Kids at weddings: This is a more controversial topic than many realize — until they’re in a battle over whether to invite children to their wedding OR they’re a guest, parent, bride, or groom at a wedding being disrupted by a child. One newlywed shared on Reddit how a 2-year-old messed up his wedding reception, and honestly, we’re not sure who is right in this situation.
“My wife invited her best friend (BF) who asked if it was alright if she brought her child (J, 2 years old) to the wedding,” throwaway1872912 wrote on the AITA subreddit. “I was a little hesitant as the child is known to cry pretty easily, but wife and their family really love the child, so I eventually gave in and said it was fine.”
J managed to stay quiet during the wedding ceremony, but her tendency to cry kicked in at the reception. She cried during his speech, and though the mom briefly took her away, they returned during the speech and her crying continued. Then it started to seem like the groom was the problem, as every time J saw him, she started to cry.
“Finally when we were about to cut the cake, J started bawling at the top of her lungs,” he wrote, explaining that he asked the friend to take her daughter away for this part. “BF looked at me with indignation and basically said she didn’t want to miss the cake cutting. Wife nudged me and gave me a ‘please let’s just get on with it’ look and I didn’t say anything else.”
While his wife said no one else was bothered by J crying, throwaway1872912 felt like it ruined the reception for him. He turned to Reddit to ask if he was wrong to be so upset by this.
Reddit is on his side, but with varying reasons.
Many weighed in to say that kids should never be invited to weddings.
“Unless the child is related or in the wedding party, get a sitter,” elizabethjanet said. “There must have been someone who could watch the child while BF came to the wedding. Honestly, small children don’t belong at weddings unless it’s family. Weddings are boring for kids.”
“Only an asshole brings a baby to a wedding. That’s inappropriate,” CarpeCyprinidae wrote.
That’s going a little far, we think, especially during this pandemic. It’s completely the prerogative of the couple getting married whether or not to invite children — and very acceptable for them to ask children to remain at home. But that doesn’t seem like it would have been a good choice for this situation. It was the bride’s best friend, so it was very important that she come. And with COVID-19, childcare isn’t exactly easy to arrange.
We’ve also got to point out that while some babies and toddlers cry during weddings, others steal the show with their cuteness, and it’s not very easy to tell which way they’ll go. They can also be a bit symbolic for a young couple who might be hoping to start a family of their own soon.
For this reason, many pointed out that this was a failure of the mom to do the classic move of grabbing the kid and taking her away from the spotlight until she quieted down — even if it meant missing some of the good stuff herself.
“It’s baby’s mom that you should be mad at,” cdiddy19 said. “She should have taken baby out when baby cried every time. It’s a bit ridiculous she didn’t want to leave because she’d miss YOUR cake cutting. Or said YOU should hide at your own wedding.”
“I’m a single mother of a 2yo,” ashthechache wrote. “It is on the parent to remove the child from a situation that is upsetting them or making them go crazy. I’m lucky my child doesn’t really cry much and would more be running around crazy, but even then I’d remove my child and calm her down because it’s on me as the parent to be a parent.”
Some wrote in with a verdict common on Reddit — that this is a bad sign of how their marriage is going to go, that the two are never going to agree about having children or how to raise them, that the bride put her friend first, and so on, indicating that maybe the guy should back out now. Thankfully, he’s got a more even take on the matter.
“Haha no, I’m not gonna nullify my marriage over this,” throwaway1872912 replied to one comment that has since been deleted. “I was a little annoyed but the wedding was still great. I love my wife, BF is a great person and J can be cute when she isn’t crying.”
Some of us reading have been on both sides of this situation, whether at a wedding or some other important occasion, and it’s just as easy to judge the parents of a tantrumming toddler as it is to think everyone should be more tolerant of children behaving like children. We all were kids once, after all. The solution to these dilemmas? Use a bit of empathy, whether you’re the parent or the one being interrupted. And if parents don’t comply, try to adopt the attitude of pizzamartini, whose niece also cried through her wedding.
“It was my wedding,” they wrote. “The only one I plan on having, and I didn’t want to focus on the things going wrong. I married my best friend that day. There were enough things going right that the rest seems inconsequential. That was your wedding. It’s over and done with. How do you want to remember it? Do you want to remember a kid that cried or the way your now wife looked? Focus on the good and let go of the bad.”
Buying a gift for a toddler in your life? Here are our favorites on Amazon this holiday season.