A Problem Shared: No Kids At The Wedding? Or Just My Kids?

A Problem Shared Parenting & Family Advice | by | 25th Aug 2017

Girls at wedding for no kids at wedding - a problem shared

Her future sister-in-law is saying no kids at the wedding. Yet her six-year-old niece is a bridesmaid. What’s a mum-of-three to do? Do you have any advice to share in this week’s A Problem Shared?

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Hi FamilyPoint,

My brother is getting married next month but they’ve said that kids are not allowed to the wedding. I have three young children and all my family will be at the wedding. Which means I have no one to sit with them. Nor can I afford to pay someone to watch them all day and night (and I wouldn’t want to either).

I’m sure it’s his fiancée that’s behind this as I don’t think she gets on with kids at all. She takes no notice of mine when they’re around and doesn’t even try. What’s worse is that her six-year-old niece will be at the wedding because she’s one of the bridesmaids.

I don’t know what to do and I’m contemplating taking the kids with me anyway, they can’t really turn them away on the day can they? What do you think?

Our FamilyPoint advice on dealing with wedding invite issues

Thanks for contacting FamilyPoint. I’m sorry to hear that kids are not allowed to your brother’s wedding, it sounds like you were really disappointed to hear this. It’s not uncommon for couples to decide not to invite children. Yet it is something that can cause upset and resentment, particularly when it involves close family members.

Girl at wedding for APS on Kids at Weddings - Photo by Sweet Ice Cream Photography on Unsplash

Photo by Sweet Ice Cream Photography on Unsplash

You mentioned that you think the decision lies with your brother’s fiancée. With the cost of wedding receptions being so high, couples try to keep numbers as low as possible, which often results in children not being invited.

Try to compromise by attending only the ceremony?

You said that your brother’s fiancée’s niece will be there as a bridesmaid. Have you thought about having a chat with your brother to see if they would consider allowing your children to join you as they are his nephews/nieces? If your brother isn’t able to change the arrangements, you could ask if the children could attend the ceremony only so that they are at least part of their special day. This might also help to reduce the cost of having someone to sit with your children.

You asked if your children could be turned away on the day if you take them with you. It is possible that they could be turned away, as the seating and catering arrangements will have already been made. There is also a risk that your children will be aware or pick up on the fact that they’re not welcome on this occasion, which could be unsettling for them.  As the request not to bring children has been made clear, your brother and his fiancée might feel that you have disrespected their wishes. In turn this could have a long-term impact on your relationship with them.

What do other family members think?

It’s understandable that you’re unhappy about this decision. Perhaps you could have a chat with other family members to see if they have any suggestions or advice. I hope that you find a way forward that doesn’t leave you feeling resentful. Nor result in your brother and his fiancée feeling that their wedding plans haven’t gone as smoothly as they hoped.

FamilyPoint Helpline

If you would like further information on national or local support services, then you can contact us at FamilyPoint Cymru via phone 0300 222 57 57, text 07860 052 905, or IM/Chat. We are open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm.

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