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Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Child free bliss or family planning?

One dilemma that often divides people is having children at a wedding.  For some it’s a must, a wedding is a whole family celebration and children are part of that family and for others they can think of nothing worse than having children clogging up the dance floor during their first dance and crying during those special vows.
So what makes couples decide against having children at their big day?
Katie says:
"Why I didn't have kids at my wedding...
...because I'm not being funny, other peoples' kids, when you don't have any yourself, are annoying. Firstly, they make noise. I didn't want my wedding video, which was costing stupid amounts of money to have, ruined by some screaming kid whose parents refuse to take them outside. I wanted to be able to hear my ceremony, not toys banging or little Jonny whinging.
Secondly, they run around everywhere-there was no way I was having kids doing knee slides on the dance floor at my wedding! I wanted to party and dance safe in the knowledge I wasn't accumulating a small crèche in the folds of my beautiful dress!
Thirdly, they want to dismantle things, especially balloons. I had helium balloons everywhere at my evening reception and like anything associated with a wedding, they weren't cheap, but the room looked stunning. And that was how I wanted it to stay all night-not to see that parents were giving out MY balloons to their sprogs willy nilly, without even asking (I've seen this happen at other weddings and it made me cross!)
But my views haven't changed since having a baby myself. If my OH and I were invited to a wedding in the near future, I wouldn't even entertain taking my baby with me, whether she was invited or not. I love a good wedding, and quite frankly would like to enjoy myself without having to worry about being a mummy. We all deserve a day/night off once in a while."

This view is shared by many people who decide not to have children at their wedding.  It can sometimes be an unpopular choice with guests who have children and are unable to attend due to issues with childcare or simply just refuse to attend without their child.
There is no getting away from the fact that having children to your wedding can bump up the cost, extra seats at tables and extra meals that may not even be eaten, using up room at the church. 

So what if you want a few children at your wedding but don’t want to offend guests whose children you don’t invite?
Lucy is getting married next year and has made a compromise with the guests who are travelling a long distance to the wedding;

"Even before we were engaged we knew children would be an essential part our wedding. My fiance Matthew has 3 nephews, while I am Godmother to my cousin's youngest daughter, and we spend a good deal of time with them.  The nephews will be our pageboys and my god daughters will be flowergirls.  To us marriage is about 2 families coming together, and children are part of these families. 
However we are marrying quite some way away from Matthew's childhood home of Pontypool and from my parents’ home in rural Aberdeenshire, so we have made a rule that people we are inviting who are travelling some distance to the wedding are invited lock stock and barrel. Those who live nearby and will be able to get a babysitter/leave with granny etc are being invited without children - most of them are really looking forward to a day of freedom! Yes we feel it’s far from an ideal situation, but we are limited not only budget wise, but also in numbers. Our Church can only take 72 people including the bride and groom!"

In contrast children can be a wonderful addition to your big day.  They can add the awww factor as they walk down the aisle behind you in their mini suits or beautiful princess like dresses.  Not all children are noisy and destructive and can even add a bit of light hearted entertainment to the day.
Fi says that for her, her wedding day was made by the presence of her children.

"My children made my wedding!
Out of all the memories I have of the day, them being there was by far the best! Material things like my flowers and dress didn’t even compare!! After the best man speeches the microphone was put on a table, all of a sudden the silence was broken by my daughter who was only two at the time! She'd got the microphone and sang “You are my sunshine” to a shocked me and all of my guests! It was one of the proudest moments of my life, it made my wedding!
I spent hundreds on balloons for the venue and after the meal I got a scissors and cut them all down! The kids played all day with them! I'd rather see that than them making the room pretty. I cut a chunk out of my cake for my daughter who was getting a bit whingey- everyone was horrified? Why? I'd paid for it!
My photos were lovely.  My son pulled a face in every one of them! He was only 3. The most precious photo I own is on my wedding day- me and my daughter! It’s the nicest one I own!
I had lots of children at my wedding it made the day!"

Whatever your decision, you can be sure that someone will disagree with you, but at the end of the day your wedding is YOUR day so it’s important that you make your choice for you and not for others.  No one has the right to dictate to you how you should spend the most special day of your life.  Child free or children running riot, it’s your choice!

Why not share your stories with us below?

1 comment:

  1. I have to say for me weddings are all about families. The starting of a new family and the merging of two existing families and families include children. I also think that children learn great lessons from attending special events like weddings and even funerals.
    We cant be surprised, that if as a generation we discourage children attending weddings then wonder why less of them grow up to get married. Perhaps we have lost the meaning of weddings somewhere along the way? Perhaps if we were to swap expensive life saving type weddings for more traditional family weddings then society would be just that little more cohesive? My own wedding (18 years ago) was a simple affair and everyone came young an old, we had a buffet in the church hall that the family and friends put together. Every one enjoyed themselves and the kids for the most part were well behaved.