Authored by: Jim Emerson
March 24, 2011

Other than religious considerations, there is potentially no greater contentious issue surrounding your celebration than should children (usually under the age of 7) be invited to your wedding. Just ask several couples and not only will you get differing opinions but their opinions will be firm, if not resolute!

Some couples are against having children at their wedding, while some welcome little ones. The “No kids” group generally wants to celebrate a more formal affair and would like their guests to be able to enjoy their evening without having to chase after or, worse yet, being chased by an overtired 3 year old. The “All inclusive” group believe that a wedding is a celebration for family and friends – regardless of age. This however, clashes with the belief that the wedding is all about the couple and if the couple don’t want kids to attend, then so be it.

The presence of children may distract from your meticulously planned celebration; cast a “family-friendly” pall over your reception; throw your budget over the top and compel parents -the guests you want to celebrate with – to go home early to tuck the little ones in. After all, you don’t want to see your wedding reception turned into a play day at McDonalds. Plus some parents will actually appreciate a “night away” from their kids. So you might be doing your guests – all your guests – a favour, if kids are welcomed for the ceremony, but not for the reception. If you do allow kids to attend the reception, place a time limit on their presence so that by 8pm they are “leaving the building”.

If you are the bride who feels that kids add spark, and that there is nothing cuter than seeing them all dressed up and dancing with their aunt, then here are a few tips to make that image a reality: Have a separate quiet room for kids, attended by a paid sitter, to be entertained, to rest, color, craft, play, etc. If the kids do not want to stay in a separate room then try to assign a kids table in the main hall (depending on age of course). You can still have one adult sit at this table to watch over them. Special kid friendly food would be served to that table as well as a treat bag per child. It won’t stop them from running around but having all the kids together with activities and crayons at their table should help a bit. Keep in mind that kids will be kids: expect the unexpected, and remember – that’s part of their charm.

Although there is no hard and fast rule regarding the presence of kids at a wedding, this is your special day and this decision shouldn’t be a burden on you – so don’t let it stress you out. Even though this isn’t the easiest decision to make – it is completely up to you whether or not you invite young children to your wedding. This is your wedding, your choice. Its about celebrating your new life together and those that attend should be happy for you.

What do you think? 

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About the Author: Jim Emerson

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