The decision of whether or not to include children in this most important occasion is a very personal one. As with everything else surrounding your big day, keep foremost in your mind that this is YOUR wedding and you have the right to decide what you would like.
Why you SHOULD invite children
There are likely to be children that are close family members and amongst these may even be some of your favourite people. In that case, you’d definitely want to share your special day with them. If your only favourite people are adults, some of these will have little ones that are naturally extremely dear to them and you might consider extending the invitation to include them so as not to cause offence or make life difficult for your top priority guests.
There’s no denying that little children adorned with floral coronets and the like will look adorable on your wedding day. Children add a whole different dimension to proceedings and bring with them their own brand of magic and plenty of laughs.
Why you SHOULDN’T invite children
For the budget-conscious bride, adding tiny plus ones stacks up the costs. Even if they’re not part of the ceremony and don’t require special outfits, they will still need to be catered for and perhaps entertained – which all comes with a price tag. Add to this the unpredictable interruptions that are par for the course (think screaming over your vows and stampeding around the venue during the speeches) and children at your wedding become a less desirable prospect.
You may even find that some parents silently thank you for having a child-free policy. They can guiltlessly hire a babysitter and relax, enjoying the wedding in peace without having to keep a constant eye on their little ones or stress about them behaving.
Either way, stick to your decision
Decide your policy with your partner and then don’t compromise on it. Most couples choose to include some children in their wedding and not others. In this case, make your parameters clear. Perhaps you have a lower age limit or maybe you will invite children of immediate family members or only those that have specific roles at the ceremony. If you have friends or family who you fear may be unclear, don’t be afraid to have a conversation with them to explain the situation.
If you do invite children, consider these things
It’s wise to give small children specific jobs to do at your wedding. Be it escorting family to their seats or walking ahead of you down the aisle holding a board with a cute message, the more involved they are the more likely they are to be enjoying your day instead of playing-up.
Organise little things to keep them entertained (read: quiet) during the reception like colouring books or puzzles. If budget allows, a wedding nanny to supervise the children and organise their games is wonderful for everyone.
Make sure you cater for your smallest guests. Arranging specific children’s food is usually less costly than letting them dine from the adult’s menu and will also keep both them and their parents happy. It’s not the best idea to seat all the children together at one big table as this can become chaotic. Rather seat youngsters with their parents.
Ideally there should be an area of the venue where they can sleep later in the evening (a few comfy couches for example) if you want to avoid their parents making an early exit.
Whatever you decide – whether you want as many children as possible to be a part of your celebration or if you want to make your big day a child-free zone – that’s okay. Only you can choose.
At Hudson’s venue we are happy to accommodate little guests if you would like us to. To learn more download our information pack.