“Are we inviting children to the wedding?” It’s a question most couples have to consider early in their wedding planning journey, and it’s not always an easy one to know the answer to straight away.
For some the decision is easy, you may have always known your day would be an adult only affair or you may have always envisaged the day full of children’s laughter and fun… but for others it can be a tough choice and you may have found yourself pondering over the following considerations:
• You and your partner have different visions for the day
• How will your decision impact whether people attend
• Is the venue suitable?
• How many children would be invited… and how much more does that cost?
I have had many conversations with brides about this and so I thought I’d share a few tips that I have picked up along the way.
Do you and your partner have different thoughts on this?
Ultimately the decision of kids or no kids should be made solely on what’s right for you, but what if you and your fiancé feel slightly differently about this?
The first thing to do if you’re struggling to agree on what you want is to talk to each other about your reasons. Once you can see why each of you feels the way you do you will get to the root of what you both want from your day. You may find from here that you can come to a compromise such as inviting children during the day but making the evening an adults only celebration for example!
Worried about upsetting people?
While some people may feel that bringing their children to special events is really important, for others it’s a cherished opportunity to get a babysitter and let their hair down! (I’m willing to bet that more people will be in the latter camp!!) The truth is, you will never be able to please everyone but do remember that it’s your day and ultimately the decision is yours.
My top tip for managing people’s expectations is to be upfront about your decision when you send out the invites and allow people plenty of time to find a babysitter if necessary.
Is your venue child friendly?
Some venues won’t be suitable for children, so it is always worth considering your thoughts around this before you make that booking.
If you are unsure whether your venue of choice is suitable or not here are a few things to think about:
• Do you feel that it would be safe for children to be there?
• Is there enough space for children to do what they do best (ie: run around and have fun!)
• How can you keep them entertained in the space you have available to you? This may be easier to do in the summer than in the winter.
On a tight budget?
Children generally don’t cost as much as the adults, but it does all add up! If many of your friends have children, you’ll be amazed how quickly that cost adds up.
But, if you know for sure some of them will be relishing in the thought of leaving the kids with grandma and getting out for a night then it’s a great way of keeping comfortably within your budget – it’s a win-win!
Another thing to consider is only invited selected children. If you have beloved nieces or nephews then of course you will want them to be there to celebrate your day with you, so perhaps you could decide only to invite children from your close families.
Ultimately, there is only one rule when deciding whether and how to invite children to the wedding and that is that there is no rule! Working out what you want as a couple is the most important thing when making these decisions and it is the best way to ensure you have the day you are dreaming of. As long as you make your preferences clear on the invitations then people can ultimately make their own choices on whether to attend but I’m willing to bet that those who are really important to you wouldn’t miss your wedding for the world!