Would you invite children to your wedding?
Although almost two thirds of brides do plan to include children in their wedding guest list, more than half of these limit the invitations to children over a certain age or children that are part of the bridal party.
A poll of over 2,300 Easy Weddings brides has shown that 62% are inviting children to their wedding, but 15% are limiting this to children over a certain age. 17% are only inviting the children that are actually part of the bridal party. Only 30% of the brides that completed the survey were planning to open the invitation to all their guests’ children, and 38% of brides weren’t planning to invite any children at all.
Depending on the way you view children at weddings, they can either add to the fun and atmosphere of the day or they can be a noisy nuisance that you’d rather do without. Here are some tips on dealing with the issue of inviting children to weddings, whether you are planning on including them or not.
If you are inviting children to your wedding:
- Children have short attention spans so be prepared to have them running around during the reception. As long as you have a fairly short ceremony most children should be able to sit through it, but you can guarantee any babies in the congregation will cry just as you are exchanging your vows.
- Provide entertainment for the children, whether you just put a few crayons and some paper on the tables, collect a box of toys, or splash out and hire a children’s entertainer. If you do have children’s entertainment, consider having it during the speeches or another time when you want the adults’ undivided attention.
- Have a quiet area where parents can put young children down to sleep, and either hire a babysitter to stay in that area or arrange a parents’ rota so there is always someone to keep an eye on them.
- Find out what equipment your venue has for children. Check whether they have high chairs and a baby changing area. If you are getting married at a hotel they may have travel cots you can use. Put this information in with the invitations for guests that have young children.
- Provide special bombonieres for the children. Some companies specialise in producing activity boxes or bags for children in your wedding colour scheme. As well as being thoughtful gifts, these can help keep children occupied. For older children, make them responsible for a disposable camera so they feel they have an important role in the wedding.
If you don’t want to invite children to your wedding be clear on your invitations or some guests might assume they can bring children. Send out your invitations in plenty of time so that parents have time to arrange babysitters, especially if they are travelling from out of town and need to make overnight arrangements. Be aware that parents of young babies may not be able to leave them, especially if they are breastfeeding. Don’t feel you need to apologise for not inviting children to the wedding. It is your choice who you invite, and if you want an adult only affair that is absolutely fine. Most parents will be glad of a day out away from the responsibility of childcare.