedding!

My DH would have supported me.

Is your DH still friends with these boors?

JacklynHyde

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Re: No babies at the wedding? Well, mine are coming!
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2016, 10:13:29 PM »
I just asked him if he's talked with said friend.  The answer is no, but he sounded sad at that idea.  He never cared for his friend's wife, so there's that.

lakey

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Re: No babies at the wedding? Well, mine are coming!
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2016, 01:34:03 AM »
I think you handled it the best you could. First, I believe firmly that people have a right to an adults only wedding and reception. It sets the tone that they want. If people have infants that makes it difficult for them, but that's the nature of having a baby. Everyone knows that your life changes when you have a baby. You may miss out on some things, but the baby is more than worth it.

These people forced their children on your reception. They had no right to do that. However, you did what a good hostess does and minimized the effect of their bad behavior on others. You had the right to make an issue of the children not having been invited, but it sounds like the wife might have become even louder and more belligerent, which could have made things worse for you, your new husband,  and your guests. You did the right thing by avoiding a big scene with the woman.

Runningstar

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Re: No babies at the wedding? Well, mine are coming!
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2016, 07:24:16 AM »
I think that you did the right thing.  That couple was rude and it is probably not so much of a surprise that you haven't kept in touch.  This scenario has happened to me, as the guest that left her children at home and saw children there at the wedding who were not in it as flower girls/ring boys.  Of course I kept my mouth shut about it and didn't question the bride or groom.

The only thing that I could say to do would be to acknowledge it to the ones that kept their children home or missed out with a small mention.  Something like there weren't supposed to be children, thank you for following our request, not everyone did and we said nothing at the time as to not ruin the day with an argument.

Luci

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Re: No babies at the wedding? Well, mine are coming!
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2016, 08:56:59 AM »
The groomsmen took care of the smokers at the reception given by the asthmatic bride I knew.

At the wedding of a couple trying to have a childfree wedding, the children's family was seated at the rear of the church, and the reception seating was not assigned, so a male (father? groomsman? random friend?) asked the family to sit on the edge of the area.

Both invitations clearly said there weddings were childfree or non smoking.

I thought that was was one of the duties of groomsmen.

I don't think the OP could have avoided the wrath of the woman mentioned in the post. That woman sounds a little.....ungracious. But I do think it would have buffered the incident a bit.

deer girl

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Re: No babies at the wedding? Well, mine are coming!
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2016, 10:18:17 AM »
We might have appeared to be one of *those* couples a few years ago.  DH's cousin was getting married in NJ/NY (right at the border), we live in Massachusetts, and that weekend had an event in Montreal on Friday and then the wedding on Sunday.  The relatives didn't know of any babysitter we could use at the hotel, we couldn't stop by home, and our suggestion that I stay at the hotel with DD (at that point, 2 years old, almost 3) while DH went to the wedding was rejected; they told us to just bring her along.  So she was the only child there other than the flower girl and ring bearer, but we really didn't have any other alternative, and it was worked out in advance.

As it was, she napped in a stroller through the whole ceremony, and then was very well behaved during the rest.  The more distant relatives who hadn't met her yet were charmed, and it ended up positive.  The wedding was black tie and very large.

My own wedding was also child-free, and one person brought a baby along.  They were quiet and it wasn't disruptive, but I really wish they'd said something to us in advance. 

JacklynHyde

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Re: No babies at the wedding? Well, mine are coming!
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2016, 12:38:20 PM »
I think your case was very different because you made sure the HC knew your dilemma and you offered alternatives.  Also, there WERE two other kiddos at the wedding, so it wasn't 100% child-free.

Zizi-K

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Re: No babies at the wedding? Well, mine are coming!
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2016, 12:49:15 PM »
I agree that the lines of communication should be open. My own wedding was child-free, but I was of an age and demographic during which time none of the guests had very young children or infants.

Inviting "children" (all minor children of the invited guests) can mean a huge addition to the number of guests, requiring more seating, additional meals, etc. However, a nursing baby does not add those kinds of things. If someone had asked if they could bring a nursing baby to my wedding, I would have said yes. I would assume that this guest knows to remove the child if it starts screaming. A quiet baby costs the bride and groom nothing, so I cannot see telling family and friends to not attend because of a baby. To me that is just very strange priorities--excluding people you care about for the odd chance that a baby will make noise and that the parents will not deal with it?

