The childfree wedding – pros and cons

It’s a thing these days – the childfree wedding. It divides opinion and very often families, with parents sometimes taking umbrage and refusing to attend. Others jump at the chance to dance and drink and crash into their hotel room on the outside of a bottle or two of Champers.

So, let’s hear it for childfree weddings…

You get to see your old friends and party like you did BC (before children). You can work up a steaming hangover and know you’re not going to be woken by Lego missiles at 5.00am.

It makes the day that little bit cheaper – you won’t need to hire an extra room or childcare staff for the day.

You have the entire day to play with. There’s no need to worry about an evening reception being punctuated by the whines of tired children who have drunk too much cola.

There’s no chance of you being upstaged by a tantrumming (or painfully cute) kid. There’s a reduced chance of damage to the venue, The Dress and the décor (note – reduced chance – see “steaming hangover” above).

So far, so good. However, a childfree wedding isn’t going to work for everyone. You might have children yourself and find it unthinkable that they won’t be there on your special day. Yes, there are some downsides…

Some people simply won’t be able to get there. They may have a breastfed newborn, or no-one else to look after their baby for two days. They may be offended at the exclusion and so decline the invitation. You may define “children” as everyone under the age of 16, so what about a family with children aged 19, 17, 13 and 11?

Children are natural ice-breakers, and can unite relatives who normally don’t get on, or provide common ground for different age groups and cultural groups.

Weddings are sometimes the only occasions families all get together and so might be the only time an elderly relative gets to meet the newest additions. It’s a good excuse for a huge family photo.

Children make for brilliant spontaneous photo opportunities – they are uninhibited and always gorgeous. They also provide great entertainment with their antics and there’s always someone willing to take them off parents’ hands for a while.

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