In a few short months, wedding season will be in full swing. Chances are, at least one of your blessed summer weekends has been earmarked for someone’s marital union, or maybe this time it’s your turn to don the white dress and walk down the aisle. You are now the lucky lady who gets to throw a big bash to celebrate your lifelong love commitment, and you are totally psyched. Naturally, you want your nearest and dearest there with you to support you and make this the happiest day of your life, and most of the time they’ll be honored to do it because they love you. But there is one very important thing that all brides-to-be need to know, and that is that if you are going to invite a mom to your wedding, you should definitely NOT ask her to include her kids in your wedding party.
It seems like a perfectly reasonable request — little kids are adorable, after all! You might not have any of your own yet, and on this very special day, when you are envisioning your perfect future with your perfect spouse-to-be, it’s natural to think that adding a cute kid or two to your wedding ceremony would be a great idea (a delightful little foreshadowing of your own adorable children, perhaps?). At the very least, you figure that having a tiny, toddling ring bearer in suspenders and a bow tie, or a sweet little princess in a white dress modeled after your own, would make for the most darling wedding photos (and you’d probably be right!).
But here’s the thing: little kids are sometimes the worst.
Tiny children are terrible at following directions. Well, maybe sometimes they’re good at it, if there’s a cookie involved or something, but even when they’re good at it they’re not ALWAYS good at it — and you can bet the time they are not going to be good at it is, well, anytime you need them to be. They’re also highly skilled at being hungry all the time (except for when you’ve worked hard to cook a nice meal), pooping in their diapers when it is the most inconvenient time ever to change them, and avoiding nap time like the plague until you need them to be awake (and then it’s, “nap, Mama! I tired!!!!”).
Weddings involve a lot of running around, and a lot of waiting. There is a very important schedule to adhere to, one that you, as the bride, have poured your HEART AND SOUL into over the past few months (not to mention your bank account!), and no matter how easygoing a bride you THINK you’re going to be, I can assure you that you are not going to want that schedule messed with. But here’s the problem: kids have their own schedules. Schedules that they control almost entirely despite their parents’ best efforts to wrangle them in. They also have a tendency to not disclose what those schedules look like in advance. “Oh, it’s nap time you say, mother? I DON’T THINK SO!”
But let’s say you are the calmest, most super-zen bride of all time ever, and you’ve rolled with the punches of having a demanding toddler or two in your wedding so far. You probably deserve a medal (or at least a stiff drink), but the bad news is that the biggest obstacle is yet to come. Those toddlers need to walk down that aisle.
“But it doesn’t matter to me if they screw it up!” you say, and you think you mean it too. “It’ll just make it memorable!”
Well, you’re right about one thing: by the time you’re just about to walk down the aisle, you probably won’t care if my kid forgets to throw the rose petals. You made it, you are the bride, you are getting married, and at this point there isn’t a whole lot that could keep this from being the BEST DAY EVER so long as your groom doesn’t do a runner. But what you don’t realize is that while you are basking in your bridal glow, I am standing there in my miserably high shoes praying that my child doesn’t have a total meltdown as soon as he realizes there is a crowd of strangers staring at him with big, expectant smiles on their faces.
Trust me, Optimistic, Child-Free Bride, we know that you mean well. There are seemingly millions of things about having little kids that you can’t possibly realize until you have them, and the fact that children are unintentionally high-maintenance divas is one of them. As your friends, we want to be there for you on your big day, to support you and make it special for you, and help ensure that your wedding day goes as smoothly as possible. Having our kids in your wedding is almost certainly going to keep us from being able to do that.
So, next time you’re thinking that my kids would look really cute in your wedding photos, let me do us both a huge favor and send them to Grandma’s instead. I promise you’ll thank me later.
Related post: Why You Should Invite Kids to Your Wedding