Should I Have Kids at My Wedding?

People are on the fence when it comes to having children as guests at a wedding. We’ve known couples who love having them around but we’ve also met those who regret the decision. They’re sugar and spice and everything nice… until they aren’t. While we appreciate the laughter and adorable giggles they bring, deciding to have kids at your wedding calls for careful consideration. More and more couples are opting for an adults-only affair. And in today’s economy, seeing anyone below 12 is a rarity. But finances aren’t the only reason to exclude children from the guest list. If this decision is keeping you up nights, you aren’t alone. Here’s what to take into consideration…

How to Decide Whether or Not You Should Have Kids at Your Wedding

Should you extend your invitation to kids? The decision shouldn’t be taken lightly. Kids hold a special place in our hearts. You may want a niece or nephew around. Or maybe you are doing someone a kind gesture by inviting her little miss (or mister). For this reason, couples shouldn’t be too quick to decide. Below are good reasons to have the little ones over.

junior bridesmaids | Should I Have Kids at My Wedding?

Kelly Morin Photography 

8 Reasons to Have Kids at Your Wedding

Reason #1: You’ve always envisioned having kids at your wedding

If you’ve always imagined your wedding album with a ring bearer and a bevy of flower girls, then by all means, go ahead and extend an invite. Kids provide warmth to an otherwise, stiff and formal event. Sure, they run around (and may even break a glass or two), but with proper planning and something to keep them occupied, they are a joy to be around.

Reason #2: You enjoy spending time with kids

Most kids are well-behaved and are actually fun to be with! Children are interesting conversationalists. You’d be surprised at what they have to say (and how riveting they are able to say it!). If you enjoy spending time with them, you won’t regret having kids on your big day.

Reason #3: You have quite a few kids in your life that you spend considerable time with

Don’t leave out your best bud just because he stands three feet tall! If your little man or your special little miss holds a special place in your heart, why not invite them? People you spend considerable time with are usually the ones closest to you. Your big day just wouldn’t be complete without them.

groom with flower girl | Should I Have Kids at My Wedding?

Kelly Morin Photography

Reason #4: You’re able to afford to have kids at your wedding

Having kids at your wedding party can cost you a pretty penny. You might want a hired chaperon, a special menu for them, or a little nook that would keep them occupied for the rest of the luncheon or dinner. Some couples spend a considerable amount for a separate area complete with tables, chairs, a play area, and wedding party favors. If the added cost is reasonable and within your budget, then by all means, have the little ones come!

Reason #5: You plan on making your wedding pretty kid-friendly

Some couples want a laid-back, kid-friendly atmosphere. And why not? Kids add a certain magic. And those moments wedding photographers are able to capture? Priceless! kids table at wedding | Should I Have Kids at My Wedding?

Reason #6: A lot of close family members and friends have kids

It may be awkward to invite a couple of your nearest and dearest without extending the same invite to their little ones. This becomes an even bigger dilemma for destination weddings. If kids are part of the plan, a wedding party with a homey atmosphere is a feeling you’d want to remember for a lifetime!

Reason #7: The venue you’ve picked out can accommodate enough guests to have kids at your wedding

If your chosen wedding venue is large enough to accommodate adults and kids, then it’s a go. A large venue guarantees a great time for everyone because there’s room to roam around when things get too hectic inside.

Reason #8: Family members are willing to help out more financially in order to include kids at your wedding

If family members are happy to help you with the added costs in order to include kids at the wedding, then the choice is easy! Accommodating the younger set doesn’t come cheap. You might need to hire a chaperone, pay for a separate kid-friendly menu, order party favors for kids, or even hire an activity area to keep them occupied. If everyone is on board with this, then consider yourselves a lucky. Ticked more than half of the reasons? Then kids would make your wedding party complete!

8 Reasons to Not Have Kids at Your Wedding

If you swung the other way and ended up short, don’t fret. There are good reasons why inviting kids to your wedding may not be a good idea.

Reason #1: Your venue doesn’t have room to accommodate additional guests

Inadequate space spells disaster. Trimming down a wedding guest list is difficult! Adding kids to the mix, even more so! Restless and exhausted kids will need room to breathe and roam. If your venue can accommodate a specific number of guests, best to stick to that figure.

Reason #2: You wince at the idea of kids running around during your wedding or babies crying during the ceremony

Meltdowns, running around, tantrums, screaming, and crying … these things are the stuff