Do The Bride And Groom A Favor, And Leave Your Kids At Home

by Christine Burke
Originally Published: 
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When a wedding invitation arrives in the mail, my husband and I are practically giddy.

Attending the wedding of a couple we love not only brings us joy, but it also reminds us of our own wedding. Since weddings have become hipster AF and much bigger productions than when we tied the knot, we are all-in for dressing up and getting our party on with friends and family. And, let’s face it: weddings are the only time you can do the Electric Slide and not be judged for it. Shut up, you know you love it.

While my husband and I love weddings and all the happy-ever-after trimmings, there’s one tiny detail that makes us roll our eyes for infinity when we arrive.

We hate it when we see small kids at the ceremony and reception.

Parents, do us all a favor and leave your kids at home if you are going to watch another couple say “I do.”


I said it.

Now before you jump down my throat, my “keep your kids away from my slice of wedding cake” stance does not apply to couples who are blending families. Of course, their children should be present at the ceremony as they join their family in a new life. There is, frankly, nothing sweeter than seeing a family embrace each other in a new bond of familial matrimony. And I’m not a breastfeeding hater, either: a breastfeeding mother gets a free pass at weddings. Hell, she can have the entire wedding cake as far as I’m concerned.

But aside from kids in the immediate family and babies who need nourishment, the bride and groom should be the sole focus on their big day. Not your kid who is standing on a chair hogging the photographer’s time, got it?

I know, I know. You want to throw a bouquet at my head for being a wedding monster, don’t you?

But hear me out before you throw me down the church steps for saying what most of us are thinking at weddings anyway.

Kids are super fucking cute, I get it. I, too, am a sucker for a baby boy in a tiny tuxedo. Seriously, there’s probably nothing cuter than a little girl dressed in a frilly dress with her hair curled and styled just so.


Those super cute kids often steal the wedding show and not always in a good way, either.

Weddings with little kids in attendance become all about, well, the little kids in attendance. Everyone oohs and ahhs as little Johnny is on the dance floor. And isn’t he just darling when he’s smearing cake all over himself? Oh, and quick, grab your camera because little Johnny just asked sweet little Jenny to dance and, OMG, I bet they are going to get married some day too!

Little kids have a way of focusing our attention on them and not the event we all came to witness. And it’s not fair to the bride and groom who have spent months, even years, planning a party for everyone to enjoy.

How many times have you been to a wedding ceremony where a baby completely loses his shit during the vows? Or screams and yells during most of the ceremony? Or, worse, runs up and down the aisle wreaking havoc when the bride is about to head down the aisle?

Admit it: you’ve all seen a kid ruin the bride’s big moment.

And I don’t find it the least bit amusing.

When my husband and I were planning our wedding, we knew we wanted to have a party where adults could eat, drink, and dance with wild abandon. We were excited to have our friends and family in the same room for our big celebration. Because weddings are expensive and we had a huge list of people to invite between his family mine and our friends, we agreed to keep the guest list to adults only.

I was appalled by the number of people who contacted me to ask politely if they could bring their children.

I’m sorry, Brenda, but I’m not paying a king’s ransom per head so that your kid can take one look at the food in front of him and have a meltdown while he demands a PB&J instead. #sorrynotsorry

And don’t give me that BS that wedding venues can provide kid meals at a lower cost because you and I both know that fancy macaroni and cheese is going to sit congealed and untouched on the table while the child runs around the dance floor like a wild buffoon.

Hard pass.

Parents, it’s okay to take a night off from the kids and focus on the couple who has invited you to join them as they sail off into the sunset of marital bliss.

And wouldn’t you enjoy the wedding a whole lot more if you didn’t have to take a toddler to the bathroom every 15 minutes? Or stop them from charging the dance floor while during the father-daughter dance?

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Seriously, why would you want to drag a kid to a wedding reception? They aren’t meant for kids. Even if there is a coloring table.

Oh, right. I forgot. Your kid isn’t going to misbehave because she has better manners than Mother Theresa and Queen Elizabeth. Riiiiiight. So, when she’s throwing a temper tantrum halfway through the wedding reception because she’s overtired and the music is hurting her ears, what says you then? #eyerollsforinfinity

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today for me to implore you to hire a sitter when you attend a wedding.

I realize a sitter is not in everyone’s budget (been there myself), but that isn’t the bride or groom’s problem.

Keep the littles at home. Doing so makes happily ever after happier for everyone.

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