Your Child-Free Wedding Pushes the Cost Burden Onto Parents, or Something

True fact: children require 168 hours of supervision per week, as well as regular meals and the occasional (okay, daily) fruit pouch.

Therefore, to the cost-sensitive newlyengageds who are thinking “well, we can save $100 a head by putting no children on our wedding invites:” keep in mind that you are simply passing that cost of $100 per child onto the parents, who now have to pay someone else to supervise and fruit pouch their kids while they attend your special day.

And that’s selfish. Selfish enough to make it into Time Magazine in an article titled “Why I Think It’s Selfish to Have an Adult-Only Wedding.”

And while I totally get that most couples don’t want to fork over the cash to pay for some snotty-nosed children to eat a few rolls and bust a move in the chicken dance, adult-only weddings have become my nemesis.


For us, to attend the ceremony and a reception, I’ll easily shell out over 100 bucks on a babysitter, plus the wedding gift. It’s a horrendously expensive date night and I’m sorry (and no offense to you and the love of your life), but that’s really asking a lot of your guests with young children.

That’s how economics works, newlyengageds: every penny you selfishly decide to save on your wedding has to come out of the pockets of your parent friends. No offense, of course, but haven’t you heard that it takes a village, and it’s a lot easier to just bring the kids to the room where the village is enjoying an open bar and begging the DJ not to play “Shout”?

Look, I totally get all sides of the argument, which basically come down to:

1. “I want my wedding theme to be fingerprint-free crystal” OR “I want my wedding party to be comfortable saying swear words in their toasts without having to worry about calling them swear words. They’re gerunds, get used to it.”

2. “But babysitters have gone way up in price since Claudia’s parents first got her that private phone line.”

3. “Why should I have to pay a caterer when your kid isn’t even going to eat a full plate of food?”

4. “Why should I have to hire a babysitter when my kid isn’t even going to eat a full plate of your food?”

But, much like inviting children to your wedding means some kid might call out “I made a stinky!” right in the middle of your handwritten vows, our Time Magazine correspondent drops a stinky right in the middle of hers:

For couples that have kids, an adult-only wedding is a painful decision-making process that includes weighing the cost of a babysitter with the most special night of your lives, which is just another weekend in ours.

Wow. Now we know how she really feels about you.

Dear writer, I know you did not ask me for advice but I am giving it anyway, because this is the internet and that is how it works: if you’re just not that into some rando wedding, you don’t have to go. You can send a gift, or you can buy one of those $50 Visa gift cards at the Rite Aid and put it in an envelope with a congrats card. Or you can just send your regrets! It’s all good.

There will be weddings in your life where you will want to be there, because it’s a best friend, or a sibling, or maybe it’s a cousin you don’t know that well but the whole family is going so it’s a thing now and it would be nice to see everyone. But if it’s like, a coworker, or someone from your sorority whom you havent spoken to (outside of Facebook, of course) in years? Go to The Knot and find their online registry and send them an Ove Glove and call it a day.

And to the newlyengageds: do that thing where you get a couple of babysitters for all the kids, and stash ’em all in a room somewhere with some games or movies or whatever. After all, it takes a village, and one of the best parts of the village is that someone you know has a college-aged son or daughter who is desperate for some extra cash. You might be able to get an entire evening of wedding babysitting for just $100 and a box of fruit pouches.

This story is part of our Wedding Season series.

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