“Should I Invite Kids at My Wedding?”

There may be varying opinions and preferences on this matter, but ultimately it depends on what you are comfortable with. But whatever you decide on, make sure that you’ll be able to hold your ground firmly, to be consistent, and not be swayed along the way as that will only cause trouble and more stress. Here are some pointers on how to decide on this matter and follow through with your decision, whether it is to allow kids to come to your wedding or not.

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1.   Decide Early and Inform Ahead

The sooner you can decide on whether to allow children at your wedding or not, the more time you have to inform you guests and prepare for the implications. Consider both scenarios and your budget – as inviting the children will obviously cost more – in coming up with your decision. Discuss this with your fiancé to help you weigh the pros and cons and consider all possible outcomes.

2.   It Depends on Your Wedding

If you’re having a formal evening wedding, then it is only appropriate to impose that your guests don’t bring their children with them. On the other hand, for a daytime or casual wedding, it’s probably best to let your guests tag their kids along with them (remember that many of your guests may not be able to find someone to sit their children if they leave them alone at daytime).

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3.   Be Specific and Firm but Polite 

You’re invitation has to be concise and clear when it comes to this concern. The best way to do this is to write the names of your guests and include a statement such as “Please be informed that this is an adults-only ceremony and reception. We hope you understand.” If you are inviting the kids then write down their names as well.

4.   Be Prepared for Reactions

Whether you’re okay inviting them over at your wedding or not, you need to be prepared with the however your guests react. If you’re having them at your wedding, make them involved by preparing for them a special menu and engaging them in activities such as storytelling or arts and crafts to keep them from getting bored and throwing a tantrum. If not, be patient in dealing with all the parents’ questions.

5.   Communicate with the parents

You need to make some time to meet with all your parent guests if you feel that a statement in your invitation just won’t cut it. Otherwise, prepare to be bombarded with calls. Meeting with them over coffee will give you an easier way to inform them how you would like their children to behave at your wedding or explain to them why you’re not inviting their kids, and lastly, you’ll be able to address their questions better.

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6.   Make No Exceptions

Exemptions will only raise further questions. Exempting anyone to your rule will only make it more difficult for you to make the rest accept your decision. Unless there is a very special reason for you to bend your rule for someone and you’re willing to address the questions, then you can go ahead and make that exemption. Make your own reservations for your rule but don’t be lenient, or otherwise your decision will be pointless.

7.   Request for Back Up

If you think you will easily be swayed, then request a friend or relative who can speak on your behalf to all your guests and who can be firm in saying that you respectfully request your wedding to be an all-adults event. This person should be firm yet polite, and best to not have any close ties with most of your guests.

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8.   Consider the Nanny

Inviting the kids to your wedding means considering their supervision. Whether their parents are part of the bridal party or just guests, you’ll want them to be able to enjoy your party and not be preoccupied watching over their kids. For that, either you provide them a nanny at the reception or ask them if they have a family nanny whom they’ll bring with them at the wedding. The nanny should be with the kids at all times.

9.   How Young is Too Young?

Kids with ages 3 to 7 can be your flower girl or ring bearer. Any kid who is younger than 3 will not be able to make it to the altar without any adult supervision. Female teenagers below 18 can be your junior bridesmaid. But your groomsmen have to be at least 18. You will have to consider youngsters with ages 8 to 17 if you are willing to have them at your wedding even when they’re not part of your entourage.

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10.   Meet the Parents

Whatever your decision – whether to invite the kids or not – it is best to sit down with the parents and discuss the matter if they have any issues with it. It’s better to make time before you send out the invitations just so you can be clear with them about you and your fiancé’s rule on children at your wedding. Your parent guests will also appreciate your time and effort to make them understand by accommodating their questions.

You may get away with saying “It’s my wedding and I’ll have it the way I want to” but your relationships with your guests will always remain important. Just take a few steps out of your way to value your relationships by not offending anyone with your decisions. Weddings, after all, are family affairs. If someone still refuses to respect your decision despite your effort, then that person is not worth keeping, sadly. With patience and some effort, you can manage to save your relationships and still have the wedding that you want.

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