How to Disaster Proof a Kid-Friendly Wedding

11

 Among the many details you need to consider when planning your wedding, there is one important question you need to answer: Are children welcome? Inevitably, some of your guests will be parents, and while many will happily leave the little ones at home, there are times when guests will want (or need) to bring their children along.

kids wedding

So how do you handle the under-18 crowd when it comes to wedding planning? A lot depends on what kind of day you’re dreaming of, your budget, and where you plan to have the event. Obviously, inviting children can change the dynamic of the event; while you can still plan a formal, black-tie, champagne-fueled soiree at your dream wedding banquet hall, the presence of unpredictable children can take the evening from elegant to chaotic fairly quickly. Not to mention, including children on the guest list increases the cost of the event. A children’s menu will be less expensive, but you still need to account for small people when tallying up the final head count and cost-per-person.

If after taking all of that into consideration, you still want to invite children to your wedding, there are a few things to keep in mind.

When Kids are Welcome

The best way to let guests know that they can bring their offspring to the wedding is to include the kiddos on the invitation. Addressing the invitation to “Mr. and Mrs. John Smith and Family” sends the message that the children are welcome. If your budget allows, it’s a nice gesture to send teenagers their own invitations, but that’s certainly not required; proper etiquette dictates that guests over age 18 receive their own invitations, so use your discretion for younger teens.

2

If you’re inviting children, keep them occupied during the reception. While most adults will find the eating, dancing, and other activities of the reception entertaining, kids will get bored easily. Consider hiring a babysitter (or several for a larger crowd) and providing a separate room where the kids can hang out when the “grownup stuff” gets too boring. At the very least, offer crayons, coloring books, and other kid-friendly activities to keep them occupied.

Food is always an issue for kids, so try to include at least a few kid-friendly options if you aren’t creating a special children’s menu. Buffets are always popular with families, but if you’d rather have a plated meal, be sure there are foods that children will eat to avoid wasting food. As far as seating children, many experts recommend seating tweens and teens together at their own table — with the understanding that there is always a chance of shenanigans when groups of children get together — with younger children seated with either their parents or in a separate room, with supervision.

When the Kids Should Stay Home

Whether you opt to ban children from your ceremony and reception entirely, or only allow them to come for some of the festivities, again, communication is key. Some parents, even when their children are specifically not listed on the invitation, return an RSVP card indicating that the children will be joining them, which leads to awkward conversations and potentially hurt feelings.

If you suspect that some of your guests will assume that their children are invited, a preemptive phone call can prevent misunderstandings. Be sure to let everyone know that your decision to make your wedding childfree isn’t based on your concerns about any one particular child (even if it is). Ideally, you should make this clear before the invitations go out. It’s also a good idea to spread the word via the wedding party and/or your parents, so that they can answer questions should guests go to them.

You also need to prepare yourself for the likelihood that a guest may disregard your wishes and bring their child along anyway. While it’s undoubtedly rude on their part, if you suspect that someone may ignore your “child-free” dictate, you should remain gracious and polite. Having a few coloring books and crayons on hand just in case can go a long way to quelling a mini-rebellion, but don’t feel like you have to do much beyond that to address a rude guest.

Whether or not to have children at your wedding is a personal decision — and it is yours. You know what kind of event you want to have, so don’t let others pressure you into doing something you aren’t comfortable with. Your young friends and relatives will have plenty of their own wedding to attend in the future.

About Author

Avatar
LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Alison Gibb
Guest
Alison Gibb

I can’t imagine someone rsvping that they are bringing the children and worst yet, showing up with them after being told it is a adult only wedding. Separate room for the kids is brilliant!

MonaG
Guest
MonaG

I am originally from India and, going by the many Indian weddings I’ve attended, the general rule is that kids are invited to the wedding ceremony but not the reception. Of course, there will always be those guests that either call requesting to bring their child(ren) or ignore the invitation altogether and just bring them.

In contrast, weddings and receptions in India ALWAYS have children in attendance. There is no question of excluding them.

Sherry Martindale
Guest
Sherry Martindale

It would be incredibly rude for someone to ignore any special request or directive given to them as an attendee, but especially as someone invited to a once in a lifetime event (at least their only marrying that person for the first time once lol) Hopefully, the bride and groom’s attendants or family members could make allowances on the day of, if someone blatantly disregarded their wishes, but that is soooooo rude.

vickie Couturier
Guest
vickie Couturier

I cant believe anyone would be rude enought to take kids to a adult only wedding,,,,and I dont blame the ppl for wanting a adult only wedding,its their day and their choice

lisa
Guest
lisa

Age is a big factor. That and where the wedding will be held. In general, I’m against children at weddings.

RANDY FULGHAM
Guest

nope they should not be at weddings untill the age of 10 years old, then they might understand,other wise they are a pain in the butt

best dating sites
Guest

This is my first time pay a visit at here and i am genuinely pleassant to read everthing at one place.

Dana Truitt
Guest

Now I must say I have been throught kid proofing a wedding for both myself and my brother and I feel if you want them to be part of everything which is best then just let them do there thing. I learned that you can really prepare for everything!!

I’d like to invite you to follow my new Nail page on Facebook.
Hugs
Classy Claws Nail Blog!!
https://www.facebook.com/ClassyClawsNailBlog?ref=hl

Best dating sites
Guest

You could certainly see your skills within the work you write.
The sector hopes for more passionate writers like you who
are not afraid to mention how they believe. All the time go after
your heart.

Lisa Coomer Queen
Guest
Lisa Coomer Queen

This is all so true! Communication is the key. The parents should take note if their children are not invited and don’t bring them. But I love when the children are invited and things are set up for them Thanks for the tips!

where can you buy quest protein bars in australia
Guest

Pretty! This was an incredibly wonderful article. Many thanks for providing
this info. blogesaurus.com quest protein bars

shares