Monday, July 18, 2011

Should we allow children on the Party Train?


So I’m getting married a week from tomorrow to the love of my life. Totally excited! Everything has gone pretty smoothly considering I’m DIYing most of my wedding in small town Iowa (yes, you have readers in Iowa).

We rented a street car/trolley/piece of local history to get us from the ceremony to the reception/to kill time in until all our guests get situated, and we had planned on stopping by our favorite bar for a drink, but that isn’t really going to work out so now we’ll just be hanging out on the trolley with our wedding party and a few beers. Classy, right?

My fiancé called me at work today to tell me that he really wants to bring his nephew (who is 13) on the trolley with us. I said I think this is weird and I don’t really want children riding around with our drinking/smoking friends, but he thinks it will be fun/nephew will have a good time/doesn’t understand why I don’t think this is a good idea. I know it’s only for an hour between things, but I just can’t get over how weird I think this is.

Do you think it’s weird? Should I put my foot down, or just suck it up?

Thanks for your advice!
Mason City


I'm sure a 13-year-old can handle a little smoking and drinking. AREN'T THEY ALL DOING THAT ALREADY? (Or are things different in Iowa?)

But if you want to get all bawdy/silly/teary with your friends before you walk down the aisle, and you know the presence of your nephew-to-be will make you self-conscious, don't let him on the trolley.

Photo by SAGA SIG


  1. and your friends would probably be self-conscious too...

  2. totally agree with ESB's advice ... mostly. as an 8th grade teacher, i know how annoying that age can be, and I understand if you want that kid as far away from the trolley as possible !

    if i were you, i would say that he can join, as long as his parents understand that there will be plenty of drinkin', smokin', and cussin' ... and that little nephew will probably feel ignored and left out.

  3. I don't even think you'll notice, but that's my 2 cents.

    I went to a wedding for hubs' family last weekend and the only person who would hang out with me was his 13-year-old cousin. I wouldn't discredit your nephew just yet.

    But just out of curiosity, how many people on this trolley are going to be there for you and how many are there for your fiance?

    Maybe he just wants someone there to get bawdy/silly/teary with him (teenagers make surprisingly good wingmen).

  4. I think it's sweet he wants his nephew there, I say just let him on - it's not worth the drama. I doubt you'll even notice - you'll be too deliriously happy and drinking and merry. You don't even have to talk to the kid.

    (Plus the kid will probably feel really special and excited about it and it will be a great memory.. I think in the long run it will mean more to him that he was on the train than to you if he wasn't)

  5. hmm, that is weird, but maybe i just don't like 13 year olds. i'm pretty sure that 13 year olds do do that kind of stuff, but i'm also assuming that that might not be the environment his parents would want him in?

    i'm a realist and i COMPLETELY understand that my daughter will most likely be doing things she shouldn't years before she truly understands what they are. at the same time, i wouldn't want to put her in a situation where she's the only kid hanging out with a big group of adults getting hammered... it would probably only encourage her and give her the impression that i don't really care. maybe that's just me, but i would make it very clear to his parents what will be going on on that trolley and take it from there.

  6. He doesn't have to drink and smoke himself... he's just there to soak up the atmosphere and feel like a grown-up - don't you remember wanting to feel like that?

    Also, if both you and your fiancée didn't want him there and it was someone else asking, the situation would be different. But it's your fiancées request and it is his wedding too - be gracious in this.

  7. It really depends on the kid. We had only one minor at our wedding -my husband's 10 year old niece (now my niece too). I adore her so I was happy to have her around. She requested to be our flower girl before we were even engaged. I had her join me and my best ladies for getting her make-up and hair done in my hotel room. We were drinking and I'm sure making jokes beyond her age group. She enjoyed every minute of it and didn't seem at all emotionally scarred afterward.

    I'd tell all your concerns to your fiance and let him know that if he wants his nephew to join the party-trolley then it's on him to be responsible for the kid. 13 isn't really that young anymore and they're mainly annoying in groups. I bet the kid will be the mascot of the trip.

  8. you should ask the kid's parents if he can join in or not, since he's a minor. they might say no and then you won't have to deal with making the decision yourself at all.

  9. i was a pot-smoking/drinking 13 year old and turned out just fine...mostly (although karma will surely kick my ass when my daughter turns 13) i agree that it will probably be the highlight of the wedding for him more than being a pain for you. but def ask his parents first because that could solve your dilemma right quick.

  10. Yes, just ask the kid's mom:). Most likely she will know immediately if he'd be cool with it AND/OR if he'd dampen the mood.

  11. At my cousin's wedding, the barely-21-year-old-girlfriend-of-another-cousin puked all over on the party bus from the reception venue to the hotel. Just sayin'.

  12. wtf?! absolutely NOT. i was in my best friend's wedding in kansas city (this spring) and we had a trolley FOR THE WEDDING PARTY and gf's/bf's/wives/husbands. we were all boozing with cans of beer and stopping along the way to get group pictures. any kid of any age, related or not, would have been a huge buzzkill and defeating the purpose!

  13. Definitely depends on the kid, but I agree it could be the highlight of his year, and he has to get used to that behavior soon sometime. My brother is 15 and we have been bringing him around with us for awhile -- he loves it, we have fun making jokes and he mingles in with everyone just fine. We don't usually give him alcohol, although now of course he is trying some of it.

    If it makes you that uncomfortable then obv don't do it, but weddings are usually the only events where all ages hang out together and everything is fun anyway. I'm sure he will feel great that he was included, and it could be a good way to incorporate him into your and your FH's life as he gets older.