Kids & Weddings: Bad Idea?

The headline of this piece from the BBC News site says it all: Should Children Be Banned From Weddings? Lord knows how we got it in our minds that a wedding day should be "perfect." But muse upon this: an Anglican vicar in Staffordshire ordered a toddler to be removed from a church. You're thinking, well, he's trying to perform a ceremony! The kid was probably being a nuisance! Guess what? The child was the son of the bride and groom. Whoops! (Anglicans! First they came for the gays and women, now the kids!) The couple at the heart of this controversy have filed a complaint. But still: A wedding is supposed to be the day that two people celebrate becoming a family. Kids can add to the happiness, to the joy of celebration. Or they can be seen as disruptive, annoying, bawling, screaming and unwelcome additions to an already tense, stressful event. But if a wedding is a family occasion, how can you ban kids?

The BBC talks to Patrick Boyle, who is getting married later this year. Only close family members will be allowed to bring kids, because Boyle doesn't want his wedding to "resemble Disneyland." Plus: "Catering firms still charge for kids meals as much as adults." On the other end of the spectrum is Rhonda Williams, who refused to attend the wedding of a close friend. "The invitation said 'absolutely no children,'" she says. "It was quite aggressive and there was no explanation. So immediately we were slightly put on the defensive about it."

On one hand, a wedding is inherently self-absorbed: It's your day! With your music, your favorite cake, your huge dress and posse of bridesmaids. And these days, you're probably paying for it, too. So of course you can ban kids if you want! On the other hand: Is it mean? Cruel, even, to assume that people will attend your nuptials, buy you a gift and hire a babysitter? Isn't a wedding ultimately about family and unity and inclusiveness, not exclusivity?

Should Children Be Banned From Weddings? [BBC News]