Kids at weddings

Dana - posted on 01/04/2011 ( 143 moms have responded )

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I've got a wedding to attend this summer. I've just found out that kids are not allowed so, it's got me thinking. While I understand this is their special day, it's also a pain in the ass for some parents too.



What do you all think of kids at weddings? Where is the age limit, those who are under 18 can't attend, those above 18 can? Or what about the statement (which wasn't said to me thankfully) "If you really want to come to the wedding, you'll find a way/babysitter."

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Mary - posted on 01/04/2011

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I have to say, I'm kind of surprised to read a lot of these replies. A wedding is about the couple getting married, not accommodating the all the needs and/or wants of everyone on the guest list. It just seems like extremely poor manners to impose YOUR feelings about bringing your kids to THEIR event. Maybe I have some really old-fashioned manners, but I was raised to believe that an invited guest should never make demands or conditions that need to be met in order for the host to be graced with your presence.



When I was in my mid to late twenties, there was a 4 year span in there when I was going to about 10 weddings a year. Overall, I'd say that I've been to well over 50 weddings in my lifetime. Very few of them had children present that were not immediate family (meaning their own kids, or nieces and nephews). As a child, the only weddings I remember attending were those I was a flower girl in. Maybe it's a Mid-Atlantic thing, but most people DON'T include children in weddings. Nobody gets upset by it, and most people don't expect it. A cousin of mine is getting married this spring; I would be shocked if the invite included my two y/o, or my niece and nephew. I sure as hell would never dream of bitching about them not inviting her, nor would I think that my childcare issues were somehow their problem.

Jodi - posted on 01/06/2011

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"The invitation never mentioned whether children were allowed or not."



If someone's name isn't on the invitation (or and &family added), they aren't invited to the reception - they haven't been included in the catering. That would be my assumption. I think it is rude to assume otherwise. However, there is no harm in asking if your children can come to the ceremony, as long as you know your children will behave.

Jodi - posted on 12/19/2012

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Why do people owe you an explanation if it is THEIR event? If it makes you "feel" all these emotions, isn't that your problem, and your perception of the situation, not their doing?

Diana - posted on 12/14/2012

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I have been married for 15 years & have 2 lovely children who are very well-behaved. I did not have children at my wedding & even if I were to re-do it only mine would be there for the wedding & dinner. I'll tell you why. Not all children are well-behaved & not all parents care whether or not their children are well-behaved or care to keep an eye on them. I attended a wedding were one 12-year-old boy was throwing up out in the parking lot and staggering around a bit. The mother couldn't understand why he was sick, "He must have eaten too much cake.", she said. Nope, he was hammered! One of the boys cousins told us later that this boy was walking around & drinking any unattended glass of alcohol he could find. This is not the first time I've seen something like this. We had gone to another wedding for someone that my (now) husband worked with sometimes & left the reception in a hurry when we saw people giving a 2-year-old alcohol. It made me uncomfortable and as a mom now I would say something, but at the time I was only 21, very shy, and only knew my husband. Not to mention the fact that if you've ever been in a restaurant and seen little kids running around, yelling, and misbehaving...nope, I don't blame a bride & groom one bit for not inviting children at a wedding. Sometimes it is easier to not allow any children than to single out that one relative with the misbehaving kids. What if fragile, 90-yr-old Aunt Martha gets tripped by a little screaming Sarah during one of her patented tantrums & breaks her hip? Sure it is inconvenient for parents, but it's not really your wedding is it? It doesn't make them selfish. Selfish is presuming that everyone who doesn't have children should make accommodations for those who do. Weddings are expensive and when you have the choice between 2 children or 1 more adult family member or friend who will appreciate being there, it is hard to fault the bride & groom. If you can't find a sitter, then just tell them that you would love to go, but don't have someone to watch the kids. If you can't go, you can't go. It is one day. After the wedding take the happy couple out for dinner or have them over for a little congratulatory get-together. If you are really friends (or close family), they will understand.

