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Adult who 'ruined' ceremony as a kid sparks debate about child-free weddings.

Adult who 'ruined' ceremony as a kid sparks debate about child-free weddings.


While children can be adorable in their tiny formal attire at weddings, celebrating commitment and romantic love during a quiet ceremony and booze-filled party isn't exactly a kid-friendly activity...

Do children care about the Maid of Honor speeches, wedding party entrances, or tiny grilled cheese sandwiches served on silver trays with mason jars full of tomato soup? Probably not. Will they scream, cry, and complain during an important moment that the couple getting married spent months planning? Most likely. So, when a conflicted former wedding guest decided to consult the gloriously petty and judgmental 'Wedding Shaming,' group on Reddit about their childhood mistake during the vows, people were eager to pile on.

Kids at the ceremony, not the reception. And yet...

So a policy that said 'kids at the ceremony, not the reception' always was confusing to me because of this exact story, and yes, I will accept any and all shame because I was the rude guest in this encounter.

Years ago, when I was about...maybe 12 or younger? I'm not exactly sure. I was old enough to be embarrassed but young enough to cause embarrassment, if that makes sense... my family attended a wedding in Chicago. We lived about 2 hours away.

There was some drama among my immediate family (basically just my grandma talking behind the bride's back about how stupid she thought the rule was mixed with my parents stressing about what to do with us) about their kids policy. My parents wanted to attend the reception, but it's not like they could just pop home, drop us off, and drive back.

They also had it in their heads that we deserved to attend the reception, and they thought it was rude that we were excluded (their words), and that it was inconvenient for them to work around us kids.

My grandmother even speculated that it had to do with not wanting to pay for a plate of food when we wouldn't be providing a gift. I don't know how true that is.

Since the bride didn't budge, we ended up just going to the ceremony and going to Medieval Times afterwards as a family instead of the reception. But during the ceremony...

Mind you, this was a Catholic wedding. Very solemn and in a big fancy church. During the communion, we got antsy just standing there doing nothing, and my dad and I started messing around. At one point, he tickled me a little and I screamed. During the communion.

At the fully taped wedding ceremony. This man then had the nerve to look at me scolding, as if I was the responsible adult and had just screamed randomly without provocation. That is just...on their wedding tape forever, I guess.

Anyways, I know they probably didn't want kids to ruin the fun at the reception, but if kids get rowdy at the's already a party anyway? It seems like kids are way more likely to ruin a ceremony than a reception. I would love to have kids partying down at my wedding reception, especially since I have so many fond memories of dancing with older family members as a very young child.

I guess the moral of the story is that it's probably better to just go completely child free...

Edit: I want to add, my perspective on this is less child free weddings are stupid and more why not just go completely child free. I do understand that caring for children is stressful, but CLEARLY they can mess up a ceremony just as easily as a reception. Literally you do you.

Of course, the jury of internet strangers was eager to weigh in on this child-free reception drama. Here's what people had to say...

drcatmom22 said:

At our venue, they charged almost the same price for kids seated plates as adults (for chicken fingers lolll Seriously the most expensive chicken fingers I’ve ever seen). Some of our friends had like 3-4 kids so it would have cost us $$$ to have them.

456091 said:

It doesn’t cost money to have kids at the ceremony. It costs money to have them at the reception. It also can require a bit more planning to make sure they have things to do, different meals, activities/coloring books etc. Depending on the formality of the event, its also more formal to not have children.

Also kids have done things at weddings like sticking fingers in the cake and such so the ceremony is not the only place shenanigans are inconvenient. It also may be that the parents or many of the parents are already courtesy invites and its hard to justify inviting and paying for a whole family of 5 when you really aren’t even close to the parents.

Miss_Milk_Tea said:

Best wedding I ever went to was child-free, nobody had to whip out their id at the bar. Everyone was completely drunk and jamming out on the dance floor, we probably would’ve accidentally mowed down some kids like that. You have to keep things kind of family friendly around kids and have somebody watch them so they don’t get into stuff. It was nice the bride and groom didn’t have to worry about it.

Fun-Jelly6976 said:

I’ll never understand what common sense gene flips in some people as soon as they procreate. Having children does not give anyone carte blanche access for them to attend any event or occasion they feel like, especially when the invitation specified “child free”. Find a sitter for them or stay home - don’t be inconsiderate and force your own preferences on someone else’s special event.

Pineapplegirl1234 said:

At my SIL’s wedding her nieces stood on the pews and stomped super loudly the whole time back and forth. Then the baby wailed. Then the oldest child cried bc their mom was the MOH. So 2 years later when I got married I said no kids during the ceremony and SIL was so offended. I’m like did you forget what happened at yours??

So, there you have it!

The debate over child-free weddings will continue to rage on, but most people agree that leaving the kids at home for both the ceremony and the reception makes the most sense. If kids are included for the ceremony, couples should expect to pay extra to cover the cost of their food and seating. Allowing kids for the ceremony and then kicking them out for the dance party doesn't make as much sense, though. Good luck, everyone!

Sources: Reddit
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