MurPl1

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Re: No babies at the wedding? Well, mine are coming!
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2016, 01:08:47 PM »
Well we can't really assume people get it because in the OP it was the mother screaming and not behaving.

Bales

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Re: No babies at the wedding? Well, mine are coming!
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2016, 01:26:14 PM »
The only thing I can think of as a rational response (which I never would have thought of at the time) is to inform the wife that you didn't force her to do anything and she had a choice to decline the invitation.  And then I'd probably ask her to leave (at least in my mind, but doubt I'd be that bold in the moment in person unless she really ticked me off.)  Really, the nerve - not only to bring two children, but to then berate you.  What a charmer.

Hmmmmm

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Re: No babies at the wedding? Well, mine are coming!
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2016, 07:53:16 AM »
Why is it that you were the one that accosted instead of your husband? They were his friends! Honestly I would have handled by saying "Honey your friends have a bone to pick with you. And by the way, I have one to pick with them because they brought uninvited guests to our event. Got to go. Lovely to see you but I have guests to visit with."

Harriet Jones

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Re: No babies at the wedding? Well, mine are coming!
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2016, 08:23:56 AM »
Why is it that you were the one that accosted instead of your husband? They were his friends! Honestly I would have handled by saying "Honey your friends have a bone to pick with you. And by the way, I have one to pick with them because they brought uninvited guests to our event. Got to go. Lovely to see you but I have guests to visit with."

She may have assumed the 'no kids' decision was the bride's and not a mutual decision by both bride and groom. 

NFPwife

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Re: No babies at the wedding? Well, mine are coming!
« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2016, 10:40:42 AM »
The only thing I can think of as a rational response (which I never would have thought of at the time) is to inform the wife that you didn't force her to do anything and she had a choice to decline the invitation.  And then I'd probably ask her to leave (at least in my mind, but doubt I'd be that bold in the moment in person unless she really ticked me off.)  Really, the nerve - not only to bring two children, but to then berate you.  What a charmer.

I think this is the right answer and I'd hope that I'd do that too. But, in the moment, my brain spins off a little and I have cognitions like, "Really? Who does this? She brought her kids and she's yelling at me? Who yells at the bride on her wedding day? Honestly!" When that happens, I do one of two things - start trying to reason with the illogical person and I end up JADEing. Mostly in offering an explanation, "Well, we didn't plan on children because .... " I don't think of it as JADEing in the moment, I'm honestly thinking that once I explain my rationale that the person will "see the light," agree with me, and this will end. (And, yes that goes about how you all predicted.)

The second thing I do when those cognitions start is full on engage the crazy. Sometimes it starts with my explaining myself and then escalates when the other person doesn't easily come along.

The thing that I'm really working on, is telling myself "Logic doesn't work with illogical people." Or "Reason doesn't work with unreasonable people." That helps me break my pattern and get out of my head and address it a little better. I also tell myself, "Don't engage the crazy."

SamiHami

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Re: No babies at the wedding? Well, mine are coming!
« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2016, 02:17:01 PM »
I agree that the lines of communication should be open. My own wedding was child-free, but I was of an age and demographic during which time none of the guests had very young children or infants.

Inviting "children" (all minor children of the invited guests) can mean a huge addition to the number of guests, requiring more seating, additional meals, etc. However, a nursing baby does not add those kinds of things. If someone had asked if they could bring a nursing baby to my wedding, I would have said yes. I would assume that this guest knows to remove the child if it starts screaming. A quiet baby costs the bride and groom nothing, so I cannot see telling family and friends to not attend because of a baby. To me that is just very strange priorities--excluding people you care about for the odd chance that a baby will make noise and that the parents will not deal with it?

My wedding was child free and that meant my three year old niece was not invited. I don't think my priorities were strange in the least. I wanted my guests to be able to relax and enjoy the wedding and reception without having to worry about keeping up with their kids and quite frankly, having children attend changes the tone of a wedding significantly.

I have to say that I find your comment about people like me having "strange priorities--excluding people you care about..." to be pretty judgemental and kinda rude. We all have a vision of what our weddings will be like and there is nothing wrong with that. Babies are not going to remember weddings, but the bride and groom will remember a child crying, having a tantrum, having a smelly diaper or any number of other things. It's great if the HC is cool with having little ones attend, but that doesn't mean it's wrong or indicative of "strange priorities" if another HC chooses differently.

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