It’s six months until my wedding day and while I have a few things still on my list to tackle, the large things are now booked and organised. Most of it (despite some of the horror stories I have heard over the years from friends and articles I have read online) has been an exciting experience. However, one thing that I found difficult was the guest list.
Because children are not invited to our wedding, including my own niece.
The Bloke and I don’t have children of our own. I have a very small family – mum, two sisters, one sister’s long-term boyfriend, a brother-in-law and a niece, who will be 10 months old on the day of the wedding. The Bloke’s family is considerably larger, but don’t have young children – the youngest are older teenagers, so it wasn’t a family issue to consider. However, my friends have lots of them.
When I initially started planning, I didn’t have many ideas on themes, preferring to spend time looking on Pinterest and in magazines for inspiration. However, one thing that I was absolutely certain of from the beginning was that this would be a child-free event, for a number of reasons:
1. The cost. My friends have about 35 children between them, ranging from newborns to 10 year-olds. Our budget is small and the cost of potentially having to pay for those extra meals would have meant that we couldn’t have afforded other things that we wanted. We would have also exceeded the maximum seating capacity and therefore would have had to un-invite childless friends to accommodate them. I also wasn’t prepared to pay extra for child-friendly entertainment, which would have been necessary as it is unfair to expect a young child to sit still for hours without anything to do.
2. I wanted to be able to spend the day without distractions. Children, quite rightly, are the priority and their needs should take precedence. I didn’t want anyone having to leave early or miss parts of the day because baby Boris needed feeding or putting down for a nap. That is why my niece is not invited – I want my sister and brother-in-law to be able to relax and enjoy the event without having to worry about anything. She will be staying with my brother-in-law’s family, she will be 10 months old and so won’t remember it anyway.
3. I’m actually really fond of some of my friend’s children in particular, but didn’t think it was fair to invite some and not others. A blanket ban across everyone was the only way to make it equal for everybody.
4. I want an adult only atmosphere. I don’t want to have to watch my language, or be aware of how much I’m drinking (I don’t like drinking when I’m around children). I want to dance on the dance floor without worrying that I’m stepping on someone’s offspring.
5. Quite frankly, young children have ruined almost every wedding I’ve ever been to. They have screamed and ran around during the ceremonies, screamed and ran around during the speeches, screamed and ran around during the meal, screamed and ran around on the dancefloor… There’s a lot of screaming and running around, because that is what children do. While some people find this adorable, I don’t. Neither do many others, and even though my niece is so cute I want to squidge her gorgeous little face when she is having a tantrum, I don’t want her (or any other kids) doing that on my wedding day. I also don’t want any little hands raiding the dessert table or knocking over the cupcakes, nor do I want any of them opening doors and setting off fire alarms, vomiting on the DJ booth or urinating in the corner of the room – all of which I have seen happen at weddings I have attended. At least if the adults do that I can send them the bill!
For my friends weddings, I have done exactly as they asked. I have travelled all over the country and spent a fortune on hotels and hen parties, bought the gifts they asked for, helped with decorations and played at their receptions with my string quartet for free, so this is what I am asking in return. I have also taken the stance that there are very few of my friends (there’s four) who are having to travel – most live in the area that we are getting married in (many within walking distance) so haven’t had to pay for hotels and we are lucky in that most have babysitters available. However, I do understand the predicament that some would have, particularly single parents without family or babysitting support and I wouldn’t be offended if anyone chose not to attend.
Thankfully, I haven’t had a single complaint from any of my friends – they have all been understanding and gracious about it and some have even openly welcomed the break.
Ultimately, each wedding is different and it is up to the bride and groom to decide on the event that they want to have. I may change my mind if I have children myself in the future, but for now I’m looking forward to walking down the aisle, marrying The Bloke and having a child-free day of fun, food and dancing the night away!
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kudos for your honesty as not many folks would share how and what they want..
Thanks! It’s always one of those issues that could cause lots of problems, but I’ve been lucky!
