Children at weddings: Yay or Nay?

31st July 2019

Deciding whether to allow children at your wedding can be a tricky business. Ban them from your special day and you risk upsetting friends and family. Allow them and it means possible chaos and extra expense. Children at weddings – yay or nay?

Image: Mike & Tom
Image: Haydn Rydings
Page boys at the ready outside the wedding church
Image by: Lisa Aldersley

No children at a wedding?!

No doubt some of you will think us absurd for even asking such a thing! No children at a wedding? How preposterous! How inconsiderate! How mean!
Hear us out. Whether you like children or not, you have to admit that they can be a bit of a handful. Babies cry at the most unfortunate times. Toddlers strop, run around and tire easily. Six to eleven-year-olds will get bored as it is a very long day.
In theory, the burden lies on the parents to keep their kiddies at bay but more often than not, if you invite children, you’ll have to provide some sort of entertainment or crèche area to keep them out of the way during the really long, but important bits of your day, like the speeches. This is an extra expense to an already pretty expensive day. More and more brides are opting to un-invite children to their big day. If you’re considering it then here’s how to go about it tactfully:

  • Warn parents in advance
    Parents will need adequate notice to sort out a babysitter or other arrangements if they are to attend. This is particularly important if your wedding is far from where they live so they’ll have to stay overnight.
  • Address your invitations to those that are invited
    Usually, you don’t have to explicitly state that children are not invited on your invitations. Address your invitation to the adults and then politely give them a call to confirm.
Image: Adam Riley

Making your wedding child-friendly

On the other hand, many brides want to include little ones, maybe even feature them. Children can be annoying but they can also be a charming, energetic and add a bit of life to your special day. They can make your wedding light-hearted and fun if you keep them entertained. A great way to keep kids occupied is to give them a special job.

Image: Lisa Aldersley

For example at one wedding we planned, (just before the ceremony was over), the flower girl, page boy and other young children were approached and given the special job of hiding at the top of the stairs with mounds of confetti to throw at the couple when they left the ceremony room.

Image: Samantha Ward

To make your wedding, a wedding to remember (for you and your younger guests), here are ways of keeping the little ones happy:

  • Give them a job to do
    Like, as mentioned above, hiring them as a professional confetti thrower, giving children a task or activity to do with the wedding makes them feel special and included. In one of the Fabulous Together wedding’s, we came up with the idea of providing the little ones of the party with disposable cameras and a list of photographs to capture. The first one to complete the list won a prize.
  • Hire children’s entertainment
    From magicians to panto’s, dancers to Disney characters, there are plenty of entertainers out there that will keep your young guests thoroughly entertained and out of the way. As a personal note though we wouldn’t recommend clowns – the only people that like clowns are other clowns!
Image: Samantha Ward

In our opinion, it is perfectly understandable if you chose not to invite them but we think children are a welcomed addition to any wedding. They are fun, bubbly and don’t even mind what awful dress/suit you put them in (for the most part)! They provide memories of their own and though they can be stroppy and difficult, we wouldn’t regret having them there.

Image: Lisa Aldersley

What do you think? Let us know on Twitter and Facebook!

Main image: Adam Riley Photography

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