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Just to start with a caveat, I’m not talking about your kids. I’m sure yourkids are wonderful and angelic. I’m also not talking about your wedding. I’m sure you are very accommodating.

Right now I’m on the wedding circuit. Apparently I’m at that age. I had a bunch last year and I’m 4 down out of 5 in 3 months at the moment where the last weekends of my life have been stag do, stag do, stag do, wedding, wedding. And it’s not that I don’t love you, but enough already. I can’t afford you.

That aside, being at so many weddings in a packed timespace, and being a blogger, leads you to observe watch and mentally write blog posts during the vows. I mean canapés.

So kids … at weddings.

I don’t blame kids. I really don’t. I also don’t believe kids below a certain age (I’m going to stick a finger in the air and say 6, but any parental units out there who want to correct me please do so) don’t have the ability to understand what’s really going on at the wedding, or to sit still, or to keep quiet.

Of course they don’t. They’re kids. In fact I think their must be something behavioural in the requirement to be quiet makes them want to be noisy (which they do). Because they’re perfectly quiet before and after the ceremony, but I’ve yet to go to a wedding where they can maintain angelic silence throughout. There’s variance of course, from mildly disturbing, to shut your fucking kid up, but it’s always disturbing.

Now I understand that being a parent (hi folks) you have a tendency to switch off the air pollution of your own children. And hell I understand when you’re our in public and Little Junior goes off on one, these things happen. But at a wedding, during a ceremony, …. come on …. what did you think was going to happen.

It’s near like clock work. Everyone files into the church/notchurch and sits down and talks and chats. Some hidden sign is sent that the bride is coming and a crowd falls silent whilst some blokes nudges another and makes a comment about that being the end of for [name of friend]and that’s the last time [name of friend] is getting a blowjob. (No that person is not me). Bridge comes, and a zillion compact cameras go off (separate rant) whilst everyone ooh-aahs and comments how lovely the bride is (but did you see what she made the bride’s maids wear) etc etc.

About 5 minutes into the bit about some poem about some thing about love and petals and preciousness, the kids get set off. So if you’re someone easily distracted by sounds (trust me, ask my office, I’m sensitive to noises) you can hear the next 5 minutes of “sssh. …. sssssshhhh …. come one we talked about this ….. sssssssh”. Then if you’re lucky you only spend the rest of the ceremony listening one half of the couple taking junior outside, getting junior to quiet down, and bringing junior back in. In which Junior goes off again. If you’re unlucky as I have been at one of my weddings, I missed just about every word that was said, to listen to a kid make kid noises for the entire ceremony.

You know, if I’m blowing somewhere around half a ski trip to a skip trip attending a wedding, I’D LIKE TO HEAR THE DAMN THING. If I spent the whole ceremony whispering or talking on my phone I’d be told to shut the fuck up. And rightly so.

So solutions (I’m not just a ranter). Ideally I’d suggest, weddings aren’t places for kids of a certain age, and don’t bring them. But this is

  1. Impractical

  2. Ignored

  3. I would want friends of mine to attend even if they couldn’t get a baby sitter

So what I would suggest is, arrange for a nanny and form a mini crèche in a room near the wedding if possible (or outside if the weather is good). Then all the parentals can drop of their kids in the creche and enjoy the wedding, as can everyone else who doesn’t have kids or just likes to hear the vows instead of constant murbling. If you don’t want to leave your kid with the nanny or child minder, then you can stay in the creche with the kids your self. If it was me, because I’m a geek I would set up a camera and broadcast it to the creche for those wont leave their urchins in the hands of another. But not everyone is a geek, so for most cases I would say the choice is yours. Attend the ceremony and leave your kind with a qualified child minder / nanny person for 45 minutes or miss the ceremony.

The only person crying during the vows should be the bride (or groom). Not Junior Jack.


