Here's the original post:
My fiancé and I are having our child-free wedding in a couple months. While we adore children, we've been very open, honest, and communicative for the last five months with all our guests (speaking to each attendee personally) that we will not be extending wedding invitations to any children under the age of 13 at our wedding.
We 100% agree this is the best decision to help us drastically reduce headcount and feel confident in going forward with our wedding as planned. Everyone has been gracious, kind, and respectful of our decision except my soon to be sister in law.
We discovered that she is still planning to bring her 4 year old and 7 year old to our wedding even though we have been talking to her for months now about our wedding being childfree. Fiancé just called her and explained that while we would like her to attend, under no circumstances will her small children be allowed through the doors at the wedding due to our safety measures.
My soon to be sister in law threw a fit- she said that because her children are my fiancés niece and nephew they should receive an invite anyway and are more important than all my little cousins (which really offended me because I'm very close to my cousins), my parents were "unreasonable", that her 7 year old is "heartbroken" and will "never recover from this",
that she doesn't trust anyone to watch her children because they are "all perverts." I guess this includes my sister in law's 4 friends my fiancé noted she could ask who are local to the area of our wedding and wouldn't be at our wedding so likely could watch them
but she said it wouldn't be possible for any of them to help (not that she has asked them), and for some reason her husband can't be the one to stay home and watch them while she attends (supposedly) even though they only live a few hours away.
Finally, as she was going on and on about how my parents are awful for not allowing children, my fiancé reminded her this is what we also both decided and what I, the bride, wants. She finally got quiet and said she would see what she could do but it was an awful thing to do to family, etc. etc.
The way I see it, she's just rejecting every solution we give her because she is offended and wants to get her way. Also, the fact she was planning on sneaking behind our backs to bring her kids anyway, makes me really mad. Is my anger at her inability to respect our wishes clouding my judgement that his little niece and nephew should be there?
I just feel like a 4 year old isn't going to remember it anyway and a seven year old barely will either. I also think it would be horribly insulting to my family that we allowed only her children come... Reddit, AITA?
NTA. Listen to your own words “child-free” - as soon as somebody tries to breach the rules which are very clearly set in place, they are automatically the AH. I would also point out that if she turned up with her children that they would not be catered for, and the venue allows no outside food (even if they do just lie and say no).
NTA. Your wedding your rules. Be prepared for her to show up with her kids anyway to try and force the issue: "They're already here. Now you have to let them in! You don't want to cause a scene do you?!" A four year old is going to be bored so is a seven year old. I doubt they want to come and she's just using them as an excuse.
NTA, they would be soooooo bored. Nothing to keep them amused and no children to play with. It's a potential nightmare for all. Sil just wants her own way and isn't really that concerned about her kids.
NTA Your big day your rules. No way should you back down. It sounds as if she's spoiled and used to getting her way. Screw that. Keep us updated OP
Nta- why, why, WHY do people think children will enjoy a wedding? O yeah, let's get dressed up in uncomfortable. fancy clothes and sit quietly for a few hours! Every kids dream day!
NTA. But know she is going to bring her kids anyway so be prepared.
Thanks to everyone who has commented so far. I appreciate getting the perspectives from those not so close to the situation (whether I'm the AH or not in your opinion!). As of now, my fiancé and I have made our wedding coordinator, staff, and security at the venue very aware that any guests showing up with small children need to be turned away at the door.
They can opt to take their kids home and come back to catch part of the reception (presumably they'll miss the ceremony), or simply return home, but our venue won't be open to small children (or you know, anyone we didn't invite or who isn't attending as a plus one for a guest we were already aware of) that day.
I'm truly praying and hoping it doesn't come to that as it would be very awkward for her, but on the bright side it is unlikely my fiancé and I will be aware if that happens because we'll be so busy taking first look pictures as guests arrive, we probably wouldn't realize until after the ceremony. If I can, I'll post an update for the curious.
Update: Had the wedding recently (It was AMAZING!!! :D) and SIL didn't end up showing. She actually ended up texting my now husband only about an hour before the wedding to tell him something about not being welcome if her kids aren't blah blah blah. He didn't even worry about it and didn't need to respond. We were too happy being together and super busy with the whole family.
Honestly, it was the *best* gift she could have given us not bringing her sour attitude and needing the attention all on her to our special day. The only cruddy thing of course is knowing she waited until last minute to say she wasn't coming in a failed attempt to hurt my husband right before he said his I dos.
Jokes on her though, because he barely gave it any thought, was beyond happy, and her whole family and friends have been raving about how awesome the wedding was all week and many mentioned that it was rude of her not to attend. It was just a really magical day!
She missed some killer food and entertainment, too. We gladly ate her fill of cake. :) Also, we heard from so many people unprompted that the wedding was so much more fun not having to worry about little ones everywhere. Just really upped the vibe and not having any tantrums during our ceremony was the best. :) Moral of the story: It's your wedding!!! Do what feels right to you!