The minute a couple decides to get married a whole host of decisions accompany them down the aisle as they craft their perfect day. Preparations abound, from choosing the right invitations down to the correct flavor of buttercream frosting, However, the real icing on the cake is how the bride and groom ensure their guests enjoy the big day. One area couples need to consider is the role children will play in the wedding and for many this involves outlining the expectations of children in the beginning stages of planning.
Today, it often feels like everyone has strong opinions on whether or not children should be involved in wedding celebrations beyond being the flower girl or ring bearer. Some people adore the sweetness and hijinks children bring to the festivities, while others worry about the noise and bother young ones add to the mix. The first course of action for any engaged couple is to decide if they want to include children at their wedding.
To Invite Or Not To Invite? That Is The Question
For some couples, their dream wedding includes being surrounded by family and friends of all sizes and ages. While others see the inclusion of children an invasion of the adult-oriented bash. Depending on the location and level of elegance you are trying to achieve, sometimes children are best left out of the equation. As a couple, it is essential that the decision to include or not to include children is made early so parents can be informed and planning decisions can be made.
It’s important to consider who your guests are before deciding, because location is key. The no-children method is ideal when a lot of your guests are localized, because it is much easier for parents to find babysitters to cover the kids during the ceremony or reception. Many people who are travelling might not be able to find a trustworthy caregiver or feel comfortable leaving their little ones with a stranger in an unfamiliar town.
No Kids Allowed: Enjoying An Adult Only Event
If you do decide to keep it strictly adults, make sure the invitations clearly state that children are not welcome. On your invitations include a small section that states no kids under a certain age are expected to be in attendance. As an added measure, be sure to only list the names of the adults on the invitations. If you feel it is necessary, touch base with your friends and family to explain the situation so there is no miscommunication.
One solution many couples utilize to keep their gala adult oriented, but family friendly, is to hire sitters for the night to watch over their guests children. Often, this service is provided in an adjacent room to the reception or within a nearby hotel room. This allows guests a viable option to enjoy a child free evening with little worries or extra hassle. Some weddings even hire entertainment venues complete with bouncy houses and magicians to keep the kids happy.
Tips For Receiving Kids At A Wedding
If you decide to include children in the merriment, consider the following seven tips to make the event enjoyable for everyone:
- Clearly include the child’s name on the invitation.
- Include a kid friendly menu option that offers children easy to eat foods like chicken fingers and fruit.
- Create a kid zone or table just for them. Include coloring books, board games, art activities, and snack mixes to keep them occupied and having fun.
- Look for teens or childcare professionals to be in charge of the children so parents can mingle.
- If you and your partner are already parents, consider having your child give the bride away and at the reception be formally introduced as a couple and family to include everyone on this big day.
- Assign children jobs based on their personality and strengths. Some ideas perfect for younger guests are ushering, handing out programs, passing out bubbles or petals, and manning the guest book.
- For flower girls or ring bearers, consider the recommended ages (according to traditions) are between the ages of 3 and 7 to prevent any major meltdowns.
With This Ring…
Whether you decide to include children or not on your big day, a few simple gestures can make it a perfect combination. WIth a little foresight, planning, and basic wedding etiquette your day can go off without a hitch and keep ALL your guests happy as you ring in your nuptials. What are your feelings about children being included in wedding celebrations?