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July 7, 2015

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July 7, 2015

Why I Support the Adult-Only Wedding

July 7, 2015

I love a good Internet controversy, and this week we have one that’s right up my alley: is the adult-only wedding invite totally rude or totally appropriate?

Chaunie Brusie over at YourTango.com (because, “it takes two to tango” but screw that? I’m not sure) says rude in her piece on the matter. Though she very much enjoys a no-kids wedding, Chaunie has kids (by choice, we assume) and finds the cost of a babysitter plus a wedding gift plus travel an inappropriate burden on wedding guests. We can assume that Chaunie thinks that a wedding is about the community of guests therefore the bride and groom should make their conveniences (and finances) a priority. Okay Chaunie. Gotcha. Here’s a video in support of your camp.


Maria Guido at ScaryMommy.com says perfectly appropriate! Her rebuttal on the matter focuses on the fact that a couple should do whatever they damn-well please on their wedding day because it is their wedding day. She thinks the buck stops at the bride and groom. They should have everything they want on their day. Also no one is forcing people with children to attend the wedding. And another thing: maybe the couple could just buy a less expensive gift to account for the babysitter costs? Thanks Maria. All clear. And now a video for you:


My take starts with a confession: I don’t enjoy the presence of certain children at weddings. I don’t like when they are too loud. I don’t like when they hog the dance floor. I don’t like when they photobomb. I don’t like when they eat all the cupcakes. So, basically, I don’t like poorly-behaved children at weddings.

And yet I had children at my own wedding – lots of them. Why? Because I am incredibly close to many well-behaved children and I couldn’t imagine them not being at my wedding. It gets worse: I just attended a wedding where there was a child present and her dancing made my night.

But bottom line: I understand and support the no kids policy. One, a child’s behavior can’t be predicted at all times. Two, they factor into the budget. When a budget is very tight the 2-year-old that will remember nothing but still costs something is an easier cut than your mom’s cousin Barb who is never going to let you forget. And I know what you’re thinking Chaunie – my budget savings equal your budget expenses. That’s when I have to say, of course they do, it’s my wedding not your fun and fancy party where I happen to be getting married.

But I also understand the other side, especially the expenses part. A year ago R and I decided to adopt a dog. Every time we travel for a wedding we have to board our dog, which is very expensive. Maybe as expensive as paying for a babysitter for one night? I don’t know. While I realize dogs and human children are not the same, they are both additions to ones life that involve money. If R and I could not have afforded to get a dog and still attend weddings, we would not have gotten a dog. Even now, if R and I are feeling tight on money we either ask a friend to watch our dog or we don’t attend the event (because dogs are never invited to weddings. because they can’t dance? I’m not sure).

A few final thoughts:

-Some incredibly generous people pay for babysitters for their wedding because they know it is a significant burden on some of their most valued friends/family members. While I don’t think that should be required at all, I do think it’s super nice.

-“Kids” is a little loose of a definition. I get that a 12-year-old can still cause trouble, but if you’re not inviting your 16-year-old first cousin because he’s not 18, that’s a bit much.

-We all make decisions about our weddings that offend certain people. I got married on a Saturday which made travel difficult for a friend of mine who is a rabbi. She had to travel a day earlier and stay in a specific hotel, walking distance from the venue. That cost her more money. My point: you can’t accommodate everyone.

-And finally – and maybe most importantly – not everyone likes kids! At their wedding or otherwise. If a bride and groom are vegetarians, they shouldn’t have meat at their wedding. If they hate DJs, they should have a band. Not into barns, have it at a hotel. And if they simply do not enjoy the presence of children at a wedding or otherwise well then they definitely should not feel obligated to include them in the event. They are not rude, heartless, insensitive or inconsiderate: they just don’t enjoy a party that involves children.

Best of luck brides and grooms. The planning isn’t easy from any angle. But think of it this way – would you rather have a guest or two grumbling about your no-kids policy or would you rather be grumbling yourself all night long?


  1. “That’s when I have to say, of course they do, it’s my wedding not your fun and fancy party where I happen to be getting married.” – so much yes

    1. Thanks @heathersundell – that might actually be the most important line of the whole piece, when you boil it down

  2. I LOVE kids and am vehemently in favor of the no-kids wedding. Kids pull attention (adorably so in the best case, and disastrously so in the worst) and if I’m the bride it’s my day, dammit, people should be focused on me.

    As a parent, I’d much rather enjoy a night out with my husband during which I don’t have anyone tugging on my dress, spilling food, yelling, or wanting to breastfeed. I don’t really understand why anyone wants to bring their kids to weddings, honestly.

    If I couldn’t afford it, I wouldn’t go. And we did recently turn down an invite to an extended family member’s wedding that would have required plane travel and was just too much for us to plan around with (or without) the kids.

  3. Forget the money even, there’s also a capacity issue (at least for me!)… If I invited the children of all of our guests, no exaggeration, it would have been 40 additional people. I would have had to choose an entirely different venue than the one I loved b/c it would have added 25% to my guest list!

  4. I love kids. However, the thought of having them at a
    wedding isn’t a good one. I think they can mess one or two things or cry making
    the environment not to be conducive. They also tend to pull away attention, especially
    with the things that they do. I think the best thing is to keep them away from
    weddings. Hence, I support the “adults’ only wedding.”

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