There's nothing like planning a wedding to make a girl just want to give up and elope already. The fights with the in-laws over the seating chart, the fights with the bridesmaids over the dresses, and then there are the fights with the moms.
I'm not talking about the mom of the groom or the mom of the bride (though those two will certainly give your stress level a run for its money), I'm talking about all the moms you invite to the wedding (hereinafter Mom Guests). The ones who, for some inexplicable reason, think that your wedding is all about them. The ones who you will piss off beyond belief if you deign to do the unthinkable: Throw a child-free wedding (CFW).
You will rue the day you decided on a CFW.
That's right, I said rue.
Did I mention elopement?
Seriously, engaged ladies, if you're thinking of a CFW, you might just as well elope. Because by the time your Mom Guests (also known as your BFFs) are through with you, you're going to wish you never got married. Because you'll never want to have kids ... because you don't want to turn into a Mom Guest and give someone else a really hard time about what's supposed to be one of the happiest days of their lives.
But in keeping with the spirit of these Mom Guests, let's forget all about you and focus on them. Because if you haven't figured it out yet (but trust me, you will) your wedding day is ALL. ABOUT. THEM.
So you ... you there, Mom Guest, might I have a word? I want to let you in on a little secret.
I know this is really, really (really) hard to hear, but the Bride isn't revolving her entire wedding around you or even, probably, any of it. The bride isn't revolving her entire wedding around you. No siree. She isn't. In fact, here's what else she's not doing.
1. She's not scheduling her wedding for when it's most collectively convenient for all her guests. Like say, around when her second cousin has his annual golf weekend with his college buddies, or, say, around when you, Dear Mom Guest, have to attend your kid's soccer tournament. (It's okay, take a deep breath.) She's scheduling her wedding for her favorite month or a date that means something to her and her fiance. Your kid's soccer schedule really has nothing to do with it. I promise.
2. She's not planning a "destination" wedding just so you have to deal with getting a babysitter. She's planning on having her Big Day in the Bahamas or Italy or New Orleans or in her own hometown (gasp!) or wherever it is that you don't personally live because that's where she wants it. You and your babysitter issues didn't even cross her mind when she decided in third grade where she was going to get married. She probably didn't even know you then. So if you want to go to the wedding (you know, because she's your friend, cousin, sister), get a babysitter to come to your home. Bring a babysitter with you to the destination. Call all the other Mom Guests and chip in to hire a local babysitter to watch the kids in one of the hotel rooms. Go to the wedding solo and have your husband/boyfriend/partner babysit the kids. There are plenty of options. If you choose not to exercise them, that's your problem not the bride's. A destination wedding doesn't make someone even close to being a Bridezilla. It certainly creates a lot of Mom Guest-zillas though.
3. She's not expecting you to call her and ask if you can bring your kids (whose names don't appear on the invitation) to the wedding. Note the word "not." Seriously. She's not. So don't. Under any circumstances. No matter how close you are. Just don't. Seriously. Put down the phone.
4. She's not planning a CFW because she 'hates" kids. In fact, she probably adores them. Might even be planning to push out a few of her own some day. Her CFW should not be taken as an affront to kids everywhere. So don't turn it into one. Maybe the bride simply doesn't think her dream wedding -- an 8 pm to midnight black-tie cocktail party in a rented high-priced mansion -- is a good place for kids. But what does she know? She's not even a mom yet.
5. She's not thinking about you. At all. I know this is the one that might be hardest for you to hear. But the bride is thrilled to be engaged and getting married. She's in love. She's found the man/woman of her dreams and is planning the wedding of her dreams. She's doing what makes her happy. Your happiness is irrelevant and it should be. If you can't get a babysitter or make it to the wedding for another kid-related reason, just check off the little box on the wedding invite that says "Will Not Attend." It's that easy.
This is the Bride's day not yours. Be a good friend, let her have it, and leave your kid at home. After all, it wasn't so long ago that you yourself were young and in love and planning your very own CFW.
(And to you, Dear Bride, make a note to self to remember all this when you find yourself in the position of Mom Guest. The bride will thank you.)
Image via endbradley/Flickr