Brides and Babies - It's Not All Rainbows and Butterflies!
How To Create A Wedding Guest List
By Jeffrey House Photography
How to create a wedding guest list and should it include or exclude babies?
I recently read an interesting article by the Washington Post titled "Adults Cry At Weddings, Why Can't Babies?" As a wedding photographer, it doesn't matter to me whether a couples allows babies or not, but I certainly understand why many couples have a "no baby" or a "no children" policy. However, I am perplexed that someone would actually compare the crying behaviors of adults to babies. I can only hope it was a rhetorical question.
a friendship being tested
The Washington Post article featured a question presented by a woman who is on the verge of ending a 20 year friendship because the bride had a "no baby" policy. Here's the backstory.
The woman in the article was pregnant when her friend asked her to be a bridesmaid in her wedding. She accepted. Several months later the woman learned that babies would not be allowed at the wedding. Since the woman was going to be having her baby shortly before the wedding, she became concerned. She advised the Washington Post, in her question, that she would need the baby to be around the entire day so she could breast feed and attend to the baby as needed. The woman in the article also has a toddler and understood why the toddler couldn't be there, but couldn't understand the "no baby" policy given her situation. She felt her friend was choosing their 20 year friendship over her wedding.
The writer with the Washington Post presented an interesting response. She essentially told the woman in the article that maybe your friend feels like you're choosing your situation over the 20 year friendship. She further suggested to the woman that she could find a babysitter to watch the baby on-site, but keep the baby away from the wedding. She could excuse herself to breast feed the baby. She also suggested to the woman that she pump her breast milk and let the babysitter feed the baby from a bottle for that one day.
it's a serious commitment
Having a baby is a serious commitment; however, so is agreeing to being a bridesmaid or groomsman in a wedding. When you agree to be part of a wedding party, you're making a serious time and financial commitment. On average, bridesmaids/groomsman spend $800 - $1,200 to be part of the wedding. If you don't have a lot of extra time or finances are tight, it's probably best for everyone if you decline the invitation.
Be honest with the bride or groom. Let her/him know how much you appreciate being considered for the wedding party, but your time or financial restraints won't allow for it or you just don't want to take on the responsibility. They might be disappointed , but it's going to be a lot better that the potential and more serious issues that can arise later on.
For the woman that wrote this letter, she expected to have her baby at the wedding all day long so she could feed and attend to her child. It's easy to understand why and how she feels this way. However, knowing the baby would be born before the wedding and she would feel this way, she should have declined the offer to be a bridesmaid. As a bridesmaid, it's your job to be part of the wedding and assist the bride to ensure a magical day.
weddings are expensive adult events
The average wedding will cost between $25,000 - $30,000, and depending on where you live this number can go much higher! Consider a wedding in Manhatten, NY for example - the average wedding is $70,000 - $75,000. Couples are paying a lot of money for their wedding celebration and if they don't want babies or children present, then their wishes should be respected. I understand, for many parents, it's hard to imagine why your little angles aren't being welcomed with open arms, but weddings are adult events.
I've attended and photographed weddings where babies were crying during the ceremony. It's extremely distracting and depending on where you're sitting, you can't even hear the ceremony. I've also experienced misbehaved children at weddings too. It's a long day and by the time the wedding reception rolls around they are exhausted. They make scene fighting with their parents because they don't want to eat their dinner or they want flop around on the floor. Couples that choose to have a "no children" policy is not a personal attack on parents - they simply don't want their day ruined with crying or misbehaved children.
no wedding party - a new trend
Wedding stress often comes from wedding party drama. For one reason or another, there's conflict and confrontations. It can be a nightmare for many brides and grooms looking to have the wedding of their dreams.
Many couples getting married today are now electing to skip having a wedding party. It saves money on their overall wedding costs and it eliminates a lot of drama - it makes for a better overall wedding experience. This isn't to say you can't have a friend or two around to help and share in the excitement, but generally speaking, it's a much more relaxed environment.
What do you think? will you allow babies/children at your wedding? share your thoughts, I'd love to hear what you have to say!