14 Oct, '08 12:15 AM

1. Krissa

Actually, this happens from time to time; I went to a huge Baha’i wedding in Texas where basically a couple of the teenage-aged kids were hired to mind a room full of kids. The bride and groom brought a bunch of toys and had the people who they were renting from provide an A/V unit and the kids watched movies in a room down the hall from the ballroom and even had their own dinner in there. I think my friends had the right idea. I mean, under a certain age (I think 6 or so is probably a good assumption), you can’t expect children to sit still for a 40-minute ceremony.

I think for the reception, it’s fair that kids might want to run around and say hi to everyone (and relatives will want to see them), but it’s nice to have the “kids’ room” just in case; most kids, after 20 minutes of relatives cooing over them, will prefer to be with fellow kids anyway.

14 Oct, '08 7:25 AM

2. Pete

Adrian - wedding not about you. Wedding about bride and groom. It’s up to them.

14 Oct, '08 8:45 AM

3. Gert

Trouble is, there are parents who believe that their children have every right to self-expression and anyone who objects is a nasty child-hating person.

And there are parents who believe that any wedding invite that doesn’t include the children is such an insult that contact should be ended forthwith.

And there are marrying couples who go through agonies of - I want X&Y’s kids to come because I know them and they’re lovely but A&B will be insulted if we don’t invite their snivelling brats even though X&Y’s kids are.

14 Oct, '08 8:58 AM

4. Lyle

Gert, I must admit that my response to the first part of your comment was a fairly harsh “Well, if they’re that shallow that they’ll end all contact, fuck ‘em in the first place”.

But that’s probably just me being nasty.

14 Oct, '08 9:52 AM

5. Adrian

@Pete (2) - I agree entirely. And I can’t think if it’s tremendously distracting to me, it can’t be any better for a nervous bride and groom. I can’t see why a bride and groom would want that special moment interrupted with anything, a cell phone, someone talking, a kid crying or yelling or making kid noises.

My experience is, people feel they can’t say “please don’t bring your kids” and when they have done, it’s entirely and blissfully ignored. Some couples have said “we love kids, bring them along this is a family affair”, and that’s fair enough, but the result was the same, parents going in and out continually trying to calm kids down, and missing the wedding. I would want my friends at my wedding, not standing outside with the kids.

Hence I think my crèche idea is a good solution.

14 Oct, '08 10:31 AM

6. Andrew

My views: - Overriding view is that it is really up to the bride/groom and what they want, if they want everyone to wear purple hats then they can ask everyone to do this - My personal view is that an invitation is to a family rather than just mum and dad, and why should the kids not be in on the celebration of marriage (they may not understand it all in the truest definition but it is still a celebration) - I find the approach taking by your (our) UK friends is actually unique. Other friends of mine (UK, India, New Zealand, Australia etc) do not actually make a mention one way or the other, and I have always found the weddings to be full of kids - Generally I find the UK approach rather different that any other country I have been to. In India it is a full family free for all (the engagement “party” was hilarious, entire villages seem to be involved), and in New Zealand all the weddings I have been to are full of kids.

14 Oct, '08 10:45 AM

7. Andrew

I was just reviewing what I wrote (noticing the formatting was all lost), and then other older posts you have made. I think I have had a watershed moment. Do you think that perhaps you are just intolerant?

This may be the very first time I have ever agreed with you here. Except of course I’d go even further and replace ‘weddings’ with ‘any event I am likely to want to attend’. And if this cannot be easily achieved (as in the case of other people’s weddings where the bride and groom apparently feel shrieking only adds to the romantic ambience), double strength silencing duct tape should be provided at the door for the convenience of the other guests.

14 Oct, '08 12:03 PM

9. Pete

I agree with the creche concept, and the one that Krissa described seemed perfect. However, in the absence of a creche, if the bride and groom have decided not to go the “no kids allowed” route, then you should respect that they have made this decision under consideration of all the factors.

