Are you planning a 'family-friendly' or 'adult-only' wedding? There's no easy answer to this question, but couples will inevitably have to answer it. There are a few things you should consider when having infants, toddlers, or even older children at your wedding ceremony and reception, especially if you don’t want to offend any of your guests. Here's what you need to know about how to deal with this sometimes sensitive situation without angering anyone.
Don't wait to make your decision
Before you begin writing your wedding invitations, you need to sort this matter out, and be warned, it's a subject that divides people. Several factors must be taken into account. There are a number of reasons why you should rely on their parents to take control. As part of your wedding budget, you should also consider the impact of having kids in attendance. In addition to a larger headcount, will you also need to arrange for childcare?
It will ruffle some feathers, however, if you ban kids completely at your wedding. The hard-line rule may seem unaccommodating or even rude to family members with young children. Children attending a destination wedding will need to make childcare arrangements ahead of time, which can be especially challenging when they are away from their regular resources back home.
Do you two have a willingness to compromise? If your maid of honor has a child, or if your families have children, you may be able to make a few exceptions here and there. This prevents you from upsetting relatives, while keeping the number of children to a minimum.
Communicate Your Expectations Clearly
The next step is to inform your guests of your decision. Your wedding policy for kids must be crystal clear, but how you convey that information is up to you. Including children at your wedding in your wedding invitations or creating a separate page on your wedding website may be a good idea.
You must include this information somewhere, regardless of how you convey it:
Whether children are invited or not
It's important to mention whether you're inviting children to your wedding, of course. Be honest about not inviting any children, but don't over explain. You have the final say on your wedding day! Here are some examples you can use either on your invitations or on your wedding website:
“Please join us for an adult reception at four o’clock.”
“[X] seats have been reserved in your honor. Please let us know if you will be joining us!”
“Adult (18 and older) reception to follow.”
“Due to limited venue space, adults only please.”
Which specific children are invited
You should specify which children are allowed to attend if you're making a compromise. The news may not be well received by some guests. Make sure you tread carefully! You can choose to explain how many guests you are allowing at the wedding. One way of wording this could be:
“Children of immediate family only, please.”
What you expect from the parents
It’s also important to let parents know what you expect from them regarding care; most of these duties should not fall on your shoulders. Throughout the event, remind each of them that they are responsible for their own family.
Considerations for a Kid-Friendly Wedding
You will need to consider the needs of your youngest guests if you want to invite families and children of all ages to your wedding day celebrations. Plan ahead for the following potential additions:
Consider hiring a children's entertainer
If you are considering entertainment options for your wedding, you might want to consider the smallest guests. An opening act for your wedding band could include a children's entertainer. As a result, the little ones will be worn out sooner.
Menu options for children
You may have planned the most extravagant, five-course menu for your wedding guests. What about the children at your wedding? Fine dining is unlikely to appeal to them. Make a kid-friendly menu with your catering team.
Reception table top activities
In order to keep the attention of small children during the reception, you need to provide them with some activities. Providing them with puzzles or coloring sheets is a quick and easy solution. These could be placed on the place settings for the children before the party.
A well-organized childcare system
A great way to keep your youngest wedding guests entertained is to hire childcare to watch over them collectively. It may be an added expense, but it will also ensure that your wedding day is as stress-free as possible. Compare local services to find the best one.
The decision to allow children at your wedding is a big one, and you shouldn't take it lightly. Decide together what will work best for you and your families by discussing it with your significant other. In short, you should be able to navigate this tricky area of wedding etiquette as long as you plan ahead and make a unified decision early on.