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Bride praised for refusing to invite children to her wedding despite backlash

When it comes to wedding planning, a common source of conflict can be whether or not to allow children to attend the ceremony, reception, or both.

In a recent Reddit post shared to the popular “Am I The A**hole?” subreddit, one bride-to-be detailed her attempt to plan a child-free wedding. The woman began by explaining that she and her fiancé had agreed to have no children at their wedding, and made sure to specify on the invitation that the event was adults-only. However, the bride’s sister-in-law had a problem with her four children not being invited.

“She called me pleading to make an exception for her kids, saying that she couldn’t leave them,” the bride wrote in her Reddit post. “I empathise but I stood firm on our decision, explaining that we wanted a more formal setting without kids running around. I suggested she could enjoy a night off and assured her we would help her find some childcare options.”

Her sister-in-law went on to call her “heartless” and said she would not attend the wedding unless her children were invited. The bride’s brother - who was also her sister-in-law’s husband - got involved when he told the Reddit poster that she was “creating unnecessary drama” and that it was “unfair to exclude their children.”

The post concluded with the bride saying that her family was now “divided” and she was unsure if she was in the wrong. However, many people ultimately defended the bride in the comments, pointing out that she can make any rules for her wedding that she wants.

“No it’s your wedding, you’re allowed to not have children there if you don’t want them,” one comment read.

Another commenter agreed, writing: “I don’t understand why they are upset! Why don’t they want to hire a sitter? To create so much drama, even to go so far as to get the entire family involved, is so petty and entitled that I am having a hard time wrapping my head around it! Are there other factors, such as a special needs child or maybe a matter of expense? Wow! Not the a**hole!”

While one commenter agreed that it’s up to the bride to decide who comes to her wedding, they pointed out that it was wrong to suggest her sister-in-law would “enjoy” a night without her children. “First, yes, you’re not the a**hole. Your wedding, your rules. Second, it was wrong of you to say she’d ‘enjoy’ a night off,” the comment began.

“It was great to offer to help secure childcare, but it may still not feel like a ‘night off’ for her. You aren’t saying how old the kids are (or if they’re also your brother’s - the wording is weird),” they continued. “She could be pumping, breastfeeding, or introducing solids, or any number of things happening where it’s not a joy to be away from them and adds to her mental load. There’s a lot missing about maybe why she called you heartless. She’s entitled to her feelings as much as you’re entitled to a child-free wedding.”

As some commenters pointed out that there was nothing wrong with excluding children from the wedding, others noted that the bride’s sister-in-law is allowed to decline the invite because of the no-kids rule. However, the problem ultimately came from the couple’s insistence that they should be some kind of exception to the child-free invite.

“Not attending as a result of a child-free policy is also completely valid,” one comment began. “They should have gracefully declined to attend without calling and begging you to change your mind. If this is your stance, then remain firm. Offering to assist with finding childcare was a nice gesture; now it’s time for everyone to accept the decision and move on.”