Lindsay - posted on 01/05/2011

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A wedding day is about the bride and groom soley. Whether or not to have kids invited is their decision and should be respected, not questioned, regardless of their reasons why.

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~♥Little Miss - posted on 07/15/2013

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Hannahbannana - posted on 07/12/2013

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It's an invitation not a prison sentence. You don't HAVE to come. It is a honor to be invited to an event that likely the bride and groom have planned for over a year and are spending thousands of dollars to put on. If they want it on a boat, under water, adults only, at the circus who cares?! Come if you can and don't if you can't. It's somehow more rude to ask you to pay for a babysitter or have your family members watch your child so you can attend an evening, black tie event with an open bar where a kid would be out of place and bored, then to ask the bride and groom on THEIR day to spend hundreds of extra dollars on additional guests to feed? Talk about selfish.

Patricia - posted on 02/21/2013

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Plus I remember trying to be the Maid of Honor at my Sister's Wedding and our Daughter had just turned two was the Flower girl. I could not enjoy the wedding at all. I was so worried about her getting into everything. They even had bubbles and activities, but still I could no enjoy. If I had to do over again I would of left her with someone.

Patricia - posted on 02/21/2013

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I would say it is their choice so if children are not allowed then you can either find a sitter and go or not go.

Mgold - posted on 02/05/2013

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the real pain in the ass comes in when your child is in the middle of drinking adults being a pest for everyone. Stay home!

Mgold - posted on 02/05/2013

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Absolutely right!
I am actually offering babysitting for those coming from Europe and have no choice but to bring their kids but rest assured the kids will not at all be allowed to show up in the middle of my reception crying and making a scene.

Mgold - posted on 02/05/2013

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Stay home with your child if the wedding for you is about seeing your child sing and dance. Selfish and unbelievable.

Mgold - posted on 02/05/2013

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Unbelievable!
What is this whole selfish obsession about watching YOUR kids dance at someone else's wedding? If your kid likes to sing and dance buy it a karaoke machine and stay at home on the night of the wedding singing and dancing with the child! Its someones wedding not Americas Got Talent.
Someone has thought of you to invite you to THEIR special event which becomes all about YOU and your dancing and singing child? my word!
Respect the bride and grooms wish for a peaceful adult affair or stay home.
Do you kick up a fuss about how your child isnt invited to the companys formal black tie award dinner?
This isnt about you and no bride wants to experience your tantrum. Stay home with your child.

Jodi - posted on 02/03/2013

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Really? What's the point? The wedding isn't about your son. The point is that you can get to see the ceremony, you know, the important part that makes the happy couple officially married, and they'd like you (and you children) there to share it with them.

Becky - posted on 02/01/2013

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Well I just found out we will be invited to a wedding and kids can be at the wedding, and at the reception until like 8. Which is kind of nice but what is the point? My son will be a little over 4 and I was excited to see him at a wedding. He LOVES to sing and I mean sing just about every top 20 country song. So I wanted to see him sing at the recpetion and dance. I think it is SO cute to see little kids dancing.

Sara - posted on 01/28/2013

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I think kids should be included in special days! They bring a lot of joy, with that being said, it IS their day and there are many reasons why people wouldn't want children, as maybe they'd like their friends to really enjoy the night sans responsibility so to speak. Perhaps they don't like the idea of drunks around children. Perhaps they cannot afford to feed everyone with their families! It is a pain and I personally don't agree but I think they could possibly have a valid reason.

Wigrrl - posted on 01/28/2013

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my wedding is coming up in a month. I addressed the invites to the people that are invited. Some really great friends who have older kids: Mr and Mrs ___ and family. Other friends have itty bitty babies.. some multiples.. and I don't want a crying child disrupting my ceremony... as as mother *I* would take my crying infant outside- but many people don't have that type of awarerness. To those friends I addressed the invite as M/M _____. Generally- when you would see an invite like that you would know that the kids AREN'T invited.

