BRIDE GUIDE: The Kid Factor- Shiny, happy people holding hands

Shiny, happy people holding hands… Yes B-52s! Who loves some Love Shack?

Oh hi there.  I’m just hanging out, thinking about my wedding day and remembering some of the drama that ensued about a certain subject.

So yes I’m going to touch the touchy subject of children at a wedding. Saddle up.

Anyone who knows me knows that my nieces and nephews are my life.  I adore them.  I am a pile of mush when I hear Aunt Cari. Little ones or big ones, blood ones, step ones, or friend’s babies, I just love them all. If I had all the money in the world, I would spoil them all to the moon and back.

Our wedding was a different story though. We never pictured a day with kids running around through people’s legs on the dance floor or dancing in bare feet. We didn’t want kids at our reception that started at 8:15, with no dinner until 9:00ish.  We didn’t want kids under foot of 250 drinking adults.  We didn’t want to remember a kid crying, screaming or talking during our toasts and slideshow.  We wanted our friends and family with kids to stay for the evening and dance with us on our wedding day, not leave at 9:30 after dinner was through to get the kids home. We were trying to think of these people too when we decided that all of these “didn’t wants” meant a no kids wedding.  By inviting a whole lot of kids we would have gone against what we wanted. We wanted our 8 closest little ones to be a part of our ceremony but to draw the line at the reception, no kids under 9 years old.  We wanted an evening of elegance; I don’t love these little kids any less but they just didn’t fit into the picture of our perfect day.   It is a completely personal decision. It was supposed to be our choice, our day, a once in a lifetime chance to actually ask for what you want and have it. It wasn’t as easy as all that.

This wasn’t an easy situation to get past and it was probably the second hardest decision to make about the big day. Healing from it is taking time. Since I come from what you would call a “broken” family, I had opinions coming at me from all sides, kids, no kids, some kids, this time, that time. My brain exploded for months. I know we made the right choice but the way it all went down made me have my doubts.  Everyone with kids will have something to say or contribute or ask; I get that. My friends were champs about it, setting up transportation and babysitters for their kids to come and enjoy pictures, cocktail hour, and even the very beginning of the reception. Afterwards, the kids went home and their parents were able to stay and celebrate with us until the wee hours of morning. My bestie with 3 kiddies said it was one of the best nights of her life; it was definitely special for me but it wasn’t all such smooth sailing.  Our wishes were not as respected by some, causing us several hiccups and more we would find out about later. It wasn’t what we asked for BUT Hubs and I didn’t care at that point.  We were married and we didn’t want to deal with any issues on the big day. As my Who You Gonna Call? blog says, we let the pros take care of it.  We had already handed our wedding over so that we could enjoy every minute. Nothing was going to bring us down.

The key is to keep this situation light either way, keep it short and remember it’s about YOUR marriage, not a party.  You have to ask the hard questions of yourself and then share them in the nicest way possible. I try not to look back on this small hiccup when recalling such an amazing day but I would use my situation as a cautionary tale. It’s never easy and it’s definitely not a cut and dry situation.  Here are some tips to get through it. And when all else fails, WINE.

Rules to follow for a no kid’s wedding:

*For goodness sake, make the decision right away and stick with whatever you decide.  You might get flack from it and you might not but don’t be afraid to decide, stick and say it out loud if you feel it needs to be said to those with kids.

*Don’t be bullied. We don’t get many days to be selfish in this life. Everyone will want to bring little Sally but you and your person have to stick to your decision and your friends/family should respect that. Is it about little Sally today? Nope.

*Let the invites do the talking.  Make it clear that Mr. and Mrs. Joe Mama are invited and not Lucy, Ethel and Maleficent. Don’t put no children on your invites though; try saying that it is an adults only reception. Stay away from tacky.

*Try and help with childcare.  My cousin was awesome and tried to set up her house for like 15 kids to all hang out on the night of our wedding. It didn’t work out but I could have kissed her for just trying to help. If you have to, hire a babysitter!

Middle ground:  Use an age cut off.  Older kids can handle staying up late and dancing the night away.  Younger kids melt down and get tired.  You want their parents to enjoy themselves.  Set limits if you are meeting in the middle. Oh, it’s hard. Trust me, I know but if you feel strongly about this, you gotta open your mouth.

For an all shiny, happy people wedding:

*Come up with a cool favor/toy for them.  They need something to keep them busy while mom and dad have a slow dance.

*Offer kids food they recognize. If you want the kiddies to join the fun, make sure there is kid friendly food.  Even adults love a good chicken finger!

*Varying opinions circle the hives on this but I think sitting them with their parents is the smartest bet.  Some people at the table won’t like it but it alleviates any separation anxiety and reduces the chances of meltdowns.

((((Check out this article: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/relationships/if-youre-not-the-bride-its-not-about-you/article17804283/! While I think a destination wedding is a whole other thing, I agree with this writer’s answer and think she bravely puts it all out there. Take a peek. ))))

Don’t let this kind of thing ruin your day.  Remember it IS your day.  Just take my advice to tread lightly and keep the peace as best you can.  I’m not saying to walk on eggshells the whole time you are planning your wedding, but feelings can be hurt in this no kids process.  When all is said and done, people have to figure it out according to your requests. As a couple hosting an incrediblly meaningful but also expensive day, people should respect your wishes. For one day it’s not about anyone else; it’s about you, the person you love and the vows you will share, adults only style.

I’m off to bop around to the B-52s now… Catch ya at the Love Shack! I got nothing but love for any choice you make!

 

 

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