A Mom Travels Out Of The Country For A Wedding Only To Be Told The 'Child-Free' Rule Applies To Her 17-Year-Old Son

He's already in college and there are two 17-year-olds in the wedding party. So what's really going on here?

Bride and groom at fall wedding BAIMIRO / Shutterstock

Weddings are hugely important events, of course, and many of us do everything we can to attend them — like a woman on Reddit who flew in from another country for her partner's sister's wedding. But what she was greeted with when she arrived has left her confused and quite offended.

The woman was told the bride's child-free wedding rules applied to her 17-year-old son, too. 

Child-free wedding rules are becoming increasingly popular nowadays, and it's easy to understand why — kids are loud, often unruly and sometimes you just want to deal with rugrats on your big day. 


RELATED: Bride Wonders If She Is Wrong For Charging Parents Who Brought Their Rowdy Kids To Her Child-Free Wedding

Seventeen is hardly a "kid" though, and as this woman put it in her post, which has since been deleted, it's not like he would sit at the kid's table if he came. But even as silly as this ruling is on its face, it starts to seem downright absurd given the context. 


The woman, her son, and her fiancé live in another country and flew to the United States to meet his family for the first time.

The woman and her fiancé have been together for a while and recently got engaged, but because of the distance, she had never met his family. So they planned a trip to the States for Thanksgiving to finally get to know one another.

The family was so excited that her fiancé's sister moved her wedding to Thanksgiving weekend specifically so that they could be a part of it with the rest of the family. "I'm very pleased to be welcome at the wedding and was looking forward to it," the woman wrote.

But when she asked the bride what she and her son should wear, things took a turn. "The bride looked a little nervous and [taken aback] and mentioned that this is a child-free wedding so no children would be allowed."



RELATED: Woman Cancels 'Dream Wedding' After Finding Folder On Fiancé's Computer


The woman thinks her son is purposefully being excluded by her fiancé's family because he's from a past relationship.

At first, the woman thought this might be a cultural difference of some kind. "In my own culture my son would not be considered a child," she shared, especially since he already graduated from high school and started college. 

But after seeing that her fiancé's family was surprised she brought her son on the Thanksgiving trip in the first place, she changed her mind. "This is a family holiday event, of course, I'm going to have my family with me," she wrote, but said her fiancé's family "just seemed to be very hesitant to accept him right from the time that we landed."



But the real turning point was learning that there are two 17-year-olds in the wedding party. She wrote that the "excuses" for the other two 17-year-olds are that "they are family," which only deepened her suspicions.


She's now considering skipping the gathering entirely as a result — and even more problematic, her fiancé doesn't seem to understand why she's upset.

RELATED: On Their Wedding Day, A Groom Tells His Bride The 2 Things Required To Keep Him Happy — 'She Should Run'

People agreed that the woman's suspicions make sense, and were shocked by the family's lack of etiquette. 

It's pretty hard to draw any other conclusion from this that her fiancé's family is indeed being exclusionary when it comes to her son, and people on Reddit found it pretty unsavory. "If there are other 17-year-olds attending and your son is excluded?! That's a slight," one commenter bluntly wrote.

And many questioned why her fiancé wasn't taking her side. "Them making the argument that the other ones are allowed because they are family, is them saying they don't think of you or your son as family or even potential family," another Redditor wrote. "I can't believe your [fiancé] is going to this after they said this to you."




Though this is the least of the worries here, many wedding planners say this is an easily avoidable breach of etiquette.

They suggest that child-free wedding rules should be clearly communicated way in advance, including who exactly is considered a child, in order to avoid situations like this one.

Perhaps we need to update wedding etiquette to include a stipulation that if someone flies across the world for your wedding and is engaged to your family member, you should probably just relax a bit on your rules — especially when the guest is marrying into your family. No wedding is this serious.


RELATED: Wife Issues PSA To Women Before The Holidays — 'Your In-Laws Are Not Your Family, You Don't Have To Do Any Of It'

John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.