The question of including children at a wedding still pops up now and again. Really, the whole idea seems preposterous to me; when my parents went to a wedding my sister and I were at home, with a babysitter, eating TV dinners and watching Dallas (FYI – you will be missed Larry Hagman) and we were – in a word – thrilled.
The idea of including children at your wedding celebration is a personal choice, but I rarely get asked about the best way to invite the short set to the big day. What am I asked instead? How to tactfully let friends and family know that their darling little tykes are not on the guest list – and avoid hearing, “my brother’s wife is going to flip if her kids don’t get to come to our wedding” ….ahhh – welcome to the family.
Top Five Ways to Keep Your Wedding an Adults-Only Affair
Step One: First Comes Love
Get married BEFORE you have your own children. So obvious. Imagine bringing your own offspring to your wedding – no thank you. Strapless dresses are not burp cloth friendly. And how are you supposed to guzzle champagne and dance to YMCA while holding an infant?
Step Two: Put It in Black and White
Address your invites to Mr. and Mrs. only. Technically this should be enough of a clue to your guests that this is an adult only celebration, but if not…
Step Three: Get Someone to Do Your Dirty Work
And by “someone”, I mean “your mother”. This is what mothers are for – besides taking care of you when you are sick and cranky – and getting you through to adulthood without a police record – and this is where they shine. A simple, “It will be so lovely to see you and Tom at Amanda’s wedding. And I bet the two of you are looking forward to a night out as a couple!” should do the trick.
Step Four: Say ‘I Don’t’ Firmly
Here’s the deal – someone is going to push you. Someone is going to say “we are just going to bring the baby” or “we don’t have a sitter” or “little Lucy (short for Lucifer) is dying to see you in your ‘princess dress'” and it is your job to be polite, be clear, and be firm. Respond with, “Oh – that WOULD be fun, wouldn’t it? But Saturday is adults only.” Do not say anything else. Do not say we have a budget (Madison won’t eat!) or we don’t have the space (Jack is tiny!) or it’s going to be late (Ellie is a night owl!). Repeat your phrase again and move on. What if your guest pouts and claims that they won’t be able to attend if they can’t bring the little darlings? Express your dismay and understanding at their choice to miss out on the festivities and promise to share the pictures.
Step Five: Elope
…your happily ever after starts now.