Are child-free weddings smart or selfish?

October 15, 2015 12:48pm   

IN AN age where iPads have made it possible for children to dine in hatted restaurants and holiday in luxury resorts, should they be allowed to attend one of the few remaining adults-only events — weddings?For every person who coos over adorable flowers girls and tiny men in tuxes, there’s another who becomes incensed at the thought of screaming and burping tots at a wedding ceremony.I’ve spoken with mums and dads who could think of nothing better than a night of champagne and adult conversations, uninterrupted by diaper changes.Then there are parents who feel outraged when they receive a pearly envelope in the mail with that dreaded phrase in cursive print: “CHILD-FREE WEDDING”.Even if you’re set on having a child-free wedding, there are others who will question if it’s even your decision to make.

Here are a couple of points to consider when deciding what’s right, from a mother of a 6-year-old-girl and 4-year-old boy:

If you’ve ever taken a child to a wedding, you’ll be familiar with this feeling. Picture: Inlighten Photography.


1. Kids are super cute (in photos only)

This photo might look cute, but it has an interesting backstory. Picture: Inlighten Photography.

Case in point: This gorgeous little flower girl created the most beautiful, candid photo for us. When captured at the right moment, kids really do make for the most stunning wedding photos. But here’s what really happened: The girl’s mother had been chastising her in a hysterical whisper to sit in her seat for most of the service, but she wasn’t having a bar of it. Mum

missed the ceremony and now she feels terrible for interrupting a beautiful moment for the couple. Kids don’t understand what is going on in a wedding and certainly don’t want to be sitting still on a hard wooden pew, listening to some old guy in a cloak drone on and on.

They’re not interacting with family members and getting to know their relatives.

There is no reason for them to attend. If they would rather be running around outside, let them.

Picture: Inlighten Photography.

2. It’s OK to set an age limit

If they’re a newborn, still require breastfeeding and are small enough to spend the whole event swaddled up in a blanket, there’s no way that kid’s parents can attend without their baby. If the parents are important to you, you’ll want them there.

If you do allow tiny people at your wedding, you need to accommodate for this. Ensure the family is positioned at a table where a pram or capsule can be placed nearby, and cross your fingers that mum has enough sense to walk out if her bub starts making a noise during the speeches.

So cute! Picture: Inlighten Photography.

3. Kids are expensive

Not only are you going to be paying for their meals — which they probably won’t eat — you’ll have to provide a kids’ entertainer.

Having a clown or movie character entertain the children in a nearby room is essential if you have kids at your wedding — but these acts usually start at around the $350 mark.

All together now: “Awwwww!”. Picture: Inlighten Photography.

4. The ability to be able to finish a senten … ‘Shh darling, Mummy’s talking, please wait your turn’

Couples invite guests to a wedding because they enjoy their company and want to spend time with them. And sadly, weddings and funerals are one of the few times we get to catch up with old friends and extended family.

Having a child-free night means that you will be able to focus on the person you are actually talking to and chat about old memories away from interrupting children.

5. Parental date night

Finding the time (and energy) to schedule date night can be difficult. A wedding is the perfect date night — you’ve got plenty of notice in advance, unlimited booze and a dance floor with some of your best friends.  Put yourself before your kids for once and make it happen.

Rachael Bentick is the director of Inlighten Photography and one of Australia’s most popular bridal coaches. Find out more on





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