Similarly, if you receive a wedding invitation, and it is clear that there will be children in attendance, then you should make your decision whether to attend or not under consideration of all the factors. If it really annoys you that much, then don’t go. Your complaining will not be missed.

14 Oct, '08 12:31 PM

10. Dragon

I think the creche is a great idea and exactly what is needed. After all, when you’ve spent the best part of 20 grand on a wedding, what you really need is more cost like making sure you’ve got a safe room for the creche, qualified nanny - wait, make that nannies because registered childminders can only look after so many children by themselves depending on age. Then you need to make sure that any infants are catered for - nappies, changing areas, food. Will need to make sure that either the childminder or the venue or both has adequate insurance too. Still, unqualified childminders are easier to come by and cheaper too.

When we got married, we agonised over a couple of things: mainly whether or not to invite people whose then boyfriend/girlfriend we really didn’t like (even though we liked the SOs of other people we were inviting). We also asked that if anyone was bringing a South African with them if they could be sure that they didn’t respond during the ceremony or say anything as we found their accents amazingly distracting and annoying. We had no problems with them coming - we just didn’t want them to speak.

14 Oct, '08 12:37 PM

11. Karen

While the creche idea is lovely, it is also impractical for all the reasons Dragon listed. It strikes me that the bride and groom have probably attended weddings before and are aware of the issues, and have made the decision that either they want the parents there badly enough to tolerate the kids; or they want the kids there badly enough to tolerate the behaviour. It is, as has been mentioned, their day.

Aside from this, the whole expensive wedding shebang is a load of nonsense anyway, so what difference does it make whether you can hear them parroting some irrelevant crap to each other that will have no effect whatsoever on the way they live their lives or on their relationship with each other?

14 Oct, '08 7:18 PM

12. GrumpyOldMan

Having got younger children, I’d propose a Nintendo DS and headphones. It should work in Church, it works great in a car.

14 Oct, '08 7:52 PM

13. Kristina

It really is up to the bride/groom, but I think it’s appalling how many people ignore their wishes when the request is no children.

However, why are you actually listening at the wedding? They all say the same thing, if you’ve been to 5 in 3 months, you should know the words by now…

15 Oct, '08 4:25 AM

14. Krissa

I would like to point out that brides and grooms don’t typically consider their vows to be parroted irrelevant crap, and that whether it has any bearing on their relationship really isn’t up to the wedding guests or friends to decide.

15 Oct, '08 4:30 AM

15. Krissa

I also feel the need to point out that I wasn’t saying every couple needs to create a kid-zone at their wedding; the wedding I gave as an example was a very tight-knit community and the teenaged and college-aged kids being paid to take care of the kids’ room were as often as not their cousins and brothers and sisters. I don’t think, again, this solution was for everyone, or that children should be seen and not heard (like, apparently, South Africans!) or minded by idiot unliscensed strangers. I was merely pointing out a situation that I’d seen work out very well.

[puts away soap box]

15 Oct, '08 11:12 AM

16. Rachel

As one of the parents of small children at a wedding you’ve been to recently, you’ll probably think I’m biased. However, I would have completely disagreed with you long before I had chldren of my own.

There were quite a few children at my wedding and, having been one of the first of our group of friends to get married, I’m only disappointed that there weren’t more. I love seeing children dressed up and enjoying themselves on the dance floor at weddings. (As an aside, I’m also disappointed that people who have become very good friends since we got married weren’t there to share our celebration).

During our ceremony, I was so focused on our vows that I wouldn’t have noticed any noise being made by children or adults (and I’m sure there must have been some noise).

