Deciding whether to invite children to a wedding has always been a sensitive topic for many brides and grooms as they plan their wedding. Questions such as cost per head, accommodating minors, and the possibility of disrupting the wedding ceremony and/or reception are a few things that come to mind when considering children. One also thinks about not wanting to offend their guests who may want to bring their child to your wedding which can add a layer of unwanted anxiety. Should children only be invited if they are participants in the wedding or can they be guests or both? So, what are your options?
The flower girl and the ring bearer are roles traditionally held by children and many brides and grooms reserve those roles for the closest children within their circle. Some have expanded those roles to kids carrying “Here Comes the Bride” signage down the aisle or even passing out wedding programs at the ceremony. Either way, make sure you decide on whether you plan to have children early in the wedding planning process. If you decide to only allow children at the wedding who are participants it offers somewhat of a compromise to your close family and friends who you have made an exception to allow their kids to attend the wedding because they are at the wedding. However, if you decide that guests can bring their children and you are willing to have a kid-friendly wedding, please also consider these things when allowing children to attend your wedding.-Budget…. Kids count in the overall headcount because they take up a seat and eat as well as an adult (regardless if they still eat kid-size portions… it’s still a plate).-Accommodations…. You might want to offer a kid’s menu, childcare services, and children entertainment to ensure that they are well occupied and tended to when the parents can fully enjoy the wedding.
Perhaps you considered the cost and energy it would take to have children at the wedding and keep them at bay to not “interrupt” your wedding festivities. Here are some etiquette tips on saying “no” to kids at the wedding:-Don’t include their names on the outer envelopes when addressing guests (old tradition states to include children if they are invited)-Reserve a specific number “in their honor” on the RSVP card to specify only a number of people from that household is invited-Be prepared to be uncomfortable and have a verbal conversation with guests with children and express your request to not have children at your wedding. Make it clear who is invited and if you have set a criterion, be sure to stick with it. Either way, do not assume that guests would know not to bring their children. Therefore, it’s imperative to be transparent and upfront if your wedding is for Adults only, and no children are allowed.