Are baby-bans at weddings ok?
A couple of our friends celebrated their wedding last weekend. Conditions couldn’t have been better – glorious weather, palatial country gardens and food served with finesse.
Or at least, this is what I’m told. Unfortunately, it was an adults-only wedding which meant, for reasons of finance, one of us (me) had to forgo our invitation to look after Jack.
Surprisingly, I wasn’t angry about this. Not really. It would have been a costly inconvenience for all of us to make the long trip to the venue and book a hotel. Also, to my knowledge, none of the other guests had kids. So Jack would have been exceptionally bored.
You see, I’m very much of the opinion that people can make whatever decision they like about their Big Day. It is, after all, all about them.
But I suppose it’s easy for me to see the positive side of this. We were ‘periphery’ wedding guests. We had no important role at the wedding and the couple tying the knot were more my wife’s friends than mine (I think I could only name about five other guests going).
While I still maintain someone’s right to ban kids from weddings if they want to, in certain scenarios, this puts parent-guests in a rather troublesome quandary.
For example, a friend who was asked to be maid of honour at a wedding a few months back found herself in real trouble. At the time, her son was just two-weeks old and breastfeeding. Despite him not being allowed on the wedding premises, the bride expected his mum to fulfil all of her important responsibilities.
On the flipside, even if kids and babies are allowed, parents can find themselves in an uncomfortable position. There is little more galling than being on the brunt end of scowls and tuts from other guests at the slightest whimper from a newborn, or misplaced question from a toddler during the ceremony.
Ironically, in my experience, wedding day ‘scowlers’ are often the ones who you find in a state of child-like inebriation come the evening, knocking into people on the dance floor and shouting inappropriate things.
In short, if couples do decide to have a no-kids wedding, they need to be prepared for one or both parent-guests to turn down the offer. Similarly, guests at a wedding with kids should be prepared for children to behave like children. They have as just as much right to be there as anyone else, after all.