There, I said it.
Yes, couples should do whatever they want because it’s their wedding, and if that means no kids then so be it. And I get it – a few people don’t control their kids, and little kids in particular aren’t able to control their moods, emotions, voices, etc.
But in my own personal experience and observations, most parents make every effort to entertain and control their kids so they don’t “ruin” a wedding. Most families I’ve seen either only stay a brief period of time if their kids truly can’t handle it, or bring coloring, iPads, etc. to entertain the kids while everyone dines and dances.
And children are often family members – it seems deeply unfair to exclude them from a big family celebration just because of age when the rest of an extended family is welcomed. The older the kids get, the more they’re aware that so-and-so family member doesn’t want hem there. And by the time most kids are 6 or 7 they can quietly sit through a ceremony.
If anything, alcohol is the root cause of most “ruined” weddings, not kids. I’ve been to many a child-free wedding where adults have been trashed and truly tarnished weddings by making inappropriate toasts, insulting the bride/groom, vomiting, hogging the spotlight, etc.
If parents want an evening out and away from the kiddos, they’re free to do so. But it puts a burden on parents to pay for a babysitter on top of all the other costs of attending a wedding under the guise of “we just want everyone to let loose and have a good time!”
And if you don’t like kids and don’t want them at your wedding, fine. But I do think it makes you a bit of a jerk for not trusting your family and friends to manage their kids.
I wholly anticipate an onslaught of stories about kids who stuck their hands in the wedding cake, cried during a ceremony, tripped the bride, etc., but I’d wager to bet that there’s more horror stories of drunk adults at weddings, but you don’t often hear widespread support for alcohol-free weddings or cash bars. On the contrary, people get up in arms about the audacity of a couple to have a “tacky” cash bar.
Kids deserve to partake in big family moments and be part of the celebration.