I think you’re well within your rights to request that. It’s your day!
Thanks lovely! I’ve tried to keep it simple and fuss free without being all bridezilla!
You just gotta!!
I applaud you, Suzie! You have stated exactly how you want your wedding which is brilliant. It’s your and the bloke’s very special day. Anything less than having it the way you want it to be is not fair to either one of you. Cher xo
Thanks lovely, as always! I always worry that it makes me sound a bit bridezilla!
It makes you sound like a person who is being true to yourself. Anything less than that won’t be enough!! Never a bridezilla, dear Suzie! You are doing something that so many people wish they should do: listening to your own wishes!! YEAY!! xoxo
Yaaaaaay! Haha! Thanks Cher!
Hahahaha!! 🙂 xo
Its your day and therefore people should respect your wishes – and those that don’t you can do without anyway 🙂 We had a small handful of children at our wedding, close family only but for friends we did make it clear that we were unable to accommodate children – most were glad of a child-free evening away.
And yes, one of those few children did scream throughout the ceremony and had to be taken outside before I answered my vows with “will you bloody shut that kid up…” 😀
In one of the last weddings I went to I didn’t hear the ceremony at all – this one kid screamed all the way though! Everyone else thought it was really sweet – except me haha!
We’re a rare breed unfortunately!
Yeah – there’s a whole different blog post in itself!
Kids don’t want to go to weddings. They might think they do, because they’re at that age where they need to be included in everything, but they really don’t. Parents want to take them to weddings sometimes (and want them to be in weddings, but that’s a whole ‘nother thing and don’t even get me started) because they want to see tiny people dressed up fancy and acting like little adults. Which is not what happens, and if that’s really the experience you’re after with your children then I submit that what you actually wanted was a trained monkey. They wear diapers and funny hats and it’s adorable. Human children, on the other hand, spill things on their fancy clothes, get bored, lick furniture, and generally have a bad time while parents helplessly explain, “He’s never like this, I don’t know what’s gotten into him.”
Hahahaha! Wouldn’t that be great to put on an invite ‘Your child is a furniture licker and therefore isn’t invited…’
If you knew me, you wouldn’t be surprised to read those exact words. See also: “Your child is of the perpetually sticky variety and I will be wearing white. Please don’t bring it.”
Oh my gosh I could make a whole blog post about this…’Your child is prone to expelling bodily fluids at inappropriate times.’ ‘Your child’s obsession with Peppa Pig makes me worry about its intellectual capacity to sit through a 30 minute ceremony’
We did the same thing – our reception was in the evening, it was sit down dinner with plenty of alcohol ;-D and we felt it should be an adult only event. Only had one friend I needed to explain it to, and she was fine once I did. It is your day, and should be exactly how you want it to be 🙂 xx
I’ve been so lucky with my friends – they’ve all been really gracious with it. I don’t know what I’d have done if they’d have kicked off about it!
Well, they wouldn’t have been very good friends if they did! After all, as you say, you went along with their weddings without question 🙂 I’m so glad it’s worked out well for you xx
Great post… you’ve articulated the reasons we’re not having any at ours either 😉 Unfortunately not everyone understands why you don’t want children to be at the front and centre of everything!
Absolutely! Have you had any complaints?
The invites haven’t gone out yet lol although we don’t intend to have children and most of our friends understand where we’re coming from (we’ve done it once before with a party).
Good luck! Looking forward to hearing about it!
I was 6 months pregnant for my own wedding and STILL wanted no kids! Sadly for me my husband’s family didnt respect my wishes and kids somehow ended up there anyways…. it all turned out okay in the end. But I agree, weddings are expensive and also are not something most small children have the attention span to sit through!
Oh no! Did they just deliberately ignore you or was it crossed wires? Do you feel differently now?
