Wedding Dilemma: Kids or No Kids?

Photo by Rebecca Hollis Photography

 

Post by Amy Plass

We get a lot of questions regarding kids at weddings, so we thought it was about time we addressed the topic. Kids can be lots of fun at weddings, until they’re not. It’s adorable when they tell you that you look like a princess in your dress, but it’s not quite so endearing if they throw a tantrum during the vows. And while they can be absolutely precious dancing, sometimes they run right out onto the floor and smack right into dancing guests, which can do a number on your nerves. So what’s the solution?

Some brides prefer to cut kids out of the event entirely. This is most appropriate when it’s an evening wedding or a very formal event. It may be more of a challenge to make a no kids rule at a daytime wedding without people being offended. Also, it’s easier to do when most of the guests live nearby, otherwise they may find it hard to find childcare.

Left hand photo by Andrea Fazzari, Martha Stewart Weddings – Right hand photo by Emily G Photography, Style Me Pretty

 

Another option, if it’s in your budget, is to provide childcare during the reception. This will allow you to have kids at the reception, but also will allow parents a chance to enjoy themselves! Have a separate area for little kids set up with a kids buffet (mac and cheese is a whole lot less pricey than the adult entrees), and keep them busy with crafts and coloring.  Sometimes it’s enough to gift a few small things to keep kiddos occupied, especially if you don’t have many on your guest list. There are great wedding coloring pages available on the web, and it could be lots of fun to make one yourself with puzzles and word scrambles as a DIY. Check out www.discoveryeducation.com/free-puzzlemaker/ to create free number and word puzzles for the kiddos at your wedding. Consider making a kids grab bag with an activity book, crayons, and bubbles to keep them occupied.

If you do choose to make your wedding a grown ups only affair, keep in mind that some people will be offended.  However, unless you are very lucky and are able to invite all of your friends, family, colleagues, and classmates to your wedding, your are most likely going to upset somebody with your guest list. Just explain that either space or funds require you to keep your event a more “intimate” event. Some parents will be upset, and others will be happy for the chance of a grown ups’ night out!

Left hand photo by Emma Case, Ruffled Blog – Middle Photo by Jana Williams, Green Wedding Shoes- Far right photo by Craig and Eva Sanders Photography, Style Me Pretty

 

If you have your mind set on an adult only wedding, you’ll have to clearly explain that in the invitation. In the good ol’ days, if you addressed an invitation to Mr. and Mrs. Smith, it was understood that only Mr. and Mrs. Smith were invited, not their children. If only it was that easy today! Many brides find that even if they clearly indicate that their nuptials are an “adults only” event, they’ll still end up with a few guests who completely ignore this request and RSVP their whole family. So how do you make it clear that as much as you love your friends’ kids, they are not invited to the wedding? One suggestion is to have your stationer print out your RSVP cards as following:

Two seats have been reserved in your honor. Please let us know if you:

  • Will be attending
  • Will not be able to attend.

Never  leave the number blank so that you can hand-write it in, that is considered tacky. Don’t include wording such as “No Kids” or “No Children”. The rule of thumb is, if you are excluding some children, you should exclude all children except for those in the wedding party itself. Also, consider making an exception for nursing moms with small babies, and reach out to their parents personally to let them know before you send their invitation. This will give them more time to find a babysitter, and will prevent them for feeling hurt or insulted when they receive the invitation. Also, if you are arranging for a babysitter, a phone call is a great way to let parents know so that they can breathe easy and just look forward to celebrating the big day with you. No matter what you decide, your guests will appreciate the courtesy of a heads up!

Are you having kids at your wedding? How did you break the news?

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