Still I ihave people asking if they can bring their kids.

No.

That isn't how the invite was addressed. I know you are a parent and you kids are important as IS MINE... but no. Have a fun night out with your significant other- have dinner and drinks on us and dance the night away in celebration. But keep your babies at home.

For those of you who are simply outraged that you were asked not to bring your child- get over yourself. Kick up your heels without your kid. They wont have fun anyways.. and will be either telling you they are bored 45 min into it- or you aren't going to be able to enjoy yourself when you are too concerned if Johnny is sticking his fingers in the cake. Or maybe that is the problem-- you wouldn't be concerned.. hmm?

Jessica - posted on 01/04/2013

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It really depends on the person and what type of wedding it is.
Some wedding allow children and some don't.
To be honest i took my son to a wedding and he was bored most of the time, i kinda wish i got a babysitter for him (he would have had more fun with the babysitter), we ended up leaving very early.

Evelyn - posted on 01/04/2013

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It really depends on the groom and bride and their wants or needs for that day. I can understand that it is a pain to not be able to bring kids to the wedding and festivities that happen after. My approach is this: If I can not take my kids to the wedding, then I send them the RSVP and decline and explain that finding a sitter is out of the question so I can not attend. I would send them a nice card and small gift. That is all you can do.

Jodi - posted on 12/30/2012

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Well, statistically, the average wedding now apparently costs $33,000 in Australia..... My children will not be having the average wedding if they expect me to pay for it. I refuse to spend more than I spent on my own wedding (plus inflation).

[deleted account]

I have no idea what weddings cost now days I got married 24 years ago. At $120 a head what the heck are they serving? Are you figuring what the meals cost or you including the venue, decoration etc? You got me worried here I have a 16 year old daughter!!!

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YOUR Children are not anyone's problem but your own. Why does that need any explanation???

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I can see why people wouldn't want kids at a wedding at $20 a head or whatever it cost now it's expensive. If you can't afford to go don't go.... I don't know why someone would get upset about this? Or why you would feel it is a insult if someone says "If you really want to come to the wedding, you'll find a way/babysitter." That's the truth.....it's your responsibility period.

Dani - posted on 12/22/2012

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We have a funny one. My husband and my son and I were all invited to the wedding, however in small letters at the end of the invitation, it says, due to the receptions request, no children are allowed to come to the reception. I think if they don't want the children at the reception, then don't invite them to the event. I mean, we're lucky, my mum and dad will come and pick up Will from the ceremony and the then we can trapse off to the reception. But what if you don't have a back up plan? Very odd...I am fine with there being no kids at weddings, because we had no kids at ours. its not hard to find a baby-sitter and the invitations come within 1-2 months before the big day so ample time to find that perfect sitter! :)

[deleted account]

***I'm certainly not saying parents don't enjoy nights out without their kids. I'm certainly not saying people CAN'T or SHOULDN'T have "no children" events. But I am saying that maybe a good explanation can go a long way with parents like me who feel like we are forced to choose between someone's event and my children. ***

So how does one put that on an invitation?

Tracy - posted on 12/19/2012

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Personally, I don't intend to stigmatize those without children. However, "no children allowed" events (without obvious reasons) seems to me to stigmatize those with kids. It FEELS like a dozen emotions, including that my kids aren't well behaved, why should I put out extra money for a babysitter when I see no reason why a kid couldn't attend, for a FAMILY wedding I feel it excludes the very reason that FAMILIES exist, you are asking me to leave part of my family out of a celebration (in the case of a family wedding). I'm certainly not saying parents don't enjoy nights out without their kids. I'm certainly not saying people CAN'T or SHOULDN'T have "no children" events. But I am saying that maybe a good explanation can go a long way with parents like me who feel like we are forced to choose between someone's event and my children.

[deleted account]

I personally don't understand why people who want to have an all-adult occasion are so stigmatized. What's wrong with no children? Nothing to my mind.

