When you get engaged and start planning a wedding, you inadvertently open yourself up the opinions of others…whether or not you ask for them. People will have opinions on everything from your dress to whether or not it’s acceptable to have a kid-free wedding. I found the best course of action to be a nod and a smile. But when I read this post last week about why it’s selfish to have a kid-free wedding, I felt compelled to respond.
Let me preface this by saying that Dave and I did not have a kid-free wedding, which I explained in my post on Wednesday about creating your wedding guest list. However, we didn’t have very many kids and only invited those we were related to (with the exception of one). And we didn’t hear any complaints!
While Dave and I chose to invite kids to our wedding, the idea that a couple is selfish to have a kid-free wedding is a little absurd to me. Even more absurd to me is the reasons the author of the blog post outlines as to why child-free weddings are selfish.
Cost. I understand that hiring a babysitter can be expensive. Though I don’t have kids (and have therefore never paid for a babysitter), I understand that there is a cost associated. According to the author, she spends $100 on a night of babysitting. Okay, I get that can be pricey. But in many areas of the country, couples pay an average of $100 per plate for dinner. Add just 10 kids to the guest list, and you’re talking about an extra $1,000 right there! If you’re having a wedding with 150 adults and inviting all the kids, you’ll probably have far more than ten kids on the guest list.
When couples choose to not invite kids to their wedding, they make the conscious decision to accept that some of their guests might not attend because of it. As a guest, you can make the conscious decision to not attend a wedding because your kids weren’t invited. That’s your prerogative. You aren’t required to spend that $100 on babysitting.
An even more interesting argument made by the author is that the kids make the party at a wedding and everyone dances more when there are kids present. Another argument that I have a hard time getting on board with. First of all, I’ve never been to a wedding where the adults dance more because there are a bunch of kids on the dance floor. On the contrary, I’ve been to weddings where no adult could make it onto the dance floor until well after 10 PM because of small children running around on the dance floor.
This also assumes that everyone loves kids. Don’t get me wrong, I do love kids. Especially the ones I’m related to. But not everyone loves kids. Not all couples love kids. And that’s okay. There is no reason that a couple who doesn’t particularly like children should have to invite them to their wedding.
I’ve been to quite a few weddings over the past several years. And most of those weddings included an open bar of some fashion (whether that be complete open bar or free beer), loud music, and drunken dancing. They also tend to run pretty late at night. Some couples specifically aim for the adult party atmosphere at their wedding. And it’s their wedding, so more power to them! And you know what? That probably just isn’t the atmosphere for small children. A couple shouldn’t have to plan their wedding around the fact that some of the people on their guest list have children.
What I think is selfish, certainly more selfish than a wedding without children, is assuming that someone else’s wedding day should be about you. Let them have their child-free wedding if that’s what they want. If you still want to attend, great! Do so happily and without complaining. If it isn’t something you can get on board with, then politely decline. Either way, the couple probably won’t take it personally.
What do you think of child-free weddings?
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