Date Culture

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Do kids belong at weddings?

19th September 2016

Someone recently emailed me with a question about American wedding culture:

I am finding more and more that kids are not being invited to weddings and I think that money is a big issue. I have been invited to numerous wedding over the last year or so and every one of them said no kids allowed. I asked why not and they said I will enjoy myself more. What? I don’t need someone else telling me how to enjoy myself. I love my son and love being around him. He makes me extremely happy. I have more fun with him than stressing over who is going to watch him.

My response is that this is probably a symptom of expensive wedding syndrome. At a lot of wedding venues in America, the bride and groom pay by the plate. Sometimes (certainly not always) they expect each guest to bring a gift that covers the cost of their plate. So a couple with three kids could easily be looking at a 1,000 dollar wedding gift.

In addition, the kids might need new clothes, there may be travel expenses, etc. So kids at weddings can be a financial strain for the bride and groom plus the family with kids.

I think 30 years ago in America, kids were almost always invited to weddings. It seems that somewhere along the way, weddings in America became about being fancier than you can afford instead of having fun with friends and family.

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