Answer: It's A Difficult One...
Many considerations must be made when organizing a wedding, one of which is whether or not to invite children.
Their presence on your wedding day can add a distinct charm and "purity" to this special occasion.
Personally, I adore having children at weddings because they infuse the ceremony with an incomparable sense of joy and spontaneity. Their giggles during the vows, their uninhibited dance moves, and even their occasional, well-timed interruptions turn the formal event into a heartwarming celebration of family.
Also, some of my most cherished wedding photos are the candid moments captured of kids—be it playing tag in their formal wear or falling asleep on a chair, worn out from all the excitement.
Managing children at weddings, on the other hand, can provide its own set of issues.
This article will walk you through the wedding etiquette of including children and equip you with all you need to know.
After this read, you will know exactly what to do and not do as regards having children at your wedding.
Should You Invite Children to Your Wedding?
When organizing a wedding, the first question that commonly arises is whether or not to include children on the guest list.
This is an entirely personal decision that should reflect your ideas for your ideal wedding.
If you're thinking about having a kid-friendly wedding, you might enjoy watching your nieces and nephews roaming around and making lifelong memories. If you're concerned about potential interruptions during the ceremony or reception, an adults-only wedding may be more enticing.
Before making a decision, consider your family's expectations, the suitability of the site, and your wedding budget.
Which Children Should You Invite To Your Wedding?
If you decide to include children at your wedding, you need to consider whose kids to invite. It's typical to invite immediate family members' children, such as your nieces, nephews, and any children in the bridal party, like flower girls and ring bearers.
For guests beyond your close family, consider their travel situation. For out-of-town guests or those attending a destination wedding, separating from their children might not be feasible.
In such cases, it would be thoughtful to extend the invitation to their little ones. Be certain it is a convenient move to either include or exclude children from the guest list when inviting guests that stay far away.
How to Address Wedding Invitations?
Wedding invitations can be tricky when it comes to indicating who exactly is invited.
If you're inviting children, make sure the invitation is addressed to "The [Surname] Family."
Also, If you're inviting children over a specific age, indicate the age limit on the wedding invitation or on your wedding website.
You can simply state in the invitation that children of all ages are welcome if you have no reservations about their attendance.
What About Childcare and Babysitters?
Childcare at your wedding might be an excellent solution for both adults and children. Parents will welcome the opportunity to unwind while knowing that their children are adequately cared for.
Consider hiring professional babysitters or a wedding nanny to keep the children entertained during the ceremony and reception.
This allows adult attendees to enjoy the celebration while ensuring the safety and entertainment of the children.
There is clearly a difference between children of a certain age and babies. Bringing a baby to a wedding is a challenge, but assuming that you've been allowed to, then the next obvious question is deciding on cute baby wedding clothing!
Thankfully we have a post on that in our kids special occasions section here.
How to Entertain the Kids at Your Wedding?
Keeping the kids entertained at your wedding is essential to prevent boredom and fussiness. A dedicated kids' room filled with board games, coloring books, and small activities can be a lifesaver.
This is very important if you don’t want them to throw tantrums at the party. Engaging them is the key to keeping them happy and friendly.
Also, you might want to consider special kid-friendly wedding activities: from a magic show to a DIY craft corner, there are countless ways to keep the children engaged.
Including them in certain wedding duties, like handing out wedding favors or helping with the guest book, can also make them feel important and involved.
What if Some Guests Want to Bring Children, But Others Don’t?
Some visitors may like to bring their children, while others prefer an adults-only event. Maintain your decision and state it clearly on your invitations.
If you decide on a child-free wedding but make exceptions for immediate family, convey this to other guests carefully to avoid misunderstandings.
Including Children in the Wedding Ceremony and Reception
Children can play essential roles in the wedding ceremony, such as being flower girls, ring bearers, or part of the procession. It’s crucial to keep their age and personality in mind when assigning these roles. You won’t want your ring bearer wandering away when he or she is needed most.
For the reception, consider having a separate kids' table. Stock it with kid-friendly foods and drinks, and seat older children or babysitters with them to ensure things run smoothly.
A Special Menu for the Little Ones?
Having a special menu for the children is another element to think about. Many caterers provide kid-friendly options that are more suited to their tastes.
This thoughtful addition will make the children feel special, and their parents will certainly appreciate the gesture.
What if You Have an Adults-only Wedding but Want to Include the Flower Girl and Ring Bearer?
It's fine to invite the flower girl and ring bearer to the ceremony and take photos with them, but not to include them in the evening celebration. Again, clear communication is essential. Ascertain if their parents are aware of the arrangement and agree with it.
Remember that inviting children to your wedding is totally up to you and is determined by a variety of criteria such as personal preference, venue, budget, and family expectations. To avoid uncertainty or misunderstandings, convey your decision to your guests properly.
In conclusion, deciding to invite children to your wedding can seem challenging but remember the choice is yours:
- Make a decision about whether or not to invite children and stick to it.
- Consider childcare options such as hiring a babysitter or providing a separate kids' room.
- Keep kids entertained with dedicated activities and involve them in the ceremony if suitable.
- Communicate clearly with your guests to avoid any confusion.
- Consider a special menu for the little ones.
- Enjoy your big day, whether it's an adult-only affair or a day filled with the laughter of children.
No matter what you decide, your wedding day will be a beautiful celebration of love and togetherness.
Finally, ensure to clearly communicate your decision to have or not have children at your wedding to parents and relatives well in time.