Yes it was deliberate. My husband’s family is Mexican so there is a cultural disconnect. Our wedding was about $100pp+ and I felt it was too expensive to have kids when the event wasn’t going to be as meaningful to them. They feel weddings are for everyone and it’s a family thing. They pushed back enough that I said okay, we can have kids at the ceremony but not at the reception because I’m not paying $100 per kid for fancy chicken nuggets. We got married at a hotel, so the rule was kids go have a pizza party in the room for dinner while adults enjoy the reception. Well, the parents ignored me, no one got a baby sitter or pizza and the kids ended up staying. I didn’t have a table for them or anything. Luckily I had about 8-10 no shows for the wedding (also annoying) but it worked out that I had already paid for those guests so the kids just took their place. So, it all ended up working out. Part of the reason I made the rule was because I have friends who have combined families with 5-7 kids after divorce and remarriage. I don’t know the kids at all and I didn’t want it to be an opportunity for people to come have a nice dinner on me! So I think because I discouraged kids, the vast majority of people still got sitters and it was a date night for them.
I’m glad it worked out well, but how frustrating!
It should be your day and it’s absolutely okay to make it yours by inviting who you wish to be there 🙂
Absolutely! Thank you!
You made the right choice and you’re absolutely right that children screw up weddings. They try to make things about them and that just isn’t appropriate.
Thank you! It isn’t about the day being all about me, it’s just it is the one day of my life that I can actually say to people “I don’t want to hear your kid screaming today” and get away with it haha!
You’re welcome 🙂
Totally agree with you. Weddings aren’t for children.
Well its your decision ultimately. If people take offence they can always decline the invite, but at the end of the day you have to do what you feel is right x
Absolutely! I haven’t had any issues so far!
How fab that everyone has been a grown up about it.
I tried something similar at my wedding. sigh. Don’t even ask.
Yeah I’ve been really lucky – my friends are brilliant!
You’re doing the right thing! We didn’t have children at our wedding and it made things so much easier. I’ve photographed weddings before where the couple already have a child, and its running rings around them as they’re saying their vows. This isn’t sweet, or adorable, its bloody annoying, especially when you’re trying to take a photo of a significant part of the day! All the parents that came to our wedding were grateful for a day off and a chance to let their hair down.
Thanks lovely! And hopefully it will make it easier for you when you are doing your awesome photography!
A wedding can be a very stressful event, and for kids in strange situations, itchy clothing, and unfamiliar locations, it’s nearly an invitation for temper tantrums and meltdowns of every kind. It’s your wedding, and you owe no apologies to anyone for excluding all children – you don’t even owe an explanation. Happy planning for a happy upcoming wedding day.
Thanks Sharon! I think that because I don’t have children of my own I have more of an adult oriented mindset and find it difficult to be patient sometimes. At least if they aren’t there then there will be no issues!
It’s YOUR day, Suzie,and you have the right to have it the way you want it! My daughter had to consider this same aspect, but one member of the groom’s family had a small child and my daughter wanted a son of one friend and a daughter of another in the wedding party. I was just a little anxious about how this would go, and true to form the little girl threw and 10 min tantrum before being willing to get into her dress Blessed be, after that not a single problem. We had maybe six littles in the crowd of 150. I would have spared myself some gray hairs if there had been no children!
Hahahah! I think the problem is that my niece is so gorgeous that even a screaming tantrum turns my family to mush, so I didn’t want to have to tell anyone to take her out!
Totally see where you’re coming from re: the drinking and swearing LOL!! It’s a huge added cost and it’s a day especially for YOU. Plus I bet your friends are secretly ecstatic to have a day/night out without them 🙂 xo
Some of them have been openly ecstatic about it haha!
You shouldn’t really even have to explain or apologise, but it’s only human to feel on the defensive. As everyone says, it’s not a public occasion! It’s your day, your wedding, you invite who you like. Do hope it all goes really well!
Thanks so much Marion! I haven’t had to get on the defensive in person so far thank goodness, but there are so many of my friends that read the blog I know that they’ll have a clear understanding now of how I feel… Not that any of them have caused me any fuss or issues!
