Wedding Woes

I think you're both ridiculous.

Dear Prudence,

My partner and I are planning our wedding for later this year. We have planned on a childfree wedding from the start. My sister has three kids (9, 7, and 5) and has always been fine with this, even saying that she was looking forward to a night out without the kids.

During COVID, one of our only social outlets was our neighborhood dog park, and we became close with the people there. We had the idea of having a dog-friendly wedding and ran with it. We found a pavilion we could rent at a park where dogs were welcome and are really excited about the idea of a laid-back wedding with all of our favorite dogs and their people.

Now my sister is angry. She says that she assumed a childfree wedding meant drinks and late-night dancing, not hot dogs and a playground within view. She feels like we have “ranked” our friends’ dogs higher than her children on our priorities list, and pointed out that (since it’s a public park) there will be kids around no matter what. I promised her we’d think about it. I see her points, but I was really looking forward to my adults-only wedding, and am a little nervous about the mix of dogs and kids. Should I let the kids come, or stand my ground?

— Wedding Planning Is Ruff

Re: I think you're both ridiculous.

  • banana468banana468 member
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    mrsconn23 said:

    Dear Prudence,

    My partner and I are planning our wedding for later this year. We have planned on a childfree wedding from the start. My sister has three kids (9, 7, and 5) and has always been fine with this, even saying that she was looking forward to a night out without the kids.

    During COVID, one of our only social outlets was our neighborhood dog park, and we became close with the people there. We had the idea of having a dog-friendly wedding and ran with it. We found a pavilion we could rent at a park where dogs were welcome and are really excited about the idea of a laid-back wedding with all of our favorite dogs and their people.

    Now my sister is angry. She says that she assumed a childfree wedding meant drinks and late-night dancing, not hot dogs and a playground within view. She feels like we have “ranked” our friends’ dogs higher than her children on our priorities list, and pointed out that (since it’s a public park) there will be kids around no matter what. I promised her we’d think about it. I see her points, but I was really looking forward to my adults-only wedding, and am a little nervous about the mix of dogs and kids. Should I let the kids come, or stand my ground?

    — Wedding Planning Is Ruff

    I can really see the sister's side more - and I'm one who enjoys those kid free times too.

    But if you want a kid-free wedding then IMO you need to go with a kid-free venue.  And when you DO say that you want the dogs and not the kids I think you're removing one area of unpredictability for another.  What's the line in showbiz?  Never work with kids or animals?    I guess I don't "get" it when you're having your wedding in a public place.  

    This reminds me of Sunday when Chiquita's GS troop went to the beach to plant the butterfly garden and they headed to the beach after.  One older woman (maybe late 50s?) lamented that she was "suffocating" with all the kids.  FFS - if you want to be child free then go to a private beach - not the one in town.   And of all the things to lament - kids at a beach is about the most laughably ridiculous thing I've heard. 

    It's the same with the OP here.  If you want to go out with the adults and the dogs find a place that isn't also going to be open to kids - just not the kids of your guests. 
    charlotte989875
  • banana468banana468 member
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    Casadena said:
    Your sister is right, you're 100% prioritizing dogs over kids and I personally think that's super f'ing weird.  Yes, it's your wedding and you can invite who you want, but i'm firmly team sister that if you're having a daytime outdoor wedding in a park with a playground but not inviting your niblings is outrageous.  

    Admittedly i am not a dog lover, and don't understand the emphasis on kid free weddings in the majority of situations.
    Also this.  I love my kids and know they get out of hand but no one I know is allergic to them or has had to go to the ER due to a kid bite.  My good friend however had to rush to the ER over a dog.  
    Casadenacharlotte989875ei34short+sassy
  • mrsconn23mrsconn23 member
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    I think LW is ridic for the whole wedding plan, but that's their plan.  So sister can either attend or not.  If this is the hill you need to die on LW, then good luck with the rest of your life and marriage. 

    I see the sister's side and agree with her, but nitpicking and what not is just putting LW's back up.  I can hear this sister fight in my head. 

