Should you invite children to weddings?
Should you invite children to weddings? These days, it’s not entirely unusual to see weddings that don’t include any children at all on the guest list and the reasons behind those choosing to omit kids from proceedings isn’t always money related. Read on for more information and maybe to help you decide if you should invite children to your wedding.
Sometimes the motivation to not invite children derives from not wanting to bring any disruption to those who aren’t parents themselves – a rather thoughtful way to look at things, especially if the bride and groom aren’t close to any kids themselves. As much as people may not like it, children are a lifestyle choice. Some couples decide to have children, others decide not to.
This thoughtfulness is even more apparent of you have a lot of younger adults or couples without children coming to the wedding itself.
Should you invite children to weddings – – Making Exceptions
Wedding etiquette states that even at so-called ‘kid free’ wedding ceremonies, it is perfectly ok to invite a couple of children who might be acting as ring bearers, flower girls or page boys or bridesmaids. They come under the umbrella of ‘wedding party’ and don’t infringe upon any children rules set down to the wedding as a whole.
It’s tough to do this. There is always going to be one member of your family that gets in a huff because their children are not invited to the wedding and others are. Unfortunately, you have to tough this out. It is YOUR wedding and YOU decide who goes or doesn’t.
Setting your guests expectations
If you don’t clearly state “No children” or other text it is quite easy for your wedding guests with children to assume they are ok to bring them.
Make it clear from the start if children are not allowed, and if children are allowed at your wedding then what ground rules you should have.
(Andrew’s Ground Rules – Please make sure your children do not touch, pick up or play with my camera gear! I carry around £15k of camera gear to any one wedding and not all wedding venues have safe storage. To have the right kit to hand I need to have it close to the wedding – and that invariably means where children may be.)
Plan and Budget
If you are unsure still, about who to invite, then you should perhaps do your budget planning and work out exactly how many people are coming. If things look tight in terms of cost, then this may sway you on whether children are part of the invited guest list. The important thing is to only send out your invites when you know you are able to afford to have them at your wedding.
Of course, some couples absolutely love the idea of having the youthful exuberance of little ones running around, as they can create pretty wonderful memories, but finances often the rule and simple maths can rule out the possibility of their inclusion.
If you really want children present and your budget is restrictive, there is always the possibility of removing a few adults. It sounds harsh, but sometimes, it’s the only way.
With the average wedding in the UK now costing £27,000 (From Harpers Bazaar) you just can not afford to invite everyone you really would. Unless you are seriously wealthy that is.
So when thinking about should you invite children to weddings think budget budget budget. The majority of wedding venues Andrew works at are around £75-£85 per head. That is a lot of money on a meal if the children don’t eat anything.
Favouritism when inviting children to weddings
If you’re going to invite some children who aren’t going to be performing any particular role within the wedding party, then you’re most likely going to have to invite all children related to close family and friends. If you don’t, there’s a chance some might view it as favouritism.
This is especially tough if children of family members are left out in order to have children of your best friends at the wedding, whether it be for ring bearers or flower girls the results is still the same jealous feelings.
If you do invite children to your wedding
If you do decide to invite children to your wedding then think about these few tips to ensure it all goes to plan.
Tip 1 – Set a time for children to be in bed by. This is very age related but do you want children running around your wedding dance floor at 11 pm at night?
Tip 2 – Ask parents to refrain from drinking alcohol (or at least one parent) so that the child is always looked after. There is nothing worse than having a child looked after by someone other than a non-parent to the parent’s fondness for alcohol. Yes, it does happen.
Tip 3 – Arrange Child Activities for your wedding breakfast. Keep them occupied and it will keep them out of trouble!
Tip 4 – Arrange child-friendly meals. This could also be cheaper for you?
Tip 5 – Avoid a Candy Cart!!!! All that sugar is just going to have any children at your wedding running around till all hours!
Tip 6 – Get a wedding entertainer. Magician, childminder, clown etc. Anything to keep the kids occupied.
Inviting children to your wedding – Conclusion
As you can see, the question posed at the beginning isn’t as clear cut as having or not having children at your wedding. There is etiquette, finance and other people’s feelings to consider.
Making a choice, either way is your prerogative, but if you follow the advice discussed, whatever choice you make, you’ll neither go over budget nor upset any close friends or relatives.