Totally agree with your reasons! Our reception was adult only too and the bottom line is that it’s yours and The Bloke’s day so you call the shots. People will get over it, and if they don’t then that’s their issue! Exciting times for you!!
Did you have any issues with not inviting children from anyone?
I think that’s a marvellous idea!! As you know, I’m a single mum to three kiddies (now big teenagers!) When my brother got married we were all invited, how lovely! It was a nightmare – my daughter (then 2) screamed the church down, then at the meal she had an ‘accident’ and needed changing so I missed all the speeches! My son (then 3) went hysterical when I was asked by a strange man if I wanted to dance (strange man was my brothers mate lol). I hated it and that’s all I remember about my brother and S-in-L’s special day. When my cousin got married a year later (she’s my son’s godmother) she invited us all and I told her I wouldn’t be bringing them! Had a great night off. 😊
Hahaha! Thanks Shelley – sounds like a nightmare! That’s why I haven’t invited my niece – I want my sister to actually remember the day rather than having to change or feed or leave early!
First, congrats! I’m a big advocate of marriage. I never thought I was the marrying kind but I realised I just hadn’t found the kind I wanted to marry. The very first night I laid eyes on my wife I told a friend I was going to marry her. My friend laughed and said that girl is way out of your league hahaha. Which she was and still is.
Second, it’s your day and only you and your lucky fella should decide what you want in your day.
Third, we had 46 people at our wedding and 12 of them were kids under 12. For us, it was perfect. We loved the intimate vibe and the laughter of the kids and their involvement really helped make it a great day.
I think when it comes to weddings it’s a case of each to their own. There should be no rules at all. We upset a couple of people who were more associates than friends because we didn’t invite them but we didn’t care haha. All the best for the big day!
Aww that sounds lovely! I think you’re either a kid person or you’re not, and most of my friends prefer to have them involved…
Surely this shouldn’t be an issue. If you don’t want kiddies around it is your day and you should be allowed to have it just the way you like it! People can be so strange and judgemental about weddings.
I didn’t mind having little ‘uns at my wedding. We just bought a bouncy castle and most of them just kept bouncing for hooours. Once they’d all collapsed from exhaustion loads of us “grown ups” had a go at bouncing. It was pretty hilarious to try bouncing in a wedding dress.
I bet you had a great time! I wasn’t prepared to organise extra entertainment even if I could have afforded it – I’m a total wedding Scrooge!
Ha! I didn’t even organise it! my sister thought it’d be a good idea and booked it, then just called me to tell me.
I was pretty relaxed about the whole thing though.
I agree with you here Suzie. I love children but I remeber at my niece’s wedding her friend’s 3 children were running riot during the ceremony in the chuch, Their parents casually watched them, doing nothing about it. I saw the groom”s father about to step in when one of them was just behind my niece as she knelt at the altar about to tread all over her veil! Their own father eventually got the hint and picked up the child who had a mega meltdown and screamed!!
It is your very special day and you want to have wonderful memories to treasure 🙂
That sort of thing is one of the reasons why I don’t want them there! There seems to be blinkers with parents and their own children sometimes…
Yes, I know, they are totally oblivious, and no-one else really wants to say anything, especially at a wedding!
Perfectly fine in my mind. Children were not invited to our wedding years ago, and it worked out well. Enjoy yourself, it is your day.
Thank you!did you get any complaints?
Not one. We also did not invite girlfriends/boyfriends to the dinner for the simple reason, we didn’t have the money back then. They were welcome to come to the dance. Again no complaints.
This way it could be considered more of a “family” wedding, with the exception of just a few friends.
It’s about you!
Not the 35 brats that don’t eat all their dinner , ask the DJ to play Little Mix, and don’t even put their pocket money towards a gift!
Hahaha! I have a feeling Little Mix songs may make an appearance without the kids!
