How to Handle the Kids-at-Weddings Question
06 Jan 2022 •3 min read
Having children at your wedding can be a blessing and a curse. They're insanely adorable in their tiny dresses and formalwear, they're guaranteed to say sweet and silly things, and they'll be the liveliest partiers on the dance floor (until about 8 PM, when they crash under a reception table). On the other hand, kids can be unpredictable. Here's how to handle the kids question before your big day.
Deciding whether or not to invite children to a wedding can be a tricky question. Are you and your spouse-to-be kid people? That's the first question you need to ask yourselves. If you can't imagine your big day without your favorite little people around, it's a no-brainer to invite them. But, if you want to have a low-key, late-night wedding, it may be best to keep the guest list adults-only. Know that some of your guests with children will be grateful for a night of adults-only fun, while others will be less-than-impressed with your decision to exclude their little ones.
Be prepared for blowback if you decide to exclude children; if necessary, sit down with your parent friends and explain your decision. Keep in mind that some guests might choose not to attend if their kids aren't invited and factor that into your decision.
Here are some tips on how to handle the kids-at-weddings question:
Be clear on your invitation: If you don't want children at your wedding, make it clear on the invitation by stating "adults only" or "no children." If you are okay with children attending, you can include "families welcome" or "children invited."
Consider the venue: If your wedding is at a venue that is not child-friendly or doesn't have space for children to run around, it may be best to not invite them. On the other hand, if your wedding is at a family-friendly venue or outdoor space, children may be more welcome.
Make arrangements for children: If you do decide to invite children, consider making arrangements for them such as a children's table, coloring books, or a separate area for them to play. If your venue allows, a quiet room with a TV and DVD player offers a nice respite for kids who need to unwind and for parents with little ones in diapers.
Be prepared for children's needs: If children are attending, make sure there are appropriate facilities for them such as high chairs, changing tables, and a quiet area for naps.
Organize in advance: During speeches, important dances, and a sit-down meal, kids may get a little fidgety. Offer kid-friendly food and portions to make mealtime fun, and consider adding board games, such as Chutes & Ladders, to your reception tables for quiet entertainment.
Extra seating: Older children can sit at a kids-only table, while younger ones can be seated with their parents. Note that teenagers will be miffed if they're seated with the under-12 set, so keep that in mind when devising your seating chart.
The budget blow-out option: Reserve a kids-only room at your wedding and hire a babysitter to keep a watchful eye on your littlest guests. Parents will appreciate the alone time but will be glad to know their munchkins are just a room away.
Hire a babysitter: Consider hiring a babysitter or child care provider to watch over the children during the wedding and reception. This can help ensure that the children are entertained and safe while their parents enjoy the festivities.
Respect parents' decisions: If you decide not to invite children, respect the parents' decision and don't pressure them to bring their children. Be understanding and considerate of their situation.
Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to invite children to a wedding is up to the couple. By being clear and considerate in your communication, you can ensure that everyone is on the same page and has an enjoyable experience.