Children at a Wedding: Tell Me Should They Go? Yes or No? Yes or No?

October 2, 2009 at 1:54 pm 6 comments

Kids-at-your-WeddingRecently, I received an email asking for the proper etiquette when it comes to children and a wedding, and truth be told, it’s really up to each individual couple to make that call.  While there is a laundry list of certain wedding clichés and “unwritten” rules that can horns waggle their way into every event, having children at your big debut is not one of them.  It really all depends on the couple and their budget, family size, relationships, etc.

Take me for instance… I am from a very large, very rambunctious family, and honestly, I wouldn’t want it any other way.  They are my favorite people in the world.  They make my holidays better; my days brighter, and even when we’re at our most chaotic, I know they’re the ones who’ll be standing in my corner when everyone else has left the building… that’s something no amount of bad days or loud talkers or food line jumpers and shovers could ever change – hehe!  So, even though my family easily equals the population of a small country, I could never nor would ever have our wedding day without them.  

This, however, is not always the case for everyone.  I am not naïve enough to think that this is the opinion shared by all.  Some people prefer to have a more intimate wedding and simply refuse to allow children in – perfectly fine.  While there are still others who – even though they love their families and kids just as much as I do – can’t always make it feasible to invite EVERYONE – again, perfectly fine.   Whether their numbers are too great, they’re budgets are too small or they simply don’t have the space, they will sometimes opt to forego having kids at their wedding. 

The coin can really flip both ways.  I’ve attended weddings where people get annoyed by a crying baby interrupting the vows or cringe at a four year old climbing up a chair to grab a handful of cake… but it should be known that at those same weddings, there are just as many people dying for their chance to hold that little bundle of joy or laughing at the child eating the cake – bride and groom included!  At the end of the day, people will always have varying opinions, leaving it downright impossible to please them all.  And if that’s the case, you should make your wedding day exactly what you want, whether that’s children friendly or not :) 

After thought: While there is no proper etiquette when it comes to allowing or not allowing children at a wedding, there IS proper etiquette to following the “rules” once the bride and groom have established them.  For instance, if a couple addresses their invite to a “Mr. and Mrs. only” and writes on their Response card, “Adult Reception Only,” it’s not the classiest choice to RSVP for five and bring your three kids anyway.  The bride and groom obviously had a reason to make their choice clear – whether it’s budget, space or simply personal preference – so, please please please don’t be THOSE people.  It’s not fair to the ones you’re they’re to celebrate.  


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6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Mary Kidwell  |  October 7, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    Thank you all for sharing! Jen, I love love love your suggestion! Couples could also choose to have “kid friendly” reception tables at their reception with coloring books, magic markers etc. This might keep them preoccupied, in the instance Leah spoke,and off the dance floor ; so, the adults can boogie oogie oogie too!

  • 2. Erica mackay  |  October 6, 2009 at 11:58 am

    I just got married and my son is two so not having children at the wedding was not an opption, my little man was the ring bearer but he never took his nap so he never made it down the isle lol, but It didn’t upset me, if your going to have children at your wedding or even in the wedding make sure to remeber that kids don’t always do just what u want, don’t get upset let them run it’ll make u a little less stressed, and if all possible think about were u are having your reception, mine had a playground that our tent looked out on so no one had to be to overbearing and miss what was happing but could still watch them play..

  • 3. Jen  |  October 6, 2009 at 8:33 am

    Another option to prevent the crying during the ceremony is to offer childcare during it – my church had this option, tho I didn’t need it because at the time noone I invited had children that young. Thankfully the kids thing wasn’t a problem for me because I got married when almost noone I knew had little kids, lol!

  • 4. Leah  |  October 4, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    I did no children. It would have been an additional 41 people on our list of 600. I felt like the dance floor was flooded with adults from the first song on. Sometimes adults are dance shy with kids on the floor. Either way though, it all works out- kids or no kids!!

  • 5. Lemondrop  |  October 2, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    What I experienced at my own wedding reception is that kids get bored really easy. I wish I had a kids corner with toys, coloring books, games, small tv for videos, etc. because the kids when left unsupervised went wild with the disposable cameras I had on each table. My idea for the cameras was so my guests could capture memories that the photographer wouldn’t see, instead I got pics of forks, the floor, and various “funny face” shots from all the little kids. Long/short… have something for the kids to do, because even good parents tend to check-out a little at a wedding reception because they want to enjoy the party — unfortunately that checking-out leaves the little rug rats to run rampant getting into who-knows-what… in my case 25 cameras full of crap!

  • 6. NatC  |  October 2, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    Very well said Mary! I to have a huge family and if I were to omit the children I would get an ear full by several people! In all honesty I would much rather just invite the children and not the parents….lol! JK!


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