Tracy - posted on 12/17/2012

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I know this post was a long time ago, but I wanted to post a quick response anyway. I have been invited to ONE wedding where no kids were allowed. It was the one cousin of mine that I wouldn't have missed his wedding for anything. However, his bride and her parents wanted a super fancy affair and didn't want kids there to muss it up. I had a 5 year old at the time. Maybe I was due a night out, who knows, but I decided that I am a mother before I am a cousin and if my kids weren't allowed then I wasn't going to attend. To be honest, though the stipulation wasn't made specifically for me or my kids, I was a bit offended as a parent. I know some kids just can't or won't behave, but that was not my kid. I didn't attend. It's been ten years since then and the couple still don't have children of their own and are pursuing careers very heavily. I'm a stay at home mom struggling to get food on the table. But if you asked me, after all this time, would I change my mind and have gone? The answer is still no (though the night out DOES sound tempting)...

Kim - posted on 12/14/2012

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I have an 11 year old daughter, and I am getting married in September 2013. The only children we are inviting are my daughter and my fiance's nieces who are in the wedding party. We are paying for the wedding ourselves, and there are a number of friends we have had to cut from the list to remain within budget - we simply cannot afford to include all of the children in the family. Honestly, it will be a late night wedding reception and I don't really want the chaos. Call it what you would like, but it is mine and my fiance's day. We also don't want to make exceptions for one cousin or friend because of the unnecessary drama it may cause. We are being very upfront about our expectations early on. I definitely think its a personal preference and it should be respected. We are not even giving all of our local guests a "+1" if they aren't in a serious relationship or if we don't know their guest. It is more important to me to have a more intimate setting of close family and friends at a reasonable cost.

[deleted account]

I went to one for my cousin and she hired a not to attentive "babysitter" as we had to travel to get to her wedding and I was leaving my kids behind especially with one breastfeeding. Anyway, I do understand but in hind sight I would have just sent her our gift and our polite refusal. I just never want to have that experience again. I spent half my time in seclusion with my kids while the rest of my family and my DH were at the reception downstairs. We, of course, couldn't leave because we were staying with my uncle and had carpooled. Nope, never going to a wedding again that I can't take my kids to. (mainly because we are so spread out and I just don't leave my kids with others when we are out of town.)

Bonnie - posted on 02/01/2011

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My husband and I got invited to a wedding. We got the invitation back in November. We thought we were going to have care for our boys, but it turns out we won't because there are health situations going on in our families right now.
So, my husband spoke with the groom (who is his friend) and asked, "would it be okay if we bring the boys because we have no one to take care of them." The groom said, "yeah sure, no problem. There will be other kids there."
Now it turns out a month before the wedding, the groom comes back to my husband and says, "sorry I spoke with my fiance and she says no children." My husband just plain out told him that we won't be able to come then.

I'm sorry, I would have been okay with it at first if they said no children, but to say okay and then less then a month before the wedding say no children. I kind of find that rude.

JuLeah - posted on 02/01/2011

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How important is it for you to attend? I doubt I'd go if I could not take my child and I had to travel. If it were in town and would not require more then a few hours of my time, I'd hire a sitter. If I would need to travel, my child would need to attend as well.
Who ever puts on the wedding ought to consider the kids and offer a day care or some such service.
My daughter went to her first wedding when she was about 4 years old and she loved it. She was into the flashy dressed and such. It helped that she knew both of the brides and much of the wedding party, but I still think she would have enjoyed herself.

Cyndel - posted on 02/01/2011

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I believe personally that weddings are a time to celebrate family, and family the mass majority of the time includes children.
I believe children should witness the joy and celebration of marriage. If the couple wishes to they could say no children at the reception because of money issues with food but not at the ceremony.
Most brides who don't wish children at the ceremony simply don't wish any distractions from her glory and perfection on her day, and this is pure vanity and selfishness. This is not always the case, there are other valid reasons to exclude children from the ceremony, but the majority of the time it is selfishness.
I honestly can't imagine a wedding without children. Children are a pivital part of family, and a wedding is the creation of a new family.

