So you’re planning a wedding and the question “do we invite kids” has come up. If you Google “inviting kids to weddings,” you’ll find strong opinions to support inviting kids to share your special day. You’ll find counterpoints that are just as strong and probably everything in between.
And you thought choosing a silverware pattern was going to be complicated?
You'll discuss pros and cons. Maybe you’ll disagree.
Obviously the decision to include persons of the short, sticky persuasion in your celebration belongs to you, the happy couple. It’s your day and I’m not one to tell you how to do things.
Just don’t invite my kids.
Unless you don’t take the solemnity of the occasion very seriously. Want to hear guffaws when you lean your heads together for your first married smooch? Definitely include my two little boys. If that special moment will be enhanced by hearing a loud “ewwwwwwww gross, they’re kissing!” followed by my loud and threatening whispers, then by all means, invite my whole family.
And don’t think “now you may kiss the bride” will be the only time you’ll notice our family during the ceremony. You see, I haven’t taken my kids to church in almost three years. I’m pretty sure they don’t remember church or how you’re supposed to behave there. Your clergy’s “dearly beloved” might be interrupted with “when is the movie going to start” and your soloist’s celebration in song just might be accompanied by a chorus of “this is boring” or “I farted.”
Are you re-thinking this whole “let’s include our friends’ children” notion? Good.
But seriously, I have some selfish reasons why I don’t want to bring my kids to your wedding:
I want to drink Champagne. Lots of it. If you’re having an open bar, even better. I want to celebrate your union with a boozy good time. Kids and a boozy good time don’t exactly go together, do they? I love being a mom and most of the time, I’m good at it. But I need some time off the clock every now and then and a date with my husband to attend your wedding may be just the break I need.
I want to wear something pretty, maybe that teal fascinator with the feathers that I bought during my “Kate Middleton” phase. I can carry a cute, tiny sequined handbag because I won’t need to cram in 10 pounds of wet wipes, crackers and a Tide pen. I get to talk to other adults.
I want to dance with abandon: the Macarena, the Chicken Dance, maybe the Hora. I want to flirt with my husband and laugh too loud. I don't want to worry about who my boys are bothering or what they’ve broken, spilled or smudged. And trust me, when it comes to my kids, there’s always breakage, spillage and smudges.
I’ll gladly eat your caterer’s standard issue chicken dinner without complaining that it’s rubbery or mentioning “so and so” served prime rib and lobster at her wedding. I didn’t have to cook that chicken and I won’t be washing dishes, so it’s fine by me. I won’t have to cut anyone else’s food or interrupt my meal to take someone to the bathroom — unless some of your wedding guests get really out of control.
Don’t invite my kids to your wedding.
You might grit your teeth and say “no problem” when they accidentally pull down your reception tent. You might insist the little voice from the twelfth pew yelling “cowabunga” during the scripture reading was “so adorable.” You'd be lying.
Unless chicken nuggets are on the menu and inflatables are part of your entertainment plan, my kids are not going to gain much by being a part of your special day. And besides, if I like you enough to spring for a wedding present, shave my legs and make my husband wear a tie, I probably like you enough to get a sitter for a few hours.
But ultimately, the decision to invite children to your wedding is yours. Just don’t invite mine. Trust me on this one.
Oh, and congratulations!
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