Can You Dodge the Assholes?
Wednesday, July 7, 2010 at 9:56AM
Louise in Reception

You know, there are lots of little articles out there about how to avoid wedding day mishaps. I think I've posted a few of my own. Like a Boy Scout - be prepared is the best advice I can give. Or perhaps expect the unexpected.

Know who your partiers/drinkers are and TELL SOMEONE. If Aunt Myrna has a habit of double-fisting the Chardonnay at parties, make sure you sit her next to someone who can handle Aunt Myrna. It is absolutely OK to cut someone off. However, this shouldn't be YOUR job. That why you need spies. I had them. Plant them throughout your wedding. I was lucky and didn't need them as everyone behaved. I think this had something to do with the fact that most people didn't realize it was an open bar and the fact that the wedding was on a Sunday night.

But aside from the obvious drinkers, what else could go wrong? I recently read an article on The Martha about a sister-in-law who "borrowed" the just-married couple's photographer to take some of her own family shots. Uh, hello? What? Apparently, the photographer didn't think to say no to the offending party. In this particular case, the couple missed some shots because of fading light with their photographer off photographing someone else! Can you imagine? *shudder* I would have been so pissed.Thank GOD, I don't have sister-in-laws.

I did have an incident at my own wedding that totally pissed me off. As my long time readers know, I struggled with whether or not to include children in our ceremony and reception. I like children, I really do. I wanted them there. However, what I did not want was children at an adult event. There are a handful of kids out there who can handle a few hours of chillin' out and letting the grown-ups do their thing. Generally, those kids are not under four years old. The majority of the kids at our wedding fell under that age. All were under 10 for sure.

I did a lot of work to make sure that the kids were happy. I had a kick-ass candy centerpiece and Cracker-Jack favors. 


I hired two kick-ass baby-sitters to watch the little ankle-biters. This cost me a little money, but not too much. I thought it would be a nice thing to  offer to the folks with kidlets. Again, thank you ladies!

I also paid for the use of the drop down movie screen and projector so that the kids could watch movies. Again, it wasn't a lot of money, but it also wasn't cheap.

My Flower Girl and her brother fully committed to movie-watching.

All photos by Nashville Photographer Jonathon Campbell Photography.

About a week before the wedding, I sent an email to all the parents who were bringing children. I let them know the "house rules" and what to expect. The reception venue has a balcony and the door to that balcony was near the exit to the room where the kids were going to be. We decided to make that a "no kids zone" to protect myself, Mere Bulles and the babysitters against any sort of liability issues. This made everyone, parents included, happy.

At the reception, right before dinner started, I made a quick detour up the stairs to say hello to all the kiddies and the baby-sitters before I got swept up in all that was the reception. On my way into the Kid Room, I ran into a parent with child in tow on their way out. Since dinner was nano-seconds from starting, I asked what was up. The parent explained that since there was an open seat at their table (a last minute no-show) that they thought it would be okay for their child to join them downstairs for dinner.

Uh, excuse me?

I very curtly said, "All children will be eating upstairs" and breezed by. This actually felt really dramatic since I had on the big gown and things sort of went floating by as I walked away in a huff. Note the Power of the Wedding Gown. Man, was I pissed. Had I not set up coolness for the kids upstairs? Had I not spent small gobs of money on "extras" so that out of town guests would not have to find child care? Had I not done all that I could to make children a part of our wedding day, yet still have the adult reception that I desired? Was it not OUR prerogative to design OUR WEDDING the way we wanted to? The nerve of some people.

And it's not like we banished the kids upstairs for the entire reception - just cocktails and dinner - which lasted a little over 2 hours. We cut the cake and started dancing and the kids were allowed to join in the fun then. Does that make me a bad bride? No, it doesn't.

If you are invited to a party (which essentially a wedding reception is) you follow the host's rules. Period. It's just good manners.

I found out later that the offending parent had asked my dad if it was okay for the rug-rat to come down and what's a Father of the Bride to do? He was put in an immediate and uncomfortable position, so he said it was okay. And plus, my dad had no idea what was going on upstairs. He had no idea the work and planning I had put into it. He had no idea why I cared.

Why did I care? Well, at that point there were several reasons why I cared:

1. Everything I just wrote above.

2. What about the other kids? What sort of ruckus do you think that would have caused the baby-sitters - to see one of the kids get to leave? Not fair or cool at all.

3. What about the other parents? How would they feel if as dinner starts, one child is led in for dinner while theirs are relegated upstairs? Again, way uncool.

I don't think there was any particular thing I could have done to avoid this parental confrontation. I might have had the wedding party more informed. But seriously, that information would have gone in one ear and out the other of anyone other than me or my planner. This was something where I just had to do to roll with the punches.

While my immediate decision might not have been the popular decision with the parent involved, I stand behind it. It was the right decision and the right thing to do. I handled it and did my best to let it go. Clearly, it still nags at me from time to time, but only because I write a wedding blog. I think if I was just an everyday, non-blog-writing person, I would have forgotten it by now. But I'm not, so it's kind of my excuse to hold grudges.

So, are you prepared for those people you personally find unpopular to do something asinine at your wedding? Were you the Bridal Victim of a Wedding Day Assault? Do tell.


Article originally appeared on The Thirty-Something Bride Wedding Blog (
See website for complete article licensing information.