Andrew mentions the UK approach to children at weddings, but I think it varies throughout the UK. In my home town, the ceremony is a very public part of the wedding and people who know you but not well enough to be a weddng guest will come to the ceremony. Lots of friends of my parents and parents of school friends came to our wedding ceremony and I thought that was great - the more people to join in with the singing the better! (One of my pet hates at weddings is people not singing - I’m tone deaf so sing quietly and like to be drowned out by people who can sing!) This isn’t always possible if the church is small but I love the idea of everyone who can coming to witness and celebrate weddings. Having been brought up in this environment, I only recently realised that some people might not like children to attend the ceremony. I had appreciated that some people might not want children at the reception because of the cost or the size of the venue, but it had just never occurred to me that they might want silence in the ceremony.

Having said all this, I think it’s the personal choice of the bride and groom and I would respect that. If friends of ours don’t want chldren at the wedding then we will leave our children with someone else if possible or not attend if there is nobody to look after the children. We’ve only been to one wedding where we were explicitly told no children and we left our son with my mum.

Sorry for the long comment but I wanted to explain why some people want, rather than tolerate, children at weddings.

15 Oct, '08 12:16 PM

17. Dragon

I think it’s appalling how many people ignore their wishes when the request is no children.


In the context of Sevitz’s post, this is the worst aspect of weddings and the way they turn friendly, charming women into monstrous Bridezillas. Kristina is right, it is appalling – at the very least, annoying – for a couples wishes to be ignored but for different reasons than the general gist of this post and comments which is about children making noise during the actual wedding ceremony. If the couple is shallow enough that the noise made by young children who don’t know any better is going to ruin their day then they need to get their fucking priorities sorted. Gert mentioned parents who would break off contact if children are not invited and yeah, I’ve known that happen. Is it shallow? Well, it depends on the people and the reasoning behind the children not being invited. If it’s more important to a couple to not have children at the wedding ceremony in case they make noise than have their friends at the wedding to witness and celebrate their marriage then yeah, someone’s being shallow but it’s not necessarily the parents of the uninvited children. As a parent, yeah, of course I’d try to find someone to look after my children. If you’re lucky enough, like Rachel, to have relatives close by who can look after them or friends who are willing to child-sit then great. But what if the person you booked lets you down on the morning? Do you not go to the wedding service because they requested no children? Why shouldn’t you? After all, don’t you want to see your friends get married? Surely they would want you there to see them get married too? (Yes, Adrain, I know you said you would want them there regardless – this is more rhetorical than directed at you.)

The wedding reception is a different matter and this is where I would say Kristina’s statement is right. If the invite said no children and did not explicitly invite sproglings then don’t bring them. Why? Because there’s unlikely to be a seat or food for them. It’s a simple logistical matter. The reason why the couple don’t invite children to the reception could be a simple matter of having a number of places that they can afford/venue can accommodate and in order to get all the people they want there, others will have to be culled from the invite list. Starting with the children. Unexpected extra guests cause more hassle and expense for the couple and extra stress that they really don’t need. (Babies, of course, can be an exception seeing as how they don’t require chairs or food though). If you’re a parent and have had childcare problems then you need to make your excuses and not go to the reception (although, one of you probably should because otherwise the couple is paying for a place that isn’t being used).

True story: when I got married, we didn’t invite children (South Africans were, in fact, welcome). We didn’t invite my teenage cousins either for that matter. We also spoke to people we knew whose parents and told them our reasoning: firstly, headcount and secondly because we wanted the parents to come and have a good time and eat, drink and be merry without needing to worry about their kiddywinks. None of them were offended – all of them came and got riotously drunk. My uncles and aunts who came even made a point of saying how grateful they were for a chance to get away from their offspring. One couple came with their 3 month old baby and made their excuses early and left after the wedding breakfast and before the party kicked off in the evening. Yes the baby cried during the cake cutting or something. So what?

We didn’t care about children in the church service though. That would have been pointless. Apart from anything, here’s a fun fact about churches – they’re public places. Strictly speaking, anyone can come in to witness you getting married in a church. Whether they know you or not. Anyone. With or without their noisy children. (Private ceremonies, obviously, a different matter. Registry offices? No idea but if you’re in there for longer than five minutes, you’re doing it wrong.)

