The Great Debate: Kids Attending Weddings

They’re cute, they’re funny, and they’re probably just as mature as some of your drunk adult friends, but do you want kids invited to your wedding? This is a debate I know many couples and parents of couples struggle with, including some of my friends and family. Here are a few tips I’ve picked up along the way to help you with some of the kids vs. adult issues.

1. Should children be invited at all?

Some couples are totally open to kids being at their wedding. It’s the perfect spot for both little ones and adults can enjoy themselves. I mean, come on, there’s cake AND dancing. Youngsters and old folks love both! However, my first suggestion would be to look at your venue. Is it at a kid-friendly place? If your ceremony and reception are at a park with wide open spaces and areas to play, why not invite them? If you’re planning a cocktail party in the downtown of a city at nighttime, I probably wouldn’t recommend it. Parents will make the ultimate decision, but if your venue isn’t kid-friendly, don’t feel pressured to invite kids just because you don’t want to offend someone.

2. Communicating to your guests.

There’s a couple suggestions I have for adult-only ceremonies and receptions.

-First, a guest should look at how the invite is addressed. If the invite says “The Smith Family,” that is a cue that both the adults as well as the children are invited. If the invitation is addressed to “Mr. and Mrs. John Smith,” that’s an indication that just the adults are invited and not the kids.

-If you don’t feel like guests will particularly pay attention to the way an envelope is addressed or you are worried guests are going to bring their children regardless, make it very clear on the invitation. A suggestion would be: “While children are a blessing, we ask that this be an adult-only celebration.” See? Nice but direct.

Kids' Buffet3. Directing adult guests away from a kids’ buffet.

Now let’s switch things up a little bit. When kiddos are invited, sometimes adults are tempted by kid-friendly foods. If you are serving younger guests a separate meal from adults and it isn’t plated, I always suggest put the kids’ buffet in a different area from the adults. Adults do love chicken fingers too (especially this girl)! It might help to post some signage with something along these lines: “Although we love kids at heart, this buffet is reserved for those guests ages 12 and under.”

Regardless of what you decide, is completely up to you. It is your day after all. Kids can both add to and take away from the day’s celebrations, so maybe keep in mind nap time of the younger ones!

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