Should I Invite Kids To My Bridal Shower?

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Never did I think that this question was going to come up while I was planning my bridal shower, but then again, I found myself having to answer so many crazy questions when it came to the entire wedding planning process that I never thought I would be answering, so I guess it's not much of a surprise that it did.

There are two very easy ways to answer this question. The first, is to tell you YES, absolutely invite those kiddos to your shower. The second is to ask you why you would want children there and tell you that it's probably not a great idea. However, these things don't seem to be cut and dry and I figured that if I ran into this while planning my own shower, then heck, there must be other girls out there running into this same issue and I'm here to address it once and for all.

While I have two very different views on this subject, one stands out more than the other. Being that I grew up in South Florida and am now spending my adult life in Buffalo, New York, I have experience living in two vastly different places and in those two places, traditions seem to be LEAPS and BOUNDS different than the other. Allow me to explain...

You see, before my own wedding, I was pretty much Katherine Heigl in 27 Dresses. I had been a bridesmaid or a maid of honor in approximately 12+ weddings. I can't give you an exact number, mostly because I don't feel like taking the time to figure out actually how many weddings I've been in. Also, I feel as if revealing that number to myself might make me cry alligator tears thinking about all of the money that I've spent, but I digress. During this time, I had been living in the South Florida area, Coral Springs to be exact and in all of the bridal showers that I ever attended or threw, there was never one single child in attendance. Not one. Not a baby, not a toddler, not a flower girl, or even a junior bridesmaid.....not one. I never even questioned why there weren't children in attendance, because to me, it was a bridal shower and that wasn't really the place for children for three reasons:

  1. They'll be bored
  2. People could give you lingerie or raunchy gifts...try explaining THAT to a 5 year old
  3. The guest who brought the kid couldn't have fun....aka, drink (don't they want a few hours away??)

Then, I moved to Buffalo. People assumed that the invitation addressed to them also included the female children in their household and I started getting really odd RSVP's for +3's when I only invited one person in that household. Finally, I called my cousin. She has spent her entire life here and surely, there must be something I'm missing because there were 4 different people that just assumed their children were invited to my shower, along with them.

Her response? "Oh yeah, I've always brought the girls and it's not even a question here."

HUH. Now there's an answer I wasn't expecting. 

Now I had decisions to make. If I don't invite the kids, I kind of look like a kid-hating jerk. Am I okay with this? Yes. Why? Because I also care about my friends and family members and I think that they deserve a few hours to be kid-free and to enjoy the company of other adult women. Even if that means they have to watch me open gifts whilst enjoying said company ; )

If I were to invite the kids, it basically would go against everything that I knew, and frankly, cared about. I just didn't see a need to have children there. Now, I'm sure that just inviting the kids wouldn't have been a big deal and it probably would have made it easier on their mom, versus them having to find someone to watch them for a few hours, but isn't that okay? I don't have kids and part of me felt slightly insensitive.

However, here's the thing. I'm not throwing my own shower. If I were to add children to the guest list, these are extra guests that the hosts weren't expecting. Now, the hostesses are stuck paying for extra heads and honestly, do children really need to be partaking in Salmon covered in a pesto drizzle with capers and foie gras? I suppose it's a matter of opinion but I'm going to go ahead and say no. Also, I feel as if each of those children might want to thank me personally for saving them from hours of wedding talk and watching me open serving dishes, platters and aprons. But, that doesn't stop their parents from being mad at me and that my loves, is where it gets tricky.

So, while there isn't a right or wrong answer, I urge you to do YOU. After all, this is YOUR day. You've waited your entire life for this and for the love of god, if you want it to be an adult-only shower, you should have it be an adult-only shower and DO NOT feel guilty about it. Think about all of the events that you've been to that didn't revolve around you. This is your time and if you want all the kids there, that's cool too! Maybe you're of child-bearing age and everyone is popping out babies around you and you are thinking "hey, it might be cool to have all the babies together"....DO IT. 

So, that was my really long way of telling you that only you can decide. Just know that you can't and won't ever please 100% of the masses. That my dear, is called life.

Anyone else out there feel the same way? Maybe you even thought of a reason to invite/not invite them that I didn't? Feel free to comment below, friendly discussions are always encouraged here.


Candace RyanComment