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Children at Weddings

Yes or No?

Our guide to navigating this area of wedding etiquette

by Silvia Bortolotto

Children can add a touch of magic and romance to any wedding although their presence is not necessarily required, nor is it wanted by everyone. Having children at weddings can present a few challenges. Children can, after all, be unpredictable. It’s really important to make your decision early on, making your policy for kids clear on your wedding invitation to prevent hurt feelings and avoid any confusion.

If you decide to invite the children of family members and friends, make sure you have a dedicated kids’ area available after the ceremony, where little ones can play under the watchful eye of childcare minders without causing disruption to your reception.

To make your wedding memorable for your younger guests, you could consider potential additions such as children’s menus, games and videos, children’s entertainers and even a sleep area.

Once you’ve made your final decision, you can adopt one of the following kids’ policies. Whatever you settle on, don’t let others influence your choice – it’s your decision and your invitation. You’re the ones to decide who you want to be there!

Cover photo by www.telegraph.co.uk

“Adults Only”

For sophisticated evening celebrations and receptions with limited venue space, it’s a good idea to settle on an adults-only policy. A no kids policy allows all wedding guests, in particular parents, a night of relaxation and revelry. Make sure you give guests ample notice so that they have time to make childcare arrangements, in particular if you’re planning on having a destination wedding.

“Immediate Family Kids Only”

It is entirely acceptable to only invite the kids of immediate family members and the children of your closest friends. Children look adorable in elegant tailored outfits as pageboys, ring bearers or flower girls. Sensitive guests who are mothers and fathers themselves may find this difficult to accept, but it’s wise to stick to your guns and avoid any potential dramas.

“Kids Are Welcome With Open Arms”

If you have no budgetary constraints and want a convivial, informal outdoor wedding with emotions aplenty – and if you’re not put off by children’s screams and squeals – you can welcome children with open arms. It’s important you get a clear idea of how many children each family will bring, making sure you let your guests know whether or not you are planning on providing babysitting services.