Johnny - posted on 01/08/2011

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"A wedding just isn't much of a wedding without children present."

LOL. I'm pretty sure my marriage is valid despite not having allowed kids at my wedding. I love my daughter and we rarely go out without her. However, unless the wedding was specifically designed to be child-friendly and has activities for them (I've been to a couple like this) I would find a babysitter even if she would be welcome. I absolutely have not changed my mind about having kids at my wedding, being a parent hasn't changed my mind in the least. I didn't get any complaints, in fact, many people were quite happy about it. A couple years after I married, I was a bridesmaid at my girlfiriend's second wedding. It was a big affair, and her son was at the ceremony, but she made arrangements for him to be picked up right after the pictures and had a little dance with him right at the beginning of the reception. She wanted to cut loose and have fun, she didn't want to have to worry about what he was doing.

Sherri - posted on 01/08/2011

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NO Kids were allowed at my wedding sorry it was my day and I didn't want it ruined by others children. If you can't find a sitter I am so sorry then I completely understand put please don't attend. I think teenagers are the cut off or at least to me they were. No infants, toddlers, or elementary school children. The only kids at my wedding were the ring bearer and flower girl and my son basically just for pictures and then I hired a sitter to take him home so he did not attend the reception he was only 7mo's old.



We just did the same thing for husbands birthday. I had it at a restaurant at $13 a head so sorry NO KIDS allowed. I could not afford to pay for kids as well. Not with having paid for 35 adults.

Stifler's - posted on 01/08/2011

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I didn't have a dancefloor/anything for kids to do at my wedding. Hence why none were invited. People mostly drank and talked and stuff.

Desiree - posted on 01/08/2011

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Jodi Yip but they didn't exactly care, who was I but the sister of the bride.

Jodi - posted on 01/07/2011

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OMG Desiree, who wants to see that in front of adults!!! That's atrocious behaviour. Did you tell them to get a room?

Desiree - posted on 01/07/2011

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In another vein, I wish the wedding I went to (and It was a family wedding) had had an age restriction. Because if I knew how badley behaved the bridesmaids would have been my kids would have been left at home. Who wants to see the date of the bridesmaid with his had up her skirt in full view of the rest of the guests and in front of children, or to see couples snogging at their respective tables without a care for the other guests at their table or in the room, especially in front of the mother of the bride, the father of the bride and her nieces and nephews, and it got worse because the Mother of the groom certainly didn't behave either to such an extent that they won't show anyone the photos that were taken of her. I shudder to know. I personally have no problem with it either way, but it isn't always the children that misbehave.

[deleted account]

"A wedding just isn't much of a wedding without children present."

And this why I love this board as a debate board! I couldn;t disagree more with this statement! I don't think it's always so cutesy to see children running around at a wedding. And I guess because almost all of my wedding experiences were formal/semi-formal, they were viewed as adult affairs. What makes children so fun at a wedding anyway? The few weddings that we attended where children were invited were kind of in the way and crashed into people on the dance floor.

Kunang - posted on 01/06/2011

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I recently got married last year, my wedding allowed kids. I think its up to the parents. Although my wedding was outdoors and for lunch, we also had a few games for kids to play. They we're an issue at all. I guess it depends on the situation I guess.

LadyJane - posted on 01/06/2011

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I guess it would depend on how "rowdy" the family gets. So far none of the weddings I've attended got really rowdy. Smoking was actually not allowed at any of the receptions I've been to due to many family members having ailments n such. The last reception I went to was in 2007 for my cousin who was married on an island months earlier. She was 27 and wanted the kids there. Lots of receptions I've been too were smokefree and in a few cases also banned alcohol. Children are so cute when they're up there dancing that, at least in my circle of friends/family, that most of their weddings actually include them as part of the entertainment at all receptions. It's all personal preferences. I just think that as long as you know what kind of people you're inviting, there's no reason children shouldn't be welcomed at a reception, unless they're going to be misbehaved to begin with. I've never not been invited to a wedding or reception because of not being an adult. Neither has any of my kids not been invited at family or friend weddings, So I've never saw a problem with it.

