When I hear the phrase "It’s wedding season", I instantly think of the 'Wedding Crashers' comedy film featuring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson. If you haven’t seen it, the guys gatecrash as many weddings as possible with hilarious consequences. For most of us, however, our main concern when it comes to wedding season is what to do with the kids.
Unfortunately, taking inspiration from the classic comedy and letting our children crash a friend or family member’s wedding (when they’ve clearly been left off the invite) would not go down well. Here's some advice on navigating weddings when you’re a parent.
First things first, if you receive a wedding invite then read it carefully and make sure it’s clear who’s invited. If you and your partner are named specifically, then this implies that you’re the only ones that are welcome. If it says "and family," or you’re all named, that means you’re all on the list.
If you’re unsure, then contact them and check; you don’t want any embarrassment on the day itself if someone has interpreted the invite wrong.
If your kids have made the list, then you need to think about how to make it as enjoyable as possible for them. It’s a long and tiring day for adults, so for kids, it’s even harder.
It’s a good idea to bring a practical (but pretty) handbag with you and sneak in some snacks, bottles of water, wipes, tissues and toys. While your bag will be bulkier than you’d like, a sleek clutch containing only your phone and a lip gloss will be no use to you when the kids are whinging that they’re bored, hungry and have runny noses.
In addition, make sure that they’re happy with their shoes and outfits. While we all like to make our kids look smart, if they feel uncomfortable, it’s only going to put them in bad form.
If your kids haven’t made the cut, try not to get offended and don’t take the wedding party's decision personally. Weddings are serious and special occasions, and unfortunately, a screaming child during a ceremony can have a negative impact on the couple’s special moment. It’s not that they don’t like your kids, it’s simply that children can be unpredictable and have a short attention span, so weddings can be long and boring for them.
Remember that there may be a limited number of children present on the day, but they’re likely to be playing a role, such as a flower girl or page boy. The couple themselves may also already have their own children who they clearly would want to be part of their big day.
While it would be nice to all attend together, make the most of your child-free time and enjoy your freedom! Cheers!