Planning a wedding involves a lot of small cascading decisions that shape the overall event.
For example, some weddings are full-on feasts, while others are all about beverages and small desserts. Others are crawling with kids and the chaos of family, while some are child-free and pristine. It all comes down to matter of taste, preference, and budget, and the only task the guests have is to RSVP and respect the rules.
Still, some guests will throw up a fuss no matter what, particularly when they're in the family. And it's up to the engaged couple to keep their boundaries strong. Here's his story:
My fiancée and I are getting married in July. We have expressed to all our guests that we wish to have an adults-only wedding and asked our guests to make arrangements (please find a babysitter) if they have children. We have several reasons.
We have to keep the guest count under 50, or else two of our most expensive vendors both double their prices. Also, small children cause distractions, simply put. We know lots of people allow children at their wedding, and that's ok, we just don't prefer children at ours. Not one of our friends had any opposition to this rule.
All of them considered it nice to have a break from their kids for an afternoon and were more than happy to get a babysitter. They all agreed with us that weddings aren't kid-friendly, and it's just less complicated for everyone to find a babysitter. The only person giving us a hard time is my sister-in-law.
She has what we feel is a very unhealthy relationship with her 3-year-old son. She has coddled him to the point that he screams if she leaves the room. He has to be with his mom every second, or he gets physically sick.
She has that baby attached to her hip so badly that she will not allow anyone except family members to watch him, and those family members are all attending my wedding. Her and my brother are trying to guilt-trip us into letting them bring my nephew to the wedding. They feel like because they are family, they are a unique circumstance and deserve a pass.
We have set a boundary, and we feel like the right thing to do is enforce that boundary. To make matters worse, they have got my mother to side with them and call me to plead their case for them. I explained to her last night that if she brings him, she will not be fully present at our wedding.
She won't be able to dance with my brother (who is my best man). And if I give in, it will be unfair to all our other guests. I have accepted that my sister-in-law will not be at my wedding, and by refusing to hire a babysitter, that is the choice she is making. I am standing my ground and saying no. It's my wedding, I paid for the whole thing.
I set the date, the location, and the flavor of the cake. If I say no kids, I want no kids. Am I the a**hole?
Edit: Thank you all for the kind responses! I have always been a people-pleaser and tempted to give in to keep the peace so I'm sort of new to standing up for myself. I texted my SIL, and I was polite but direct and said no, you will not bring him to the wedding. I believe the conversation went over well, and she respected our boundary. Thank you again.
The thread quickly filled up with all manner of opinion.
NTA it's your special day and you deserve to keep it just like you planned. Your SIL needs to teach her son not to scream and shout when she's not there though...how will he behave in school then? Your wedding your rules. OP have the wedding of your dreams and enjoy. All the best.
NTA - That kid sounds like the reason people opt for childfree gatherings.
NTA. Your wedding your rules. You'd be an AH if you got mad at her for not coming, but since you're OK with her missing the wedding you're absolutely NTA.
NTA, and I really feel for that kid's future kindergarten teacher.
NTA. A child-free wedding is not a new concept, and your SIL is the a**hole for trying to be the exception. Don’t back down, you’re not in the wrong! Good luck with the rest of your planning and I hope you have a lovely wedding.
It's unanimously agreed that OP isn't TA, hopefully, his sister-in-law can hold it together long enough to not crash and ruin the wedding.