If you get an invitation to a wedding that requests you don’t bring the kids, do everyone a favor. Leave them home! Cut loose — they’ll have a great time watching movies with a babysitter. But most importantly, the couple getting married will feel like their wishes are being respected.
On Reddit, one woman who recently got married had to deal with kids at her wedding who were specifically not invited — and her reason was financial restrictions.
So, is she wrong to ask the parents to please pay for the kids she accommodated who weren’t supposed to be there at all?
“This happened a few months ago, but it was recently brought up again. My husband and I made it clear to guests that our wedding was child-free. I mean, I have a cousin with 8 kids and a lot of our family/friends have 2-3 kids. The kids are generally good, so the main issue was cost. Our venue charges age 2+ the same as adults, which is $250pp (including tax/tip). It would double the cost and our venue wasn’t big enough for all the kids,” the OP says.
“We wrote this on the website and clarified with anyone who asked (and everyone asked). We got a lot of grief over this, so we felt a fair compromise was to: Extend the dinner the night before to include kids, and the restaurant was very nice about having close to 100 kids. Hire 5 babysitters for 25-30 kids on the wedding night for locals who couldn’t find a babysitter last-minute and for guests who traveled with their kids. My in-laws offered their home less than 30min away to host all the kids.”
“On the wedding day, 3 couples showed up with their kids, a total of 9 kids (2 + 3 + 4 kids). My husband was more upset than I was because these folks were on his side. Groomsmen offered to drive the kids to the house, but they refused and made a scene. My husband was called to handle it and he said fine, as long as (a) the kids don’t cause trouble and (b) the parents pay the per head for the kids, they can stay. The staff even quickly threw together a kids table.”
“I saw that unfolding and avoided it, and went about the day since it was a beautiful day and so much was happening. When the ceremony started, one kid started wailing and another skipped down the aisle in front of me. I played it cool, and the staff was on top of it. They escorted the mom and the 2 kids outside. The rest of the ceremony went smoothly.”
“During the reception, the same 2 kids were screaming and throwing food. Other guests and staff were trying to get them to sit. At one point, one kid went under my dress, which was so f*cking weird. I didn’t notice and almost tripped. My bridesmaids pointed out that the food they threw got on my dress and that’s when I had enough. I gave my husband ‘the look’ and he rounded up the kids, brought them to the parents, and asked them to leave for good.”
“After the event, and this is where we might be the a**holes, we sent a bill to the 3 couples with a letter saying we had a lovely time with them and reminding they agreed to pay for the uninvited kids. Two couples paid and were apologetic, and even said now they understood why we couldn’t include the kids. Of course, the couple with the 2 rowdy kids refused to pay because we asked them to leave before cake…seriously. Instead of apologizing, we got a nasty call. All I said was they should be lucky I didn’t send the dry cleaning bill for the dress. My husband even said this concludes their friendship. This weekend, they wanted to visit and we said no thanks. They asked if we were still mad about them not paying and uh yeah, we are. AITA?”
Not respecting peoples’ totally reasonable wishes on their wedding day is definitely not the mark of a good friend. What do Redditors think?
“NTA. Stand your ground. You went above and beyond to accommodate guests with children, and they imposed,” said s1m0n_s3z.
“NTA. At minimum stand the ground on ending the friendship. They didn’t respect you or your husband on a day where they were supposed to be celebrating your love. But I would resend the bill and add the dry cleaning fee as well. You will never get it and it’s not like the friendship is salvageable anyhow,” stated ArwensRose.
“NTA as a parent I will never understand people who bring their children where they are not wanted. Props to you and your husband for having each other’s backs and you for having such a cool head on your wedding day,” said RileyxDoll.
“Wow. I would be livid. The amount of entitlement of all the parents who brought kids after being told not to is pretty shocking…but the rowdy kids’ parents take the cake. They let their kids skip down the aisle during your ceremony, ruined your dress, wouldn’t pay…and now they expect an invite to your home?! Just…wow. They suck,” noted [deleted].
“NTA. Not at all. Not even a little bit. They knew it was a childfree wedding, and you already went above and beyond before the big day by hiring babysitters and incorporating them into the dinner the night before. Those parents deliberately showed up with their kids precisely to cause a scene. You gave them a gracious inch and they took a mile; the children were rude, disruptive, literal embodiments of why people have childfree weddings. The least they can do is pay for the children (which they expressly agreed to!) AND the dry cleaning bill for your dress. The audacity,” said HorrorAvatar.
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