There are some aspects of the wedding that the couple has been planning for and dreaming of for years. The dress, the cake, the music, and the venue - many couples have a general vision for these big details going into wedding planning. As planning progresses, there's one aspect couples need to address that they likely hadn't considered much: "Should our wedding be kid-friendly?"
Some guests can be very sensitive to the topic, but it's something the couple will inevitably have to address before sending out their invites. It may be a no-brainer for some, but for those that aren't as sure, here are the pros, cons, and tips regarding having kids at your wedding.
Let's face it, kids are absolutely adorable to include in your wedding party! Flower girls, ring bearers, or junior bridesmaid and groomsmen are a great way to make the little ones feel important and get them included.
Weddings are the absolute best opportunity to bring everyone together. If the child is particularly young, some family members may not have had the opportunity to meet them yet!
Kids bring a undeniable energy to any environment, which can be exciting!
The guests can relax and not have to worry about finding childcare, or checking on on their kids the day of.
Tips for a Kid-Friendly Wedding:
Be clear about your expectations! This can be included in your invitations, or in a separate letter. Let the parents know that they will be responsible for the children and there may not be organized childcare, so they are aware of what to expect.
Activities are key! This could includes games at their table, such as crayons or coloring books. This will keep them occupied and help wear them out a bit.
Organize a separate menu for them. While mushrooms, truffles, and steak may appeal to adults, many kids are going to want to opt for something simpler. Ask your caterer about possible options for the little ones to choose from.
Consider organized childcare. This is a great possibility if the thought of managing the kids is stressful to you! Having one organized childcare system to watch over all the kids for the evening, while slightly more costly, can eliminate a lot of fuss.
Kids need attention, and a lot of it! Especially with the younger ones, it can be a lot for anyone to manage, and you don't want them to distract from the couple.
They will need to be entertained, especially throughout such a long day.
A lot of your guests will cut their evening short in order to get their kids home at an acceptable time.
Tips for an Adult-Only Wedding:
Be firm! No doubt, your decision may ruffle some feathers, so it's important to remember that this is your day, and you are within your right to make the decision.
Don't over-explain. Include notice of your decision in your invitation, but you can be brief. "No children" may seem harsh to some guests, so opt for something a bit gentler ("Regrettably, children under the age of 10 are not able to attend," or "Although we love your little ones, we want all couples to enjoy the evening to the fullest, so we will be hosting an adult-only reception").
Include resources! Listing nannies near the venue is a great resource for parents that would like to attend an adult-only wedding, especially if they are traveling from far away.
Only include adult names on save-the-dates and invites. I.e. - address it "Jane and John Smith" rather than "The Smiths." It's important to be very clear and specific.
Kids are always a tricky part of wedding etiquette for the couple to maneuver. Ultimately, there's no right or wrong answer, so it's important to not allow anyone else to dictate this decision for you. As long as you plan ahead, discuss with your significant other, and are abundantly clear about what your expectations are with your guests, it should be an easy-peasy obstacle to tackle!