I totally agree with why you wouldn’t want sprogs there. Not only do they scream, run, poo, snot and puke it’s that you can’t let your guard down around them and be an adult incase they get hurt or over hear you swearing and copy it – loudly.
Yes, yes, yes, yes and yes haha! Thanks lovely!
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It’s your party and they’re your rules. You go have a great day.
Sounds very reasonable. Every wedding I have been to children have screamed and made scenes. Not that there is anything wrong with children but weddings don’t seem like the kind of place for kids at all. There are no games for them, they can’t understand what is happening, and they steel the show. I would do the same thing.
Totally agree! Thanks Steph!
Wow! I’ve never heard of a wedding where there is blanket ban on kids. In India, children accompany parents on every thing big and small. Add to that, if one ever says no to having them over – relationships would be go sour. 😉 I’m serious.
I liked your post for its honesty and a culture shift that I saw.
Thanks Parul! I still am amazed by just how big my Indian friends families are – there’s only 7 people in my family in total…
As you know, I completely agree with you & we did the same. As you say, your niece is only 10 months old, so she’s not exactly going to be offended & hold it against you. The only kids I invited was my own (obviously) and our nieces and nephews, but they were all aged 8-15yrs old & we have close relationships with them, so wanted them to share our day with us, but that’s a completely different situation than with your niece. Enjoy your day! Exciting! X
Thanks Hayley! If my niece was much older then she would be in a little dress and chucking flowers down the aisle in front of us, but at 10 months the only thing she would be throwing (up) is her breakfast…
Quite right too. Leave the blighters at home in front of Peppa Pig and leave the serious partying to hardcore adults!
Exactly!! Thanks Chris!
Initially I was curious as to what you’d say, but this was so rational and convincing haha! If I ever get married I think I’d now have to genuinely consider whether to invite children or not.
Haha! Do you think people would be understanding about it if you did?
😂😂 I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it!
we did the same thing at our wedding. I think its very reasonable
Did you get any complaints?
As you said, it’s YOUR day and you’ve jumped through countless hoops for everyone else’s wedding. I find that a lot of people nowadays expect you to fit everything to them- it is as much in your rights to have a child-free day as it is for them to invite everyone’s children. I do find it quite stressful when children are around, and speaking honestly, they do often need separate attention. If it really doesn’t work for someone, they can simply decline the invitation!! More people need to speak up on this, WONDERFUL post!! Cheers!
Couldn’t agree more with everything you said – thanks haha!
I understand not having children at the wedding, but at what age do you cut it off?? I’m 22 years old, and I have a 16 year old sister, and we have been excluded from two weddings this year! I’m not sure if it’s because they didn’t want to invite me and not my sister because she’s technically underage, or if they still see us at the “children” of my parents even though we’re grown. It makes me wonder when I’ll be seen as a full adult! 🙂
Haha! It’s a really good point – my friends have young children and it is them that I’m not inviting, but if they were 16+ I doubt they would want to come anyway!
Congratulations on your impending nuptials. Will you keep your maiden name? I thought your comment about Baby Boris was funny.
Thanks Janice – I edited your comment slightly… No I’m going to change my name to his, after the honeymoon though to avoid confusion with the paperwork…
Your day, your rules. Having 35 kids at a wedding does seem a bit much!! Glad that your friends understand.
Having 5 kids is a bit much haha! I’ve been really lucky – they’ve been really great about it!
Your string quartet? Very cool. Best wishes for a perfect wedding day,
Thanks! I trained as a classical violinist so it made it quite convenient when my friends got married as my string quartet would play for them as a gift…
Good for you for making a stance and sticking too it. I’ve seen too many brides guilt tripped into allowing children at their wedding when they didn’t want to have them there.
Thank you! I get guilt tripped into a lot of things in my life so on this one I’m taking a bit of a stand on it…
You’re doing the right thing. I’ve been to weddings that #5 has ruined too many times. No one should have to pay $10,000+ for their special day just to have a screaming infant or toddler ruin it.
Oh my gosh I couldn’t agree more!
