RSVP to our Big Day – ps no Children

 

Earlier this month, we were at a wedding in North Yorkshire, many, many miles from Brighton. What’s more the invitation stipulated no kids. This can pose quite a few logistical challenges for parents but for us, we were glad of the break. 

We cheated slightly. I have the most amazing set of parents who booked themselves into a Travelodge near our hotel and drove us all the way up there. My husband doesn’t drive and I didn’t really relish the idea of attending my best friends wedding, tired, pregnant and zombified by six hours of driving. The point is, you’re lucky if you have family or friends that will mind the kids overnight without much trouble. You’re even luckier if you can stand to leave them once in while. For me, it was a welcome break. As I’m still getting up with the breakfast news crew, I used the time to give myself a completely uninterrupted mini-facial, manicure and all over body moisturise while listening to radio programmes I’d missed on my iPhone on the iPlayer. This is my simple version of heaven. Sunday morning after the wedding, I couldn’t wait to see my little monkey but I was even more content than usual having had that time to myself to enjoy my friend’s big day.


Having organised a wedding of my own and still being able to remember how difficult it is, I see the bride and grooms challenges also. We were lucky enough to be able to invite kids to our wedding. The venue was flexible, the cost was reasonable and for me it was very important to have my friends and their kids at our special day. However, we were lucky. We have a nice mix of friends and family who do and don’t have children, so the numbers weren’t out of the control. Also I knew many of the children quite well, had watched them grow, so it felt quite natural to include them. This would be my advice to any bride & groom planning their day, evaluate your personal situation and make your decision. Don’t be swayed by grumpy, selfish guests voicing their opinions – it’s your day after all. 

It isn’t always easy for couples with babies to make alternative arrangements for weddings. I will be at another good friend’s nuptials in September, potentially with a baby who will be less than a month old. That’s why some couples allow ‘babes in arms’ if appropriate. Not everyone has a strong network of family or friends who can help out with childcare either. If the wedding is out of town, it can be hard to leave your kids, even if it is for a friend or family members special day. The pull of being there for your children consistently is strong and shouldn’t be underestimated, although for some parents time away from the offspring is welcome and healthy! It really does boil down to individual’s situation and philosophies on parenting and family life plus how old the children are can make a difference.

Wedding planning can be stressful and one of the most tense aspects is deciding on the guest list. So my plea to brides, grooms and guests alike would be to make decisions comfortable for yourselves, be open and honest about why you’ve made those decisions and remember whose day is really is.