LESLEY KEATING: It's your day, why should pint-sized guests spoil it?

Wedding season is upon us. It seems that, far from being an outdated concept, plenty of friends are marrying or are planning to in the future.

Sunday, 13th August 2017, 9:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 11:04 am
Lee Bowder and Pip Stephenson at their wedding with some of their Star Wars themed guests SNL-150828-123422012

Some couples have been together for about a year, others considerably longer. One is planning to tie the knot after 30 years of happy cohabitation, and we are renewing our own vows next week after 25 years.

Whatever the circumstances, we’ve noticed an increasing trend for specific requests on the invitation. Some specify money, not wedding presents. Some have a strict colour code for guests, like one we went to a while ago, where the mother of the groom’s dress choices had been vetoed twice before the bride deemed one suitable to ‘work in photos’.

In our case, we have – shock horror – asked for no tiny children or babies to come. Most people have been absolutely fine, although one or two are now convinced I’m a closet child-hater akin to an evil Disney villain.

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The point I’m making is we all have choices. We asked tactfully and respectfully. Our invitations were not aimed loosely at a ‘family’, they were sent to specific, named people.

It’s an evening event for grown-ups only, and I personally don’t think a room of adults full of alcohol and tired, fractious small children mix well.

We also have a friend who uses swords in her dance act performing for us. Just imagine what an unexpected, ear-splitting shriek from a baby could result in!

One of our guests, who has three kids aged below eight, said: ‘Kids are a pain at weddings, you spend all your time running around after them and can’t relax enough to enjoy a drink and a dance.’

She is now looking forward to letting her hair down and enjoying a glass – or five – of champagne without being on child duty.

From what I understand, it is the prerogative of the ‘bride and groom’ to do what the hell they want for their big day anyway. If people can get married these days dressed as Tellytubbies or Star Wars characters, they should certainly be free to choose whom they invite without criticism.


A recent Harvard University study suggests that depression and anxiety can be predicted with ‘up to 70 per cent accuracy’ from the type of selfies people choose to post online.

It said that those affected tend to use black and white filters far more than colour and post fewer pictures, suggesting a ‘gradual retreat from society and, potentially, future mental health problems’.

Sorry, but what a load of rubbish! Some of the unhappiest people I know regularly post colourful selfies – usually heavily edited and filtered – as they need constant validation in the Instagram world.

And some of the happiest have been known to put up just the occasional stylish black and white shot as they are too busy having fun for endless posting.


I went out for a pub lunch with a friend.

The décor was beautiful, the food was great, but the ambience was awful. This was mainly because there were small children racing around unsupervised, screeching and banging into things.

After a while, we found somewhere quieter to have our lunch but soon the ‘little darlings’ were charging up and down like a herd of baby elephants while the parents chatted, oblivious to the noise.

I know it was a wet day but you can’t really blame the children.

There was no play area there and they clearly needed to run off some energy.

What on earth makes parents think an afternoon cooped up in a pub is a great idea?