Children at Weddings: Five Critical Considerations

Announce Your Decision to Allow or Disallow Children Early

The question of whether or not to allow guests to bring their children should be answered early and made known to all of your guests. If considerations aren’t made for guests with children, a lack of preparation can be a problem.

If you choose to allow children at your ceremony, the parents of those children will need to know what kinds of provisions will or will not be made for them. Will there be childcare, a children’s area or activities? Will your decision prohibit any of your guests from attending? You should communicate in advance with every guest who has kids and decide which option is best for them. Make your invitations clear, naming everyone who is invited- including children who are and leaving out those who are not. Speak to your guests who have children personally. If you haven’t got the courage to ask someone not to bring a child, you might have to plan a wedding where everyone’s children are permitted. And, above all, give your guests plenty of time to make the necessary arrangements.

Is it Impolite not to Invite Children?

It isn’t impolite to ask your guests not to bring their children if the character of the event is formal, or especially adult-oriented. If the occasion is to take place at an upscale location or if there is to be a large crowd with prominent alcoholic offerings- then it is quite natural for guests to be expected to make other arraignments for their children. It will be important to consider the family situations of all of your guests when planning the type of wedding you wish to have. If many of them would have trouble not bringing their kids, you should consider a style of atmosphere that would match their needs. The professionals say, that if most or all of your guests are local, it is much more acceptable to ask that children not attend. If you have guests traveling to your wedding, or if you are  hosting at a resort, then asking them to leave the children behind may be out of the question.

Children’s Accommodations

It’s not impolite to point out that children can be disruptive. Some experts recommend separate seating for kids between the ages of 6 and 14. Children under 6 should have  accommodations in a separate room with childcare provided. Trying to separate young children from the adults, while having everyone in the same room is asking for disruptions, as the little ones will probably not want to be apart from their parents. If a separate room is not available, try to have a well-marked-off special area with hopes children will recognize the boundary.

Ring Bearers and Flower Girls

When choosing a ring bearer and flower girl, your sibling’s children get first consideration. If this rule doesn’t bring you to a clear choice, you may limit the options by limiting the age of candidates to those between the ages of 3 and 7. And don’t be afraid to draft by demeanor and maturity. A child who’s too easily distracted to make it down the isle can be amusing, but may not be what you’re hoping for at your ceremony.

Finally, consider the question of whether or not to invite the ring bearer and flower girl to the reception. Just like with the ceremony, the nature of the event will decide if children should or should not be allowed to attend. Unless supervisory problems arise, children who participate in the ceremony should be invited to the reception. You should consider it since, after all, they earned it. Some wedding planners suggest inviting them officially, but to have other arraignments ready, especially if your reception is expected to outlast the endurance of the child.

Consider all the Variables

Remember that these decisions are matters for your best judgment. How you work out the details of having or not having children at your wedding should come from careful consideration of at least three factors; the character of your ceremony and reception, the family situations of guests with children, and the demeanor/age/maturity of children who may be involved. Try to make the choice that will involve the least amount of conflict. That way, you’ll have the best chance of having a smooth and happily remembered ceremony.

Image Credits:

1. Children at Weddings Don’t Forever Hold Their Peace

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/04/fashion/weddings/differing-opinions-on-allowing-children-to-attend-weddings.html

2. ASK MARTHA: ETIQUETTE OF HAVING CHILDREN AT YOUR WEDDING http://www.marthastewartweddings.com/228425/children-your-wedding/@center/383236/etiquette-advisor#104576

3. Inviting Kids to the Wedding https://www.theknot.com/content/the-kids-stay-in-the-picture

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