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Do you think kids should be allowed at weddings?
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TOPIC: Do you think kids should be allowed at weddings?
Do you think kids should be allowed at weddings? 2 Years, 1 Month ago  
THE crucial decision to ban or include children at weddings risks ripping some families apart.

Here two writers argue why youngsters running around the dance floor bring life or tears to the big day...

Wedding Day
Images: simple wedding dresses

Julie McCaffrey - mum to triplets

Weddings bring entire families together in an abundance of love, generosity and acceptance. So why be a meanie bride and groom who show children the red card?

Banning the smallest, most precious members of any family means even the happiest occasion starts on a sour note.

Gracious guests might say they don't mind you not inviting wee Johnnie and Jennie, but believe me, they do. Who fancies forking out for a babysitter on top of outfits, gifts, travel and accommodation?

By all means invite colleagues in their place. But in five years when you've lost touch, you will still be known in the family as the pennypinching, fun-hating couple who didn't invite little ones to your day.

And yes, tiny guests might wail their way through your vows.

Children are designed to do that. Blowing raspberries throughout your ceremony is a metaphor for married life because it's not always full of love hearts and flowers.

If your spouse-to-be can smile, you have a keeper. If they are annoyed, reverse down the aisle pronto.

My niece was a three-year-old flower girl when I married 14 years ago. She danced a jig when the string quartet played the romantic Pachelbel as I approached the altar.

She managed to nestle herself in between me and my husband Michael in every picture. And she made all the guests laugh when she waved us off on "honeybee".

In truth, she stole my thunder. Was I annoyed? I was delighted she added more sparkle to the day.

Children are a must for every wedding reception because they do not understand the meaning of subtle restraint. Just a flicker of a disco light makes them express unbridled excitement and alcohol-free joy.

So even if your DJ plays a duffer, the under-10s will loyally stay twirling on the dance floor to Build Me Up Buttercup. Think of them as tiny, frilly floor-fillers.

When my triplets were flower girls it was one of the best days of their lives.

Never mind that Elise cried and screamed: "Daddeeee!" when she was meant to be doing the aisle walk we practised 1,000 times. It added to the charm.

It's a certain type of couple who doesn't like the sight of children having a ball in their finery and hilariously breaking every rule of etiquette. A couple that deserves an RSVP that begins "with regret".

When we got married ,my husband and I felt we had ample reason to extend our invites only so far as "babes in arms" or the offspring of "very immediate family".

We're not (entirely) evil: even we wouldn't expect a breastfeeding mum with a newborn to shirk her duties for our big day, plus the little one probably wasn't alive yet when the ink dried on the invites.

So we were more than happy to accommodate babies, on the assumption any screechers be removed from the proceedings.

We ensured our very close family, who were all helping with the build-up to the big day, knew their children were welcome.

Toddlers were even invited to be bridesmaids and page boys. But none came.

Because our immediate relations were of the same mindset as us, and acknowledged no child wants to endure a long ceremony in stuffy clothes, followed by a dinner where they're required to be quiet while adults shout from the top table.

The main reason no youngster should attend is obvious: they will get bored. And boredom leads to noise, which is no fun for anyone.

I've been to fantastic weddings where children have been properly catered for, with activity packs set out on a table providing hours of entertainment.

Truth be told, some of them probably had more fun than the adults. Brides on a budget though can't deliver a full crèche.

Of course, it's not solely out of courtesy for the tykes' tantrums that they find themselves not invited - it's far more of a concern the adult congregation has fun.

Mum and Dad deserve to enjoy the festivities, which is hard when they have to make it home for bath time.

Kids play havoc with a seating plan - it's not fair to plonk a fully grown guest beside those lacking in life experience, or even worse, the back of a parent tending to one.

There is, however, an art to successfully banning bambinos, and it needs to be explicit from the off - merely leaving the nippers' names off the invites is asking for misinterpretation.

Also, if there's a couple of teenagers you're happy to accommodate, just say no under-13s. It's your day, so make it work for you - just don't back down on the day. It will cause a family rift.

Some people will inevitably take it as a personal slight, but as it's the bride and groom's request, sadly for the guest, it's uncontestable.

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Last Edit: 2016/10/19 09:05 By newstyles.
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