Kids, or no kids - that is the question. And we're not talking after the wedding... we're talking kids at the wedding! Not to worry, we have lots to say that will help with that most daunting of decisions. The important thing to remember is, you can't please everyone, so make the choice that works for you and your fiance, and move forward with joy and confidence!
Whether your family and friends have lots of children or only a few, this is an important component of your wedding day that you'll need to think about early on in your planning. So let's go over the pros and cons of whether or not to include kids in your marriage celebration, and narrow down your feelings on the subject.
ON THE ONE HAND....
Pro - Inviting flower girls and ring bearers to be part of your processional can add a precious and sometimes laughter-inducing touch to your ceremony. If you do have little ones walking the aisle, make sure their parents or another family member are seated in the front, ready to collect them.
Pro - Kids are fun to party with! (Really?) Yes, really! For one thing, they liven up the dance floor, particularly early on when the adults are still eating and the dance floor is otherwise unoccupied. We've all seen these adorable pictures! To avoid melt-downs, though, give an accurate kid-count to your planner so she can arrange for kid-friendly food and have it easily available to the parents.
Pro - Your guests who are parents of young ones will appreciate you embracing their kiddos. Hint: If there will be tiny ones, ask your venue to provide high chairs and place them on your seating chart.
ON THE OTHER HAND....
Con - Guests with kids usually end up bowing out early.
Silver Lining- By deciding on adults-only, your wedding becomes a romantic date night and your parent guests will have the freedom to stay and enjoy the party up until your big send-off!
Con - Little ones have lots of energy, which has parents managing kids all night rather than fully enjoying your affair.
Silver Lining - With a kid-free wedding, friends and family who haven't seen each other in a long time will appreciate the chance to spend quality time with their loved ones!
Con - Traveling with kids can be a bit hectic. Airplanes, hotels, meals, it can be a lot.
Silver Lining - Your out-of-town guests may enjoy the chance to leave their children home with grandparents while they escape for a fun weekend away!
One of my favorite wedding services is an event sitter, such as Elegant Event Sitters. By employing a professional service, you're ensuring your guests a relaxing, fun time while being mindful that parents may want their children with them. The kids will be able to enjoy the parts of your wedding that are appropriate, then move to a space and a dedicated team to entertain them the rest of the evening. But don't confuse your neighborhood babysitter with a professional service!
The people who do this for a living are experienced specialists trained in managing children in a group setting, and will bring the proper equipment and mindset to keep all ages occupied throughout your reception. And shhhh....!!! they'll even put the babies to sleep! I actually love going into the Kid Space late in the evening, it's so peaceful! The babes are snoozing, it's dark and quiet, it's a quick moment where I can sit and relax before the rush of the grand send-off.
Whether you decide to welcome children at your event or not, one thing is certain. This is your wedding.... make the choice that feels right for you, and feel good about it! Tell family and friends in advance so there is full clarity, then look forward to a magnificent wedding day!
Photo credits from top left:
Carla Gates, Denis Reggie, Sowing Clover, Phrozen Memories,
Dash Photography, Someplace Wild, Perfect Pair