Wedding season + kids + babysitter = a tulle-filled circle of hell.
This summer, my husband and I have approximately 10,000 weddings to attend. OK, that's an exaggeration, but it definitely feels that way. In and of itself, our plenitude of weddings are a good thing. Drinks! Dinner! Butter cream frosting!
The only problem with all these weddings this summer is that the vast majority of them don't include an invitation extended to our offspring.
And while I totally get that most couples don't want to fork over the cash to pay for some snotty-nosed children to eat a few rolls and bust a move in the chicken dance, adult-only weddings have become my nemesis.
On one hand, I love the idea of an adult-only wedding. The chance to eat a kids-free meal and drink it up with my husband — which actually means like two drinks because I'm the world's biggest lightweight (thanks kids for those perpetual pregnancies) — is pretty much my idea of heaven right now.
But the truth is, I just can't afford so many kids-free weddings.
And frankly, after the third one, they kind of lose their appeal a little. Green beans and rubbery chicken, a few painfully drunken toasts, did they cut the cake yet, and are you ready to go yet?
I know every couple thinks their wedding will be different and the event of the century, and I appreciate that — I really do. I'm happy for you all, and I'm sure you put a lot of thought into that cupcake table and the vintage-inspired centerpieces, and the photo booth props, really. But a wedding is a wedding is a wedding.
For couples that have kids, an adult-only wedding is a painful decision-making process that includes weighing the cost of a babysitter with the most special night of your lives, which is just another weekend in ours.
For us, to attend the ceremony and a reception, I'll easily shell out over 100 bucks on a babysitter, plus the wedding gift. It's a horrendously expensive date night and I'm sorry (and no offense to you and the love of your life), but that's really asking a lot of your guests with young children.
I know you think that you might be doing us a favor by giving us a "night out," but that's not really the case when $100+ could buy me a whole lot of date night elsewhere.
Part of me doesn't buy all the justifications couples use for not inviting kids to their wedding. The uber-fancy wedding, granted, I can accept. I wouldn't want my kids breaking any crystal, either.
But if you're like the rest of us, hosting a pretty standard wedding and reception and aren't inviting kids because of the cost, it's a tough pill for me to swallow. I'd rather bring my kids after dinner, or pop them on my lap to share my buttered roll, so we could all attend your special day without it costing me an arm and a leg to be there.
And is it just me or do kids sometimes make the party?
Who else has such a carefree lack of inhibitions (sober) on the dance floor? Who else can you do the robot with and not feel like an idiot? Everybody dances more when there are kids around and parents don't have to hurry home to pay the sitter.
Don't get me wrong, I will be a good little wedding guest this summer and shell out the cash to a sitter when I can, and send a polite card when I can't, but part of me wishes that if you care enough to want me (or my money) at your wedding, you could make it a little easier on me to be there with my family.
Because I want to be there, I really do, but preferably not while going bankrupt in the process.