When this man is annoyed with his sister, she asks Reddit:
My sister is getting married next month to my best friend. She always wanted a nice snow wedding in the cabins we used to go to when we were in school. Everything was going fine until she told me it was a child free wedding.
Now, that would be fine with my wife and I because we would just drop of my son and daughter at my wife's parents or with their godparents, but my sister had asked them to be the ring bearer and the flower girl. Apparently, they want the kids to perform their duties at the wedding but then not attend the reception.
That means either my wife or I will have to be there with them alone in the cabin while everyone is 'partying it up', but wait, I'm the best man and will be conducting the reception so it's just going to be my wife.
What about food? My mom will give my wife 20 minutes to come in, grab some plates with food and come back because the mother of the bride can't be missing for too long.
So, they expect me to abandon my wife with our kids who are under the age of 7 in a tiny cabin that is not child proof, where the source of heat is a fireplace and there is barely any cell signal. This is the day after driving for 7 hours with said kids.
Not only do I think this is not a safe idea considering it would be the middle of winter, my wife has never been to these cabins and the lack of ability to properly communicate, but also, I think it's incredibly rude to invite someone to a destination wedding where they are only allowed to attend the wedding.
Although my wife says she can manage (she's really gullible sometimes and is a little bit of a people pleaser), I refuse. She's not being treated like a guest but as the babysitter for the ring bearer and flower girl.
I tried to talk to my sister and the jack*** I call my best friend, who always preaches about being there for friends, loyalty and whatnot, but they are not conceding or willing to compromise.
I asked if my kids could attend until the toasts, games and food then all four of us would retire to the cabin and let them party, no. If we could go completely child-free and leave the kids behind, no.
If I just attend the wedding and retire to the cabin after the wedding, no. My sister is against all of these ideas while the jack*** has taken a temporary vow of silence. So, I'm pissed and said I'm not coming. Which in turn, began the messages and calls from everyone. My family, the groom's family and their/our friends.
My wife has openly said that she can manage this, but I know that's to keep the peace. My kids are also upset because before asking us, my sister and jack*** asked them first to participate in the wedding and they were really excited because they're close with both of them.
With all these calls and messages, I feel I'm going crazy and maybe I'm the a**hole instead. So, AITA?
NTA If she wants child free then she does not need your kids as props. As a parent you have the right to not attend a child free wedding without guilt. Tell her she should hire some local children for the gig.
Some of it is because of concerns about child disruption at the ceremony. Some of it is because of similar 'disruption' concerns at the reception.
But some of it, imo, has to do with people who just want to have a party where they can get absolutely trashed, and don't want kids around because they feel it will inhibit the type of party atmosphere they want.
I also have opinions that the 'disruption' concerns can be tied more to adults than anything about the kids themselves. (but that's its own opinion piece for another day).
Any way you go about it, people should treat child-free weddings in the same vein they should treat destination ones. It's fine if you want to have one. Just don't complain when other people don't want to attend. OP is NTA. And you're right. His sister is treating those kids as props.
Anywho, NTA. The bride/groom certainly did their best to make it impossible for OP. If they want child free, go all the way with it. If they really want a ring bearer/flower girl, they should at the very least be paying a rental fee to OP since the kids are supposed to magically disappear when they’re no longer needed.
Or, the happy couple to-be could hire them a local babysitter, considering OP is in the wedding party. How OP is expected to make this work is mind boggling.