Children At Weddings? Oh, Behave!!

Posted by Dave

A couple of recent Dear Abby and Miss Manners advice columns have tackled the touchy subject of whether brides have the right to ban children at their weddings and receptions. I have two comments:

1. Brides can invite or ban anyone they please. It’s their party.


2. The problem at weddings usually isn’t kids; it’s their parents.

It is perfectly understandable that a bride and groom would prefer not to have crying, or fidgety, or noisy little ones at their ceremony. And little ones will cry, fidget, or speak in inappropriately loud voices. But it isn’t the wee ones who are at fault when this disrupts the services. Parents of small children should be ready to remove their diminuitive distractions at a moment’s notice. Those who have failed in their obligation to do so in the past are the real reason this topic has even come up.

At receptions, it is – again – the parents who neglect to supervise their children that create problems. Little ones should never be racing or sliding across the dance floor, bumping into elderly guests, or going out into the halls unattended. But don’t blame kids for acting their age. It is their – supposedly – adult parents who have flunked Parenting 101, where they should have learned that your children should never be my problem, unless and until I volunteer to make them so.

It is a time-honored truth that parents cannot teach their children what they do not themselves know. Nowhere does this apply more than in the case of behavior in public. You simply cannot expect kids to have good manners – when their parents don’t. So my advice to brides who are considering whether or not to allow children would be: if you only invite parent-guests whom you can count on to act like grown-ups, the kid issues will take care of themselves.


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