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Couple Called Out For Refusing To Pay For Babysitters So Guests Can Attend Their Childfree Wedding

Євгенія Височина/Unsplash

When it comes to wedding planning, we all have our own ideas about what will make the happy day particularly momentous.

But not everyone else will agree with those ideas, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor TraditionalSound4192 wanted to have a childfree wedding for multiple social and medical reasons.

But when friends demanded she pay for their child care so they could attend, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she had expected too much.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for refusing to pay for babysitters due to having a childfree wedding?”

The OP didn’t particularly like seeing children at weddings.

“My partner and I want a childfree wedding and it has caused a lot of drama.”

“My partner and I have been to multiple friends’ weddings where kids have run wild. Screamed, cried, and threw tantrums throughout the wedding ceremony which echoed and was the main thing you could hear.”

“During some of the receptions, kids were running around and let loose, almost tripping servers carrying hot food or drinks as kids aren’t watching where they are going and their parents weren’t watching them.”

The OP also had headache-related concerns.

“Throughout my life, I’ve always been sensitive to high pitch noises. I often get massive headaches and can get nauseous after long exposure to them.”

“At last weddings, I’ve had to take strong painkillers to be able to go through the day, which meant I wasn’t able to have any drinks and had to stick with water.”

The OP envisioned this pattern continuing.

“For our wedding, the same people will be attending. From our past experience, we know that the same kids will cause the same problems as they did in previous weddings.”

“Which is not the kids’ fault. Weddings aren’t the place for kids, they get bored easily and they have to sit still and be quiet for an extended period of time which can be difficult when you’re young.”

The happy couple made a decision. 

“We want a childfree wedding so we can enjoy our wedding. I can also have celebration drinks on my wedding and don’t have to spend the day medicated.”

“I also want to point out that if people can’t come we are 100% ok with it and won’t hold it against them.”

But not everyone agreed with the plan.

“The family is on board with this.”

“Some friends aren’t on board and say that if I won’t invite their kids then I have to pay for babysitters for them or they aren’t coming.”

“We are having a small wedding and can’t afford to pay for babysitters for their kids.”

“I just want to enjoy my wedding.”

“AITA For having a childfree wedding?”

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 said the OP was not required to pay for childcare.

“NTA – why on earth would you have to pay for other people’s childcare? Their kid, their problem – if they don’t want to pay for a babysitter then they don’t get to attend.”

“Also, it’s one day. I’m sure most people with young children have hired babysitters for far more trivial reasons, they won’t be bankrupt after paying for a few hours of childcare.” – LordVetittynari

“If it’s that huge a deal, just decline the invite. It’s an invitation, not a subpoena.”

“I had two couples with young kids decline our invite because they didn’t want to leave their kids with a sitter for the evening.”

“I get it and had no issue with them not attending the wedding. Not everyone’s world revolves around someone’s wedding!” – SuchLovelyLilacs

“NTA. Your friends are invited to a FREE party. With free food and free drinks. They can decide for themselves if they would like to attend.”

“In no way are you responsible for paying for their children’s babysitters. That’s absolutely asinine and I can’t even fathom on what planet your friends live on to believe this is a reasonable demand.” – kleinerlinalaunebaer

Others said they would have preferred a night out without their kids.

“I had a childfree wedding, as did my sister, though, at the time, none of my friends were even married, and my niece was the only child in the family. (She was about a year old and still nursing so we hired a babysitter for her at the wedding venue).”

“Times have changed. I have an 11-year-old, my sister has two boys (8 and 4), and one cousin has two little boys.”

“None of them have ever been invited to a family wedding. Fine with us! That’s what babysitters are for.”

“I’m grateful for a night out! I get an evening where I can dress up, have great food, enjoy some dancing, and stay out late. Why bring my kid? He would be bored to tears!” – rbaltimore

“This was the attitude of most of the parents we invited to our wedding: ‘H**l, no. We’re getting a sitter and taking advantage of the open bar.'”

“We waffled back and forth over inviting kids or not. Ended up that there were really only 2 families whose kids I knew probably couldn’t behave. They were both ex-coworkers of mine, so I just cut them from the invite list. It worked out pretty well.” – mmm_unprocessed_fish

“I’m always shocked at these posts with entitled guests demanding to bring their children. I wouldn’t want to bring my kid to a wedding.” – FizzFuzzFazz

Some pointed out concerns they had for kids appearing at weddings.

“The biggest reason for this is that if you have minors present you usually have to pay a LOT of money for extra insurance if you are serving alcohol.” – shapiro18

“Yeah, some people won’t stop their kids from throwing tantrums and just ignore them, that was one of the worst things I ever saw at a wedding.”

“OP you are not entitled to pay for the sitters. If they can’t pay for sitter, tell them not bother by coming to your wedding, NTA” – BOSSBABY33

“My 12-year-old sister got served booze at my wedding. She was 5’6″ and in the same bridesmaid dress as my 20-year-old sister but she still looked like a child!”

“She was the only child at my wedding and we requested it that way. NTA your wedding, not their circus and monkeys.” – underweasl

“I attended a wedding where all the drinks were just out in pitchers for mixed drinks and in a bucket with ice for all the beers and wine coolers.”

“So like anyone could have gotten into the drinks since there was no bartender (it was at the farm of a friend of the groom, in that person’s shed.)” – AccountWasFound

Surprised by the demands made by her friends, the bride wondered if she had gone in the wrong direction with her wedding planning, but the subReddit didn’t think so.

The friends were not required to come, but if they really wanted to, they only needed to come up with a day or afternoon’s worth of care, and they had time to get it arranged.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit www.mckenzielynntozan.com.