    LW is definitely more wrong here.  The wedding plan is something I would never want to be a part of.  I'd be noping out based on the premise of the whole affair.  I also find people who choose friends over family and then get upset with family for being upset to be quite obtuse.  (I'm not saying there's not family dynamics/reason for it, but coming from my POV and history...it makes no sense and I'd need more info to make it make sense.)
    charlotte989875VarunaTT
  • climbingsingleclimbingsingle NYC 'burbs member
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    This is nuts. Do they even have a dog of their own!?!?
  • Invite the kids. Stop being weird. 
    charlotte989875Casadenaei34
  • VarunaTTVarunaTT member
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    I mean, I think it's odd to want to have dogs at a wedding for logistical reasons (even when people include their own dogs in the ceremonies).  But it's LW's wedding, so if that's what they want to do, stand their ground and do it, and make no apologies.

    The only time I've seen a dog at the wedding and it was actually something special was when one of my college BFFs was marrying a man she met in Alaska.  They had gotten a dog together, but had to leave him in Alaska for reasons I can't recall now for a fairly significant amount of time while they were in the states.  Their dad had a guest coming from their Alaska town bring the dog with them, and the couple were surprised with him on the dance floor.  Everyone loved it and the couple loved it...and the dog left after like 10 minutes and was taken to their hotel.


    short+sassycharlotte989875
  • banana468banana468 member
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    ei34 said:
    I hate kid-free weddings that have the "it'll be a date night/night of fun without the kids!" schtick.  If I wanted a date night (in happier times with stbxh) or just a kid-free night it wouldn't involve me getting super dressed up and having to make small talk with my aunts/coworkers/friends from college/insert social circle here.  

    That said I can get the sister's frustration, if I'm paying $30/hr for a sitter I'd be a bit annoyed to be hanging in a park during the day.
    Seriously!  

    I'm not anti wedding at all - but if I wanted a date night with DH making small talk at the table isn't it - especially if it's a family wedding.  


    ei34
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
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    I'm totally on board with a wedding without kids, but this makes no sense. Do you even have a dog, LW? Also, putting dogs together is unpredictable. Dogs react differently to different stimuli. Even dogs that normally play well together might be stressed or short tempered in a new situation with a lot of strange people, especially when they have to be there for a while. 

    I'm imagining the other side of this from the dog owners. "I have a high energy, playful dog, so I take him to the dog park on nice afternoons. I met a couple that likes to hang around and play with the dogs. They're nice enough people, but our interactions are limited to chance meetings at the park. They've invited us to their wedding and are even re-planning the whole wedding to make it a dog-park play date. Is this just run of the mill weird or should I be worried?"
    CasadenaSTARMOON44VarunaTTshort+sassy
  • short+sassyshort+sassy member
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    edited May 26
    I'm normally on board with people not inviting children to their wedding, if they don't want to.  As long as they are understanding that some guests may choose not to come.

    But I'm on the sister's side that it is a weird and hurtful choice, when it is literally a daytime wedding at a park, with a playground.

    I'm also recoiling at the liability horror of an event where people are encouraged to bring their dogs.  I love dogs, but I probably wouldn't go.  If I did, I'd be assessing how safe/unsafe I felt, and I might leave.

    Dogs are animals and you can't always predict how they will behave.  Even the nicest dog could bite another animal or person, if it feels scared.  And there is a lot about this situation that could make a dog feel nervous/scared.

    I definitely would NOT bring my own dog!  She's super friendly with people and usually other dogs.  But I don't know what other dogs will be there.  I'd be too worried another dog might bite or attack her.
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  • banana468banana468 member
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    Is it possible that the LW's sister is Jashley?? 
    STARMOON44Casadenacharlotte989875
  • downtondivadowntondiva member
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    edited May 26
    There's nothing wrong with having a kid-free wedding, but I think it's weird that you don't want your sister's children there but do want other people's dogs there.

    And while your sister is being ridiculous about missing her "night out without the kids," she does have a point that it's kind of absurd both to rank your friends' dogs above your family members and to have an adults-only wedding in a very family-friendly place where there will probably be children around anyway. Honestly - and I say this as someone who loves dogs and isn't much of a kid person - I think you should invite your sisters' children and not die on this hill.
    image
  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest member
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    You are entitled to invite whom you want, and other people are entitled to think this plan is ridiculous and stupidly arbitrary. Which, IMO, it is. I get why your sister is annoyed, and I do not think this is the genius plan you think it is. You should invite the kids - you just don't have to.
    charlotte989875STARMOON44ILoveBeachMusic
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