BTW - Pete is only half right. The wedding is not about you, it’s about the bride. The groom doesn’t get a look in!

15 Oct, '08 5:00 PM

18. Adrian

A few comments

  • The wedding day is all about the bride and groom, I agree. I’m just offering up some observational commentary, and how I would like to conduct my wedding, should my wife allow me any say in how I would like anything.
  • I don’t think I am intolerant. I am however very noise sensitive (ask my office). I really struggle to focus on something when there is a distracting noise, to the point of all I can focus is on the noise, and I really do find it distracting. Other people, may not have this problem and not notice kids, but by observed body language I think this isn’t entirely the case.
  • Ok I can see their are flaws with the crèche idea. All I was thinking was arranging a place for the kids and someone reliable and trustworthy to watch them and look after them. Obviously their are flaws with this (pointed out) but conceptually I don’t think the idea is faulty. I’m sure this would work in SA no problem wherever people are used to maids looks after their kids. (this is just a reality not a political comment)
  • The vows and what not are mostly not that critical, but whilst not paying for the whole wedding, it’s expensive enough to attend (£100 - £400 without the stag do) generally and it would be nice to not spend the whole thing distracted.
  • If I was playing games on my iPhone or talking on the phone or just talking, I think everyone would have an issue with the noise and distraction I would be making. I wouldn’t call these people intolerant but I would call myself inconsiderate. Replace cellphone with child ….
  • I don’t have an issue with the children at all. Children behaving like children is what I expect. I don’t think children should be seen and not heard. But I also don’t think children should be forced to attend dull, adult like, quiet things.
  • I’m mainly talking about the ceremony. The reception is normally loud and lively and I don’t really care if kids are being kids in a loud lively environment, as long as I’m not expected to actually play with or entertain them.
  • Although again, I do like to hear the speeches (I’m odd, I like wedding speeches) and again struggle if kids are making a noise. Because they are kids. I have bigger issues with adults who don’t shut up either during wedding speeches. Also inconsiderate.
  • Some wedding ceremonies are big family affairs with kids running around and it’s a different cultural experience. Normally more in non western or non traditional weddings. However I haven’t been to any I would really say fall into this category. In normal and traditional weddings this is a adult, sombre (wrong word maybe) and quiet affair. I fully accept their are different social and cultural contexts that weddings can occur in.
  • @Rachel I have no problem with people who want kids. I have been to one wedding where kids where actively encouraged. Although even that wedding, the same as the weddings you attended, when the kids started making a nosie one of the parents took them outside. I would be saddened if you or Fer missed chunks of my ceremony because you were outside with your child(ren). And I know I would never know you are outside because I would be preocccupied. But I wouldn’t want you to miss my wedding.
  • I personally would rather friends attended with kids than didn’t attend because they couldn’t find someone to babysit. Which was back to my crèche idea or arranging a babysit as a way of trying to help couples.
  • I still don’t know why a wedding breakfast is at dinner time
  • Exceptions to all this are when the kids belong to the couple getting married.

So that’s some thoughts. I think this comment thread has been one of the better ones in general (probably because I have been to busy to do my normally interfering).

I honestly don’t think I’m intolerant. In fact the core of this post was proposing a solution that whilst maybe faulty allowed everyone to enjoy and attend the wedding.

15 Oct, '08 6:20 PM

19. Rachel

Just had a further thought. Where do you draw the line? Do you give everyone a health check on the way in just in case they cough or sneeze at the wrong point? Or banish the church cat in case Adrian starts sneezing and wheezing?

15 Oct, '08 7:44 PM

20. Dragon

Replace cellphone with child

Hardly the same thing. You are aware of what you’re doing when you’re playing on your phone. You are aware of what’s going on. It’s selfish and rude. You can make a choice not to do that. Children of a certain age (I’m thinking toddlers) don’t have that awareness or capability. Nor do they have the attention span. They can’t make that choice. It’s not necessarily bad behaviour either (although I won’t deny that in some cases it may well be) it’s just children being children.

