One of the hardest things you’ll have to do when planning your wedding is make a decision about kids. Brides and grooms have many reasons for choosing to not include small children at their wedding, like cost, distractions, or headcount. Even if you love kids, it can be difficult to make a wedding “fun for the whole family.” Here are some things to think about before you send out those invitations.
For every couple that is nervous about kids disrupting their day, there is another couple that gushes over kids at weddings. The both of you need to weigh the pros and cons of kids at your wedding early on. There is no right or wrong answer. Involving them also means taking the weight off of parents to find a caretaker for their little ones on the day-of. Plus, there may be important children in your life—like nieces and nephews—that you want to share the occasion with. On the other hand, toddlers are known for tantrums, teens can have bad attitudes, or your friends and family members might prefer a break from their younger entourage.
There are a few factors you have to consider. For one thing, children can be unpredictable and you will need to rely on their parents to take control. You also need to think about how having kids in attendance will affect your wedding budget.
However, issuing a ban on kids at your wedding is likely to ruffle some feathers. If you happen to have close family members with little ones, they may find it to be unaccommodating or even rude. Other guests with children will have to make plans for childcare ahead of time, which can be challenging. There is a lot to mull over!
Once you’ve decided, the “fun” has just begun. First, not everyone thinks the same way about invitations. Some will assume their kids are invited because of past experiences. Others will automatically start looking for a babysitter. The best thing you can do as a host is to make your expectations clear.
If you are not inviting kids to your wedding, be honest but avoid over-explaining your reason. It is your day and you have the final say. One thing you don’t have to be is “fair.” If there are some children you would like to have, you can. For example, you may want family members or those that will participate in your wedding party as a ring bearer or flower girl. Some guests may not take this well, so explain that you have a guest limit.
If you do plan on having kids, let the parents know what you expect from them in terms of care. Let each of them know that they will need to take responsibility for their own family throughout the event. Many a bride and groom look back at their wedding video and can barely make out their vows because a baby cried through the whole thing and was not taken out of the room. And the dance floor can be a great place for a kid to strut their stuff, but running under the bride’s dress during a dance is no-no. (We can’t make this stuff up.)
If the two of you are ready to welcome families and children, take into consideration the needs of your young guests and plan accordingly.
One fun option to consider is having a kid’s room. Depending on the size of the room, you could rent a bouncy castle and order pizza and hire some childcare. Win-win for those couples who don’t want to inconvenience their guests but are worried about distractions.
Another trendy option is to provide tabletop activities during the reception. Small child equals a small attention span, which means that you need to give them something to do during the reception. One quick and easy solution is to give them some activities, such as puzzles or coloring sheets. You could put these out as the children’s place settings or at the designated kid’s table.
…having kids at your wedding is not something that you should take lightly. Spend time discussing it and determine together what works best for the two of you and your families.
Are you near Montgomery, Texas? We’d love to host your wedding ceremony and reception at Jennings Trace. Contact us to learn more or arrange an on-site tour.