I Want to Attend Your Wedding, But I Have Kids

Weddings and Kids

Wedding season is upon us, and whether you receive many invitations or only a few, if you’ve got kids, (specifically the kind that can’t manage themselves for more than a hot second) each invitation you receive results in some major decision making and planning.

While I personally would genuinely love to attend every wedding we get invited to (and not just for the open bar), I’ve got four kids that I can’t just drop for an all-night soirée. Even if the happy couple is one we adore, getting our butts to the church on time can be a real challenge.

So even if I really want to attend your wedding, here’s all the reasons I probably can’t:

My kids aren’t invited

I realize it’s your wedding, your checkbook and your choice on who you want to invite. I understand the whole idea of having an adult-only, child-free wedding. I get that you think a night without the kids is just what I need. And you’re probably right. Unfortunately, I have kids and not dogs, so leaving them behind presents challenges you haven’t thought of. So, unless your invitation is addressed as “and family,” you might not see my smiling face there.

We don’t have a babysitter

Finding a babysitter that is not only willing but competent enough to care for four kids under the age of 8 is like searching for the holy grail. And if we could manage to find one, it would cost us a small fortune. So usually when we want to go out, we’re left with separating the kids out: the small ones at home with a babysitter; the middle one at a friend’s house a half hour away and the bigger one at her best friend’s house a half hour the other direction. Not only does this involve the logistics of getting everyone to their appropriate wedding-time destination, it also involves retrieving each of them at a later time. My schedule, patience, gas tank, energy and pocket book are not big fans in any way of this arrangement.

Your wedding is not local to us

Don’t get me wrong, we love to travel. In fact, it’s one of our favorite family past times. But did I mention we have 4 kids? So, either we have to find one of those magical babysitters mentioned above that is not only willing to babysit, but night sit for days or those 4 kids have to come with us. Plus, there’s hotel rooms, rental cars and who knows what other expenses my little cherubs might accrue.

My kids have a show

I know every bride dreams of that glorious spring wedding, June is the most popular wedding month after all. But you know what else is popular in June? End of year performances. My kids have worked their tiny little tushies off all year for their 2 minutes of fame up on that stage. And I’ve worked all year driving those tiny little tushies to classes so I really can’t miss seeing their smiling faces up on stage. (Plus, you’ll eventually forgive me for missing your wedding but my 8-year-old will make me suffer for the rest of my life if I miss her ballet recital.)

Weddings are long

Even if your wedding is local or I can manage to get my whole family to where you are. And even if I have family who can help watch the kids, everyone wants a wedding where their guests dance the night away and that’s just totally not my kids’ style and they’ll still be up at two-damn-early o’clock the next morning. Plus, if I’m breastfeeding (which it seems like I pretty much always am), being away from my baby from the start of an afternoon ceremony until the wee hours of the morning means many missed nursing sessions and full, angry, leaking boobs or the need to pump. Neither of which makes for a night of carefree, adult only fun.

I am definitely not saying that every wedding should cater to my kids. It’s your day and your decision how you want to spend it. Just know that if you choose to have an adult-only event, there’s a good chance this parent won’t be able to be there.



  1. Ashley on June 19, 2018 at 7:25 pm

    What did I just read? This was a waste of time. I especially love the last paragraph. This is the epitome of what is wrong with entitled shildten today…the parents who raise them. Who cares if you won’t attend? Every person that has a child has difficulties with finding child care. Who cares if your smiling face won’t be there, I’m sure it’s better than 4 screaming kids running around. I have 2 kids and do not think twice about childless weddings. If I can’t arrange childcare, I don’t go and I don’t whine about it. Stop trying to make people feel bad about wanting an adult only event. You are not the only person in the world that has children!

    I swear all people want now adays is to just complain! Get over yourself!

  2. Yvonne on June 19, 2018 at 7:33 pm

    I couldn’t agree more Ashley it is their special day and they should be the one to decide kids or NO kids

  3. Melissa on June 19, 2018 at 7:33 pm

    Sorry, not sorry: a wedding isn’t about you, the invited guests. My sister-in-law tried to pull this garbage on me, also: your uterus is not my concern. It was your choice to have kids & not my responsibility to figure out your childcare situation.
    Either go or don’t go, but don’t attempt to guilt trip a couple into allowing kids or make them feel bad about wanting to have a party for adults. News flash: it’s not about you!

  4. Amy on June 19, 2018 at 7:58 pm

    I have three kids, and everything you say is true, true, and true, but while you go out of your way to act like you’re just giving the facts, you really are whining. If the wedding is local, find out if kids are welcome at the ceremony, take the family and let the couple know (in advance) you can’t attend the reception. Or suck it up and find child care arrangements, or just don’t go. A simple, polite, “Unfortunately, we are not able to attend”, and send a gift, and you’re done. No need to write a narcissistic article about it. I mean, I know that’s why mommy bloggers exist today, but it’s just so unnecessary.

  5. Sarah on June 20, 2018 at 5:50 am

    This is whiny and obnoxious!

  6. Sonia on June 20, 2018 at 10:22 am

    I think politely declining stating “thank you for the invitation but cannot attend due to family obligations” is sufficient. If you can’t attend that’s fine, but if you really do wish to attend, then it’s up to you, not the bride, to accommodate your situation. Unless of course the bride is family or a close friend.
    I know this is a rant about brides and weddings but it’s a bit mean. And I have been both a bride and a mom to a young kid.

  7. Laura on June 23, 2018 at 12:39 pm

    Some of the responses to this article are a little over-the-top. She’s just pointing out some realities, not whining. The tone is lighthearted. Take a pill.

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