The vows and what not are mostly not that critical
Actually, I think you’ll find they are. The vows and the bit where the celebrant says “I now pronounce you man and wife” is kind of necessary. Without those, you don’t got no marriage. Or wedding. Or anything else. They’re kind of the most critical parts of the ceremony.

I also don’t think children should be forced to attend dull, adult like, quiet things
Believe it or not, I entirely agree with you. We’ve agreed that unless we have no alternative, we won’t take our hatchlings to weddings we go to. As much as we love them, they’re too young to understand and will get in the way of drinking.

16 Oct, '08 2:10 PM

21. Adrian

@Rachel (19) - If I did start a sneezing or coughing fit I would probably leave the church till I had stopped.

@Dragon (20) - Sorry I might not have made myself clear. I have no issues with children being children, and expect them to make a noise. I was comparing the adult holding the phone to the adult holding the child. In both cases the adult is the cause of the noise, even if the adult isn’t the one making it

16 Oct, '08 5:26 PM

22. Adrian

Whilst we’re talking about weddings, this could have gone slightly better kids or no kids.

17 Oct, '08 2:04 AM

23. anna

I don’t think you’re being intolerant, Adrian - and I don’t think it’s intolerant to want to hear what people are saying.

It’s wrong to blame the parents because 2-year-olds don’t have the attention span to understand that they’re in a weighty occasion or because this bit of he ceremony is more important for people to hear than that bit of the ceremony, or that people have spent THIS much money or have THAT kind of history that means they have a great involvement with the act - or, particularly the vows.

And - Karen, particularly I’m talking to you here - the vows are an important thing to some people. Having children around is important to some, wedding vows are important to others; to say and to hear. If people invite me to their wedding, if I were to have a wedding and to invite people to it, it’s because they have something to say to each other, and a commitment they want to be public, and they want to say it in front of people they love and care about (and god, if they happen to believe in that crazy business). And I’m honoured to be asked to witness that, frankly. If it’s important to them, then that moment should be important to me too. So yeah, I want to hear it.

Maybe I haven’t been to that many weddings where this whole child issue (issue-issue?) has been a thing - not so many big ones, possibly, or perhaps people in my circle of acquaintance aren’t as aggressively spawny or maybe they’re just ones where people have had respect for the people whose wedding they’re at/the place they are in enough to go outside or to try and encourage their kids to behave in a way appropriate to a big occasion/house of worship (whatever they believe). But then, I haven’t been to a wedding where people insisting on bringing their dogs has been a problem either. Maybe I just don’t move in the right circles.

I think the thing that’s clear here is that everyone thinks the world revolves around them in some way - just when you have kids, that gets multiplied to mean that the world suddenly has to revolve around not only you, but the extra people you’ve chosen to add to the world - and yet it’s always the childless that then get called selfish.

That’s one of the reasons I’m not married. Because it’s very complicated when everyone thinks the wedding is about them (and theirs). And who to ask/who not to ask/who will come/who won’t apparently always gets wrapped up on these things.

The reception’s another matter. Yes, people have worked hard on their speeches and say some very beautiful and important things about people very important to everyone there, and you would expect parents to care about perhaps helping to allow everyone to hear during THAT bit, but the rest of the time? Hell, they can be as rowdy as they like. They should be allowed to go nuts. As long as they have a free bar, what do I care?

17 Oct, '08 6:17 AM

24. Katy Newton

Really agreeing more with Anna than with anyone else. It’s not about whether the child is in the right or in the wrong. It’s about the fact that a wedding shouldn’t be made inaudible by noise.

Personally, I wouldn’t stop people from bringing children to my wedding. But if a baby started screaming or a child started running around (and I don’t mean the odd hiccough or squeak or shout, I mean proper sustained disturbance), I would expect one of the parents to take them out until they calmed down. I don’t really know how else children are going to learn that there are times when it’s inappropriate to be noisy.