Melissa - posted on 01/06/2011

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kids at wedding not at reception as reception is an adults thing. age limit depends on the person. Ive been to wedding that say under 12s til 9pm or something simlar

Isobel - posted on 01/06/2011

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I hope nobody takes this the wrong way...but I was also 4 at my first wedding...I slept on two chairs pushed together while all the grown ups got drunk and smoked cigarettes (which is the way it went back then) since we no longer do these things near children...it's fair to say keep them away if you know your friends and family have a good shot at getting rowdy.

LadyJane - posted on 01/05/2011

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I should have added I was only 4yrs old at the first wedding I attended, it was quite a formal affair lasting 2 hours at the church then the reception. I never left my mom's side and kept quiet throughout the whole thing. The invitation never mentioned whether children were allowed or not. All of the weddings after that first one had ring bearers and flower girls aged no more than 6 years old. The youngest being almost 3.



A wedding just isn't much of a wedding without children present.



In my family, weddings always involved the kids, even as far back as the 1800s. So for me having kids at formal or casual weddings is just a natural thing and never an issue.



Bottom line, do what you feel is best. Don't be pressured going to a wedding without your kids if you don't wish to leave them home. If I need a break from the kids, I'd wait til they're in school and either go get a massage when I'm not working or pamper myself until school lets out.

Heather - posted on 01/05/2011

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For my wedding, we invited just family kids not our friends kids...and the reason is because with all of our friends and family's kids our number of people would've been too high and cost too much, so we cut it down to just family members kids. I have also been invited to weddings who did the same thing..sometimes we had a sitter and sometimes we couldn't go, or just one of us would go depending on who it was. Hope that helps :)

Bonnie - posted on 01/05/2011

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When I said family function, I meant a member of the family getting married. Sorry.

[deleted account]

Well in some cases, weddings ARE family functions, and in other cases, it is an adult function. The bottom line is that the weding is all about the bride & groom, not a bunch of kids taking over the dance floor and taking the spotlight off of the couple. Sorry, I still take the stance that at more formal weddings, there's no place for kids. At more low-key casual weddings family friendly atmosphere, sure...the more kids the merrier I guess.

Bonnie - posted on 01/05/2011

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Personally, if it isn't a family function and I am able to get a babysitter, I am all for it. More chance at having a better time being children free and less of a chance in having to leave early.

LadyJane - posted on 01/05/2011

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I'd have to say I won't go if my children weren't welcomed. I'd say, sorry would have loved to attend, but my children come first... since 1970 when I attended my first wedding through 2005, not one of those weddings banned children. They were more than welcomed, even at the reception, though there was a section in the corner of the hall at 2 of those weddings where mats were set up for children when the parents wanted to dance or have their few minutes. I would never NOT allow children to my wedding. It makes a wedding so much more fun. :) However; I do know that some parents who knew their children would not be behaved at the actual wedding asked if they could attend the rehearsal instead of the actual ceremony and that was allowed.

My children will always be more important than attending a wedding, all my friends know this and if they were to have a no child policy, they are ok with me not being there. So far, none of my friends have had this policy...

Katherine - posted on 01/05/2011

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Every wedding I've ever been invited to save for my BIL's has been child free. I never knew so many were kid friendly.

Joanna - posted on 01/05/2011

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I was invited to a child-free wedding when my daughter was 1. I didn't go. She goes everywhere with me, and was going through some separation anxiety. I couldn't imagine putting either of us through that. Plus it was 2 hours away, so it would've been an all day thing.

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