Not having children at weddings is the latest trend. I have received several invitations to weddings (as have several of my friends) in which children have been un-invited to the wedding.
I don’t know when or how or why this got started. As a woman who recently got married 7 months ago, I’d like to contribute a different opinion to this new nuptial craze.
First let me say, “to each their own”. This post is not for the bride who has already decided not to have children at her wedding. If that is your decision, that is great for you!
This post IS for the bride who isn’t quite sure what she wants to do.
Fact: Aside from the groom, kids were the BEST thing at my wedding.
Before the Wedding
Before the wedding, several little ladies came by to see me in the bride’s room: McKenna, Olivia and Kendall. These three! How I adore them. I’d spent countless hours with these small people (and their moms!) at school which meant I had shared in their lives for months…hearing their prayer requests at school, watching them play tag on the play ground, walking them to the nurse with bloody knees, helping to mend hurt feelings…I had spent an entire year with them and now here they were…all dressed up sharing in one of the most important days of my life. I couldn’t cherish them any more. They started my wedding day off perfectly.
Just in Time
There was a brief period when I stood at the rear of the church alone, my bridal party already at the back of the sanctuary. I was beginning to feel a few nerves as I waited on my dad to pick me up when the Lord sent two more youngsters my way: Bria and Sophia. Bria walked up first and then shortly after, Sophia came by too. Neither one of them really understood the sweet nourishment they brought to me just before the ceremony. They both simply smiled shyly and hugged me tightly and of course I smiled and nestled them right back. As my dad walked over a few moments later, I thought, “Well those two sweethearts brought just the warmth I needed before heading down to the alter.” What a true gift from the Lord these two were.
As I walked down the aisle, all eyes were on my dad and me. While it was a beautiful moment (that I will always treasure), it made me relatively nervous. We were about halfway down the main aisle when I saw…a kid. Ava Granados. There she was in her adorable dress, glasses on, staring at me with lively eyes. Her hand shot up in the air and she began waving sweetly. Immediately, I was put a little more at ease. I waved back for a short bit, so very happy to see her and then headed down towards the groom. Little Ava had taken away a few more jitters.
One of the very first hugs I received as I walked into the reception was from a pint-sized man who fills every room with fun. His smile alone melts every heart he meets. It stretches across his cheeks and upward through his eyes. You can’t miss the cheerfulness on his whole face when you see him. He walked up in his blue dress shirt, matching bow tie and combed back hair…Malachi! What a handsome stud! I couldn’t help but squeeze him for a long time, probably until he said, “Okay, Miss O, that’s good.” He started the reception off with the ultimate smile and the greatest celebratory excitement.
These kids, all the kids, danced. all. night. long. They had no inhibitions. They had no reservations. They had no reluctance about their dancing, no hang-ups about what moves were cool or uncool. They had zero hesitancy in swinging their whole bodies around in circles or laughing hysterically as they plunged from side to side out on the floor. They danced to every song without any sort of restraint. It was exactly the way dancing should be done. It was exactly the way I wish all adults danced. It was the way I personally wish I danced all the time. I’m sure it was the dancing of heaven…and it came from kids.
And most importantly: The Spiritual Influence
My friend, Fabi Payton, gave an incredible perspective on this post and I couldn’t help but mention it. I could not agree more with her amazing words, “Weddings are sanctified unions, not reality show visual ads. It is one of our most holy ceremonies as Christians. A union ordained by God is one of our most precious gifts. It should be an honor held among all. In a world where, visually and such, we glorify casual relationships and sex, we have a responsibility to our children to show them the importance and sanctity of a Christian wedding…How else will our kids see?”
So, brides to be, if you are trying to decide between having kids and not having them, I am one former bride saying, “Invite every kid you know. They will bring you an extra slice of goodness, an exceptional dash of fun, but you will also be gifting them with a powerful picture of who God is by inviting them to witness His exquisite and detailed plan. Invite them.”