Catering to tots at wedding dos
> It’s no easy task bringing young children for the celebration dinner
SHOULD you bring your children to weddings? Well, it depends. A wedding is one function where friends and relatives, both close and distant, can get together.
First, who is getting married? If it’s a close relative, chances are your kids are most welcomed to attend. If it’s a friend’s wedding, it depends on how close you are to that friend.
A bosom buddy is most likely to welcome your little angels with open arms, unless she has a strict no-kids policy because she doesn’t want some spoilt brat screaming at the top of his voice when she’s taking her vows.
Or perhaps she might be holding a reception at a craggy hill because both she and her betrothed are climbing enthusiasts.
Obviously you wouldn’t want your little ones to tumble down the cliff. It’s safer to keep the kids at home.
Second, consider the type of reception. If it’s a buffet or kenduri, most likely the seating arrangements are more flexible.
If it’s a sitdown affair and you decide to bring your little ones, it’s only polite that you inform your hosts so that they can make proper seating arrangements – high chairs for the tiny tots, and proper seats for the older ones.
Don’t think that because your kids don’t eat much, that it’s okay for you not to alert the hosts.
It is inconvenient for them and the other guests when they have to scramble around for extra chairs.
This brings us to the sensitive matter of how much money you are willing to gift.
Sure, you might want to give a present, but do consider that the couple might be getting a dozen sets of electric irons, toasters and sandwich makers.
That’s great, if they intend to open an electrical appliance shop!
If you’re attending a Chinese sit-down dinner, it is customary to give ang pows.
A basic menu at a Chinese restaurant would cost about RM800 to RM1,000 per table; at four- or five-star hotels, that amount can double or even triple.
You shouldn’t be expected to pay for the cost of the meal, but it is the norm to give RM80 to RM100 per head at least for Chinese restaurants, and RM150 upwards for hotel events.
If you can’t afford a big ang pow, then give within your means.
Besides, you could argue that if the couple decide to hold their function at a RM2,000 per table hotel, that is their business.
This leads us back to the question of whether you should be bringing your kids to a sitdown wedding dinner.
If you’re the sort who prefers to conform to social norms, then you have to be prepared to fork out a bigger ang pow when toting your kids along.
The final factor to consider is the EQ: enjoyment quotient.
If you know you’ll be fussing over your kids because they can’t sit still, or the event clashes with naptime, or for whatever reason, and you still don’t mind all that hassle, go ahead and bring them along.
But if you’d rather treat the wedding as an opportunity to have some down time for you and your spouse, arrange for babysitting and go enjoy the wedding without the kids.
Lydia Teh is a mother of four and author of nine books, including Cow Sense for Young People. Send comments to lifestyle.lydia@ thesundaily.com.