@Karen, perhaps you didn’t realise how rude and judgmental your comment at paragraph 11 sounded. If that’s how you feel about other people’s wedding vows - however expensive or inexpensive the wedding - I don’t know why you bother to go at all, with children or without. I don’t really understand how you can say “I don’t give a fuck what those two people are saying, and therefore even though the whole thing is ABOUT what they are saying I consider my child’s right to make as much noise as he likes more important.”

17 Oct, '08 1:33 PM

25. Adrian

  • I don’t blame the parents because 2 year olds don’t have attention spans. I blame parents for not taking a 2 year old that is chattering continually out of the event and let them chatter outside. Pretty much what @Katy said.
  • I also (and I guess this is different for different people) disagree with parents who insist on taking their children everywhere (not because they can’t afford or find a babysitter of family member or what not but because conceptually they, desire their children to go everywhere). I think there are times and places for kids and times and places for adults. Stripjoints for example.
  • I pretty much agree with everything @Anna says more or less
  • You’re invited to my wedding
  • There will be an open bar
  • There will be no cats.
17 Oct, '08 5:58 PM

26. Meredith

My husband is 8 years older than me, and when we got married, his daughters were 7 and 5. He has lots of friends who also have children, and it was a given that families were invited rather than members of those families.

But because we had so many kids, we hired 3 experienced babysitters who fed all the kids 4 and under (parents were welcome to join in), the “big kids” (5 and over) got a table to themselves, and afterwards, parents were invited to bring their kids back to our house where the babysitters would take care of them for the rest of the evening.

Really, does it have to be more complicated than that? I mean France is a country KEEN on insurance (you have to buy school insurance for your child, in case she breaks someone’s glasses yada yada yada (not ever having a child go to school in Britain I don’t know if it’s the same there, but certainly nothing of the sort is required in Canada)), but it never entered our minds that experienced babysitters wouldn’t be enough or that parents would consider suing us if anything happened. And if we had needed to use an extra room at the venue instead of our house, I doubt we would have investigated its “child safety”. Everyone has things in their house that aren’t for kids, and the parents are there to make sure they don’t get into any of it. And that’s what the babysitters are there for too. Good heavens, let’s not make this more of a headache than it needs to be!

17 Oct, '08 6:14 PM

27. Adrian

Thanks Meredith, that’s exactly along the lines of what I was proposing.

I would very much like to come to your wedding in the stripjoint with the free bar. Thank you.

18 Oct, '08 5:10 PM

29. Gert

I have to say I really don’t agree with the idea of a separate table for children at the reception - or at any large gathering. One of the reasons why children are often unable to behave in adult situations is because they don’t have experience of it. I have been to weddings - and in restaurants - with separate children’s table, where they have been unsupervised and have run around being noisy. And I have been to weddings and restaurants where children have sat with adults and have joined in the conversation because the adults haven’t been so rude and inconsiderate to exclude them. That’s common practice in everyday life in Southern Europe, for example. It’s not so frequent in Britain.

About the breaking contact thing, I think that tends to happen more when it’s a situation where there isn’t a great deal of contact anyway. Maybe that old university friend you’ve grown apart from, or the cousin you only see at weddings and funerals. And sometimes it’s motivated by a suspicion that the invite has only been offered - wrongly or rightly - as an ostentation.

