It’s always exciting to receive a wedding invitation and to imagine what the big day is going to be like.
But the arrangements are ultimately up to the bride and groom, not the guests, stressed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor AltruisticHapa was shocked when multiple couples brought their kids, though she’d made it clear that the venue didn’t have the proper accommodations for them.
When one of those families started to make a scene, the Original Poster (OP) knew she and her husband had to put their foot down.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for charging parents who brought their kids to our childfree wedding and kicking the rowdy kids out?”
The OP made a financial decision to have her wedding be childfree.
“This happened a few months ago, but it was recently brought up again.”
“My husband and I made it clear to guests that our wedding was childfree. I mean, I have a cousin with 8 kids and a lot of our family/friends have 2-3 kids.”
“The kids are generally good, so the main issue was the cost. Our venue charges age 2+ the same as adults, which is $250pp (including tax/tip).”
“It would double the cost and our venue wasn’t big enough for all the kids.”
“We wrote this on the website and clarified with anyone who asked (and everyone asked).”
The OP and her husband did their best to accommodate the attending parents.
“We got a lot of grief over this, so we felt a fair compromise was to:”
“1. Extend the dinner the night before to include kids, and the restaurant was very nice about having close to 100 kids.”
“2. Hire 5 babysitters for 25-30 kids on the wedding night for locals who couldn’t find a babysitter last-minute and for guests who traveled with their kids. My in-laws offered their home less than 30min away to host all the kids.”
But the accommodations apparently were not enough.
“On the wedding day, 3 couples showed up with their kids, a total of 9 kids (2 + 3 + 4 kids).”
“My husband was more upset than I was because these folks were on his side. Groomsmen offered to drive the kids to the house, but they refused and made a scene.”
“My husband was called over to handle it and he said fine, as long as (a) the kids don’t cause trouble and (b) the parents pay the per head for the kids, they can stay.”
“The staff even quickly threw together a kids table.”
“I saw that unfolding and avoided it, and went about the day since it was a beautiful day and so much was happening.”
There were multiple scenes at the wedding.
“When the ceremony started, one kid started wailing and another skipped down the aisle in front of me.”
“I played it cool, and the staff was on top of it. They escorted the mom and the 2 kids outside. The rest of the ceremony went smoothly.”
“During the reception, the same 2 kids were screaming and throwing food. Other guests and staff were trying to get them to sit.”
“At one point, one kid went under my dress, which was so f**king weird. I didn’t notice and almost tripped.”
“My bridesmaids pointed out that the food they threw got on my dress and that’s when I had enough.”
“I gave my husband ‘the look’ and he rounded up the kids, brought them to the parents, and asked them to leave for good.”
The OP also kept her word about charging for the additional plates.
“After the event, and this is where we might be the a**holes, we sent a bill to the 3 couples with a letter saying we had a lovely time with them and reminding them they agreed to pay for the uninvited kids.”
“Two couples paid and were apologetic, and even said now they understood why we couldn’t include the kids.”
“Of course, the couple with the 2 rowdy kids refused to pay because we asked them to leave before cake… seriously.”
“Instead of apologizing, we got a nasty call.”
“All I said was they should be lucky I didn’t send the dry cleaning bill for the dress.”
“My husband even said this concludes their friendship.”
The OP was shocked when the couple didn’t take the hint.
“This weekend, they wanted to visit and we said no thanks.”
“They asked if we were still mad about them not paying and, uh yeah, we are.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some praised the couple for going above and beyond to accommodate parents.
“You could have kicked them all out immediately, but you tried to work with them despite the disrespect and disruptions.”
“Go ahead and send a revised bill with dry cleaning costs (or hand it to them when they show up without an invitation again). NTA.” – cmlobue
“I can’t believe that not just one, but three separate couples defied the rules when OP and her husband went to such incredible lengths to provide childcare accommodations. Unreal.” – a**holemanager
“In fact, accommodating them is where you went wrong.”
“Offering exceptions and treating people’s complaints about your wedding (which they are simply invited to and by no means obligated to attend) as if it’s your responsibility to accommodate everyone is only going to cause headaches.”
“Set clear expectations, and if you do provide accommodations, do the same for everyone (eg offering daycare but don’t allow them to bring in kids just because they had the audacity to ignore your instructions).” – hbtfdrckbck
Others agreed and couldn’t believe some of the parents’ audacity.
“It was pretty darn clear what the restrictions were, and they proved the point on why you had those restrictions in place. Your husband is also right, if ‘friends’ willfully do something like that and refuse to square up after the fact, that sounds like they’re not very good friends at all. It’s on them to smooth it over.” – itsthelee
“NTA. How obtuse do they have to be when your husband tells them that their behavior has ended the friendship and they STILL don’t get the affront they caused and want to visit?”
“In fact, I would send another invoice and INCLUDE the dry cleaning and include a note about how their behavior cost you a lot more money, damage to your dress, and stress because of how they allowed their children to behave on a day that should have been all celebration on principle alone.”
“They won’t pay it, but at least they might begin to get a clue. If they still don’t pay it, then take them to small claims court. This is only to recoup your losses. If you are successful then you at least have your money back.”
“Hopefully too if a Judge sided with you the validation in the judgment will cause them to think again. Probably not, given the degree of entitlement they’ve displayed, but it’s worth a shot. If the friendship is really over it shouldn’t matter to take them to court.” – Special-Parsnip9057
“This is exactly why it’s almost never worth accommodating entitled people who choose to go against agreed-on conditions. They will just continue imposing until they sit on your head.”
“Far easier to just stop it in the very beginning, they won’t be any more offended than if you drag it out, but you will save yourself time, money, and aggravation.” – Crazyhellga
Some couldn’t get past the skipping down the aisle moment.
“I would’ve been done after the aisle skipping. My brother is getting married in September and they want no kids. I had to REASSURE THEM that I was not upset, I understood and agreed with the reasons why, that it was their day and their choice and my job was to fall in line.” – SufficientWay3663
“Who the h**l lets their child skip down the aisle in front of the bride?”
“The entitlement, it burns.” – krankykitty
“Some people just refuse to think their child is anything but an angel and it makes them horrible.”
“I’m willing to bed the mother thought it was sO cUtE that her daughter was skipping down the aisle and how it probably made everyone so entertained as they awkwardly laughed. They and their children can do no wrong, and if other people get on their case well they’re just child-hating monsters who can’t see how cute their kids are.”
“And this is from a parent of two very cute kids who I know are ‘well behaved’ but who I also will never force on anyone because I know that NO KID IS WELL BEHAVED.” – InfinMD
While the OP thought she may have taken the situation a bit far by following through with sending each of the parents a bill for their uninvited children, the subReddit thought it was just right.
The couples were offered multiple accommodations for their children by the wedding party and elected to keep their children there anyway. If they weren’t prepared to pay, or didn’t think their children would listen, maybe there should have found something else that was fun to do besides attend a wedding.