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Should You Invite Children to Your Wedding?

One of the biggest questions couples have when planning their wedding is whether or not to invite children to their wedding.  It’s an issue capable of causing stress and hurt feelings, not just between you and your significant other, but between you and your family and friends.  A wedding should be a time of celebration for you and those you care about so it’s important that you not let this issue prevent you from having the day of your dreams

Whether you invite children to your wedding or not is a personal decision, and one only you and your fiancé can make.  Your family and friends will likely all have opinions on this matter, but ultimately it is up to you.  After all, it’s your wedding.  Some couples don’t want the distraction of unsupervised children running around, while just others want an elegant, adult evening out for themselves and their guests.  Some couples simply don’t like children.  If they don’t like children and don’t interact with them on a daily basis, why would they want children at the most important celebration of their lives?  There are many reasons a couple may have for excluding children from their wedding reception.  If you do decide to have an adults only wedding and reception, your family and friends should accept and respect that.

It is important to note, if you decide you don’t want children at your wedding, then that means absolutely no children at your wedding.  Nothing will hurt a friend or family member more than to see other children at your wedding when their own children weren’t invited.  If you make the decision to not invite children, don’t make any exceptions.  It will only cause you additional stress and end up hurting people you care about.

Many people are divided on the issue of having children in the bridal party at a wedding where children aren’t invited.  Some wedding experts feel this is fine.  However, others feel that children in the bridal party should still not be invited to an adults only reception, or just refrain from asking children to be part of your wedding at all.  This is another decision that you’ll have to make yourself, because whatever you choose has the potential to hurt someone’s feelings.  Not inviting children to the reception who are part of your bridal party would be a huge slap on the face to their parents.  After all the money their parents spend on wedding day outfits for their kids, the time they spend on fittings and meetings prior to the wedding, it would be hugely offensive to expect the children to be part of the ceremony and leave directly after.

Children can be a fun and touching addition to your wedding if you do decide to invite them.  Many of your guests will enjoy watching the little ones partake in the wedding festivities.  There’s nothing cuter than watching little kids dancing together, or seeing the bride and groom share a special moment with their young relatives.

Remember, it will be a long day and night for most young children.  Expecting the little ones to be quiet and well behaved during all the important moments of your wedding may be asking too much.  A recent trend is to provide special entertainment for the children who are invited to a wedding.  Hiring a magician, balloon artist, story teller or other special entertainer will surely help to amuse the kids.

If possible, see if you can set up a separate room for the children nearby.  Then, when they start to get bored with the wedding festivities, they can join other kids in this special area.  Provide paper, crayons and non-messy crafts.  Have your caterer set out some kid friendly snacks and food, such as mini pizzas, chicken fingers and French fries.  For dessert, candy buffets are always a big hit with the younger set.  Or, set up a dessert station offering “mini” goodies – mini cupcakes, mini cookies, mini cakes, etc.  Don’t forget the ice cold milk!  You can even hire a babysitter to watch over the children.  Then, the parents can enjoy the wedding knowing their children are safe and enjoying themselves while being properly supervised.

The decision to have an adults only wedding is a personal one.  Children can definitely add some fun and magic to your wedding, but ultimately it is your wedding.  It’s your day and you only get to do this once.  Make sure the wedding you plan is the wedding you’ve always dreamt of, whether that means it includes children or not.

Yvone Kon is a blogger, mom and freelance writer.  She is the author of the blog EventSpiration, providing inspiration and ideas for weddings, parties and holidays.  Additionally, she guest blogs and writes articles for a number of clients on many different topics, including wedding planning, wedding fashion, wedding entertainment and hiring a wedding band in Scotland.  For information on freelance writing projects, please contact her via her blog.  Photo courtesy of Jason Nelson.

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