It’s issues like this that put me right off the idea of getting married. That and people inviting themselves eg my sister’s mother-in-law…

24 Oct, '08 12:29 AM

30. clare

I’m late here I know, but like Anna a large part of me not being married is the endless politics and arguments caused by everyone having such ludicrously strong opinions about exactly how weddings should be run and who should be invited, and then getting all antsy and falling-out-forever-y when things aren’t done exactly how they think they should be done. I’ve been invited to a few weddings recently where children weren’t invited and I (as a mother) wasn’t in the least but hurt or bothered. Weddings are stressful enough for the bride and groom as it is, without me making it worse by getting all stroppy because I don’t think they’re doing things right. I either arranged a babysitter or politely declined the invite when that wasn’t possible. As for whether you’re intolerant for being upset by noisy kids during the ceremony… well, as you say, you’re unusually sensitive to noise. Which is probably why you appear to think it’s a bigger deal than many other people. I can see why it would annoy you but hey, apart from at your own wedding it’s not something you’re ever going to have any control over, so I’m affraid you just have to accept it as one of life’s annoyances. Children are bloody inconvenient generally, but at least as a non-parent you get to experience that inconvenience a lot less frequently. But as a society we all have to put up with a certain amount of it and just be glad that the human race is continuing. Unless we’re total misanthropes, in which case may I suggest a machine gun?

29 Oct, '08 9:22 PM

31. Bezwick

A creche would be good but it’s another thing on a long list to organise and there is no guarantee that parents would want to leave their child in that creche. Luckily my friends are not selfish and can employ common sense, so I can get busy organising the colour of the napkins and the free bar without worrying about it. I know where you are coming from but ultimately my sisters each have a two year old and I would want them there. See you in a month!

02 Nov, '08 6:50 PM

32. Matt

Speaking as the person whose wedding you were at immediately prior to writing this blog post, and realising I’m joining the conversation quite late due to the whole (unbelievably awesome) “honeymoon” thing, and being pretty sure exactly which child you were talking about making noise during the ceremony, I’d just like to point out that she was, in fact, the flower-girl, and without her the whole thing just wouldn’t have been the same.

I do recall myself and Nikki both thinking that the noise she made was totally hilarious though.

And I was much more annoyed (but not really) with one of the readers for taking approximately 8 seconds to do a reading which should have taken about a minute and a half. But that was also totally hilarious.

The best bits of weddings are always a mixture of the sentimental and the hilarious, I think.

02 Nov, '08 9:17 PM

33. Adrian

Actually it wasn’t the flower girl, the flower girl did make a noise, but not much and not continually. The flower girl distracted me in the way “Oh it’s a kid” way, and is not what I am talking about.

Also the flower girls parents did take the flower girl for a quick mosey around the garden when it looked like the flower girl might get a bit too noise, which I completely respect and understand. Although I think it was a shame that they missed part of your wedding as a result.

12 Nov, '08 3:58 PM

34. Lisa

We were just at a wedding last month, so I actually have something to say on the subject. ;) Jack and Mia are very good at sitting quietly - or at least staying in generally the same spot and not being too loud. They were both absolutely fine during the ceremony. During the speeches at the lunch, Mia started getting really fussy. Simple solution: I stepped outside with her in the hotel lobby, and walked around with her until she settled back down.

We take our kids everywhere. Jack’s eaten at a Michelin-starred restaurant when he was 8 months old. Okay, it was just a breadroll, but you get the point. If you never take kids out to these kind of places, they don’t learn how to behave. And why should we, as parents, limit ourselves to McDonald’s and TGI Fridays just because we have children with us?

It’s simple. Teach your kids from day one about what’s appropriate when you’re out and about. Take them to lots of different places so they become familiar with going out and they don’t get all hyper and overstimulated because it’s a new experience. If they act up, respond. Easy.

I probably wouldn’t take them to a strip club, though. I’m not that much of a mad hippy.

02 Dec, '08 2:04 PM

35. Brazilian Massif

If kids are invited then the bride and groom should expect that some noise might occur. Being quiet for that long is very difficult for kids, more so depending on their age.

I am in favour to include my kids as much as I can in all I do. They are also part of society and weddings are a family thing. For all those that twisted their noses when I walked into a restaurant, wedding, etc…. it is very sad. Without kids the human race would die.

Sometime in the past we all made noises and people put up with it until we knew better.




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