Love, Family

I Have Kids And Let's Get Real: Adult-Only Weddings Are NOT Selfish

Photo: WeHeartIt

Are adult-only weddings selfish? One woman said as much when she penned an article "I Have Kids and I Think It's Selfish To Have An Adult-Only Wedding," outlining all her issues with this inconsiderate abomination. 

The first problem with the piece? The author's declaration. She has kids! Apparently, this is the only thing in the world that matters. My initial reaction was, what's your point? 

Half the world has kids. It's not a special exemption.

I'm not at odds with this woman because I had a kid-free wedding myself over a decade ago. Personally, I don't care what kind of wedding people choose to have. You know why? Because it's their choice.

It's a personal decision each couple has to make, while also considering a whole host of other factors that are all a part of planning an enormous and complicated event. Whether some guests need to pay for babysitting is not primary among those factors.

I don't say this casually because I have kids and know the cost they incur; I say it as a rational, level-headed human being.

The good news here is that there's a simple solution for people like this who object to such cruel and thoughtless acts. Don't go. Weddings aren't mandatory.

What I find most ironic about this woman's argument is that she complains about the tremendous financial burden a wedding puts on parents whose children aren't invited, when the exact same argument could be made had the kids been included.

It seems to me it would cost a lot more than the $100 she laments she would have to pay a sitter to watch her kids if the whole family was invited. She'd have to pay for additional meals and conceivably new dress attire for her children. 

I don't know if the writer knows this, but weddings are expensive. And it's an expense for everyone (but mostly the bride and groom), not just her.

It's a funny thing this word, "selfish." I've never really been fond of it because the fault usually depends on perspective, and I often find that whoever is issuing the insult does so when his or her own selfish desires aren't being met.

For example, I find it selfish when people think the world should revolve around them. Luckily, the author goes on to prove my point.

She says, "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."

I'm guessing her "painful" dilemma will be over once word of this little article gets out?

She so generously continues, "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."

Guess what? They're not asking anything of you. They're inviting you to share in one of the most significant moments of their lives.

This, of course, is lost on the author who goes on to say, "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."

Again, I feel the need to emphasize this because clearly the author is unaware — it's not about you; it's about two people declaring, officially and unequivocally, their love for each other. So maybe you can put yourself aside for two seconds to consider that.

And while it may sound crazy, I'm going to go out on a limb and say I don't think the couple is actually trying to do you anything — a favor or otherwise.

I don't think you specifically entered into their plans when they were organizing, planning and procuring a venue, a dress, a cake, a DJ, a menu, a minister, flowers, invitations, a honeymoon, and about 200 other guests.

The author goes on to counter the reasons people give for not inviting kids, like cost. This for her is a bitter "pill to swallow." Apparently, it's OK for her to complain about the cost of a babysitter but the couple who's most likely going into debt for this wedding should fork over more money so her kids can attend.

She claims she'd rather bring her kids after dinner or share her meal with them so her whole family could attend, thus demonstrating an utter lack of basic working knowledge of how weddings operate.

You can't tell the catering company, "Oh, don't charge us for those guests. They promised they wouldn't eat." Just like you can't tell the DJ, "My 80-year-old grandma is hard of hearing so can you give us a discount? She won't even be listening to the music you play so it's really not fair we have to pay for her."

Here's the deal: You have to pay for all services rendered. You can't just go by your own arbitrary, made-up rules.

The best part, though, may come at the end when she states, "... If you care enough to want me (or my money) at your wedding, you could make it a little easier on me."

I have another news flash for this woman: weddings aren't get rich quick schemes. People aren't inviting you because they want to swindle you out of your money.

Typically, the money received covers the meal eaten; everything else is bought and paid for by the couple, or whichever generous family member offered to pick up the tab.

She ends her diatribe with assurances that she "wants to be there," she really does, but somehow, I'm not convinced.

It may be true; she may really want to bask in the joy of this sacred celebration.

I just wonder whether anyone else will want her there now.