Discussions about children at weddings can get heated. Some people firmly believe weddings are family events that should obviously include children. Others can’t stand kids at weddings; with their sticky fingers, snotty noses, and unexpected tantrums.
So should you have an adult-only wedding, invite just a few carefully considered children, or welcome every kid you know with crayons and child-friendly entertainment?
Your wedding is your special day. Whatever you choose is 100% fine.
Weddings are (usually) real fun for little boys and girls. Dancing in party clothes, playing with favourite relatives, sugary treats, and lots of new friends to meet. Flower Girls and Page Boys are extra-adorable, dressed to the nines in tiny formal wear. They leave a trail of melted hearts as they scatter rose petals and carry wedding bands.
Flower Girls and Page Boys can be distracting at the head table. They also leave empty seats behind when they run off to play and explore the venue. Empty chairs aren’t great for photographs, and they don’t enhance that “surrounded by loved ones” feeling.
Instead, consider seating Flower Girls and Page Boys with their parents or at an extra-special ‘Kids Only’ table.
(FYI, Flower Girls and Page Boys are usually aged four to twelve years old. After twelve, we call them Junior Bridesmaids or Junior Groomsmen.)
You don’t need to have children at your wedding.
If your list of favourite people doesn’t include anyone in Peppa Pig’s core fan base, that’s OK. Wedding formalities aren’t usually designed to include little ones, anyway.
Do you know any young children who’d enjoy sitting still for speeches, standing respectfully for your first dance, or watching you and your new husband promise long term commitment to each other? Nah, me either. Kids are awesome, but they cannot understand the huge significance of your carefully planned wedding. They’re simply too young to appreciate its importance.
You could invite just a few children to your wedding.
Perhaps you could only invite children over eleven, for example. Or maybe just your own children, or those in your immediate family.
In most cases, babies and very young children have more fun staying home with grandma or a babysitter.
Babies and young children at weddings wail, scream and draw attention away from the bride and groom. And for some reason, little ones that are usually as quiet as mice tend to find their screaming voice during the speeches. I speak from experience as a veteran Event Host MC: if a young child at a wedding feels inspired to belt out the lyrics to Let It Go, they don’t hold back.
Even well-behaved children at weddings inevitably alter the atmosphere.
Family and friends can’t stay up all night if they have young children in tow. Kids need to be entertained, monitored, and taken home at bedtime. Planning a boozed-up party to celebrate your marriage? Want something really grown up, or a little risqué? Not gonna happen in a room full of young kids.
Whether you invite children to your wedding or not is 100% your choice. Don’t let anyone else make it for you. Seat Flower Girls and Page Boys with their parents or at their very own Kids Only table, because they can be distracting at the head table.
If anyone objects to your decision, remember that it’s your choice. A simple apology and short explanation that you’re trying to limit the guest list is more than enough.
And a final tip: Whatever you decide, ensure your wedding invitations are crystal clear. I also recommend calling parents before you send invites out so they can make arrangements ASAP.
— Pete Miller, Event Host from SpeakersCoach.com