Grace Knows – Children at our wedding
Ahhh, one of the ultimate quandries for a couple, “do we or don’t we have children at our wedding? Ultimately I cannot tell you what you should do. Everyone has their own opinions on children at weddings, it is a huge debate that has been going on for an eternity, and it will continue to further complicated by Covid and the pandemic aftermath!
I have a few questions for you in return, which could help you make your decision…
- Who are the children? Are they potential flower girls and page boys? Are they your nieces or nephews?
- Will the parents want their children there? (I love my little one, but know that I personally would love a fun, boozy, child-free day)
- Is the venue child friendly?
- Will your friends and family not enjoy the day with or without them?
- Do you have the space and budget?
- Where are the parents coming from? Will they have to leave children for the weekend, travelling quite a distance without potentially reliable childcare? If they have childcare options, are they also invited to the wedding…. (if my sister was to get married without children there, I would seriously struggle with who to look after my daughter!)
- Do you want to have children running around? Answer this one honestly to yourselves. They can be super cute, make for great entertainment and awesome photos but is that what you want.
At the end of the day, it is your wedding day and you deserve to spend it with whomever you want.
“Phoebe is torn between what she and her partner Laura wants, and pleasing her extended family. We think our answers will help, but above everything we would like to say create your wedding for you and your partner, not for someone else.”
All images by Cooper Photography, taken at Horsebridge Station
But, if you do choose to have children at your wedding here are a few things to think about:
- Child friendly food
- Serve the children first – trust me!
- Offer snacks during the drinks reception
- Have games for the children to enjoy during the meal and drinks reception
- Give them a disposable camera to take their own pictures
- Consider entertainment for the speeches
- Consider group childcare for the evening
- Ask one of the parents to leave the ceremony if they get restless and noisy (in advance not on the day!!)
If you choose not to have children, just understand that some guests may not be able to leave their children, for many reasons including breastfeeding and no suitable childcare. Here are a few things you can say to ease into the subject:
“Think about what a great night away you two could have, you deserve some time just the two of you”
“I am really struggling with my guest list, the venue won’t accommodate everyone… I may have to just have my closest adult friends… it’s so hard isn’t it?”
“The venue is not really suitable for young children and I worry that you really won’t enjoy yourself as you will just be chasing after them…
“What ever your choice, make sure it is one you two choose together and do not feel pressured either way.
As a mother, personally I would be delighted if my little one was invited to be a part of someones day, but I would seriously consider if I wanted to take her with me. Potentially I would arrange child care for just the evening if she was asked to be a flower girl. Equally, if I was invited to a child-free wedding I would be booking a room, clearing my mums diary to look after her and picking out the best dancing outfit.
Let me know what you choose and if you need any advice to keep little ones entertained, or advice on a difficult conversation. We are here to help, and most certainly understand the difficult predicament and situation this can be. Make the right choice for you as a couple about whether to extend the invitations.