Totally agree. I didn’t have children at my wedding or at the dinner. I had my reception in a hotel and had babysitters available upstairs in a room for those that brought their children. The children had pizza and juice boxes and were just fine.
Aww that’s a nice idea!
It is your right to invite anyone you choose. Personally I couldn’t imagine my wedding without my nieces there. I chose to invite children of family members and close friends only. Not just anyone’s kids. I am making kids kits for them (puzzles, games, bubbles etc). I disagree with the idea that kids take away from the event. I love their smiles & energy and I look forward to having them as part of my wedding day. Its some of the adults I’m not so sure about…
Haha! If my niece was older I’d have her there, but she will be 10 months and still in the screaming faze
We are doing a similar thing but drawing the line after immediate cousins. My other half’s cousins are much younger than us, but the aunt has already turned around and said she doesn’t want to bring them as she would rather enjoy herself and be child-free! I think it’s a perfectly justified decision to make for your own wedding
Everyone has been pretty understanding so far… I don’t have any cousins so I haven’t had to consider anything like that, but my friends have been great too!
These are all very valid reasons and make a whole lot of sense
Hi, I am also getting married and want to keep it a child free event (mostly!), we have 2 nieces and 3 nephews who we would like to attend, they are going to be part of the wedding (page boys and flower girls) so hopefully it won’t ruffle any guests feathers that their children aren’t invited! We haven’t told them yet so could go either way! Completely agree with you about all your reasons, I think it’s 100% up to you! Have a lovely day!
Let me know how you get on with it! When are you getting married?
April 2019, we’re a bit limited to school holidays because I’m a teacher, the summer was too expensive so hopefully this will be a nice compromise!
I was a teacher for 10 years so i totally understand!
I am in awe of your strength when it comes to this matter! I am currently planning my own wedding and originally my fiancé and I decided no children as we only really had one child in the family anyway. Since that decision, 3 guests have told us they are expecting (his cousin, brother and one of my bridesmaids!), so now my fiancé has decided we really can’t exclude them. Obviously, I am thrilled that we will have new additions to our family, but all three babies will be less than a year old and I had visions of wailing babies at the back while we try to say our vows! I don’t feel like I can put my foot down because it will cause a huge family argument!
The problem is that people forget that it’s YOUR day. If I had triple the budget, I wouldn’t probably have all my friends kids there and have an entertainer etc, but I don’t, and to be fair my friends have been absolutely great about it. I’m discovering that weddings cause far more hassle than they’re worth haha!
Tell me about it! I always thought I would be a bit of a bridezilla and be stressed about a lot of things. In fact, I’ve been really laid back and relaxed about the whole things – it seems to be other people causing all the problems! I can see why people elope!
Oh my gosh that’s EXACTLY the way I feel about it!
Confidence !! Well I also won’t like to call any kiddo to my wedding. But I won’t have this much confidence , and my friends will also not accept my this decision…
I lack this much confidence moreover the ladies ( auntie’s ) will not accept it. They will make it a big issue 😂 . But as far as I can see till my wedding in 6-7 years none of ladies I know will have any kiddo , all will be grown up . Ahhh then my niece and nephew , still waiting for them 😂. Best wishes for you. And much love xx
Thank you – and you!
I cannot agree with you more! I can’t imagine ever taking my kid to a wedding before she’s 10 at least. She’s a lovely girl but wouldn’t expect her to sot through a wedding and it wouldn’t be fair for the happy couple. Well done for speaking up!
Thank you! I was actually surprised at how many people were fine with it – I didn’t expect my friends to be annoyed but I’ve seen so many articles from butthurt parents haha!
I like your honesty! I bet if asked, more people would say the same.
I think so too… I have seen articles that totally disagree with me though haha!
Not me, I’ve written a blog myself about how it’s ok not to like other people’s kids as much as they do. And I’m a father!
Hahaha! if i could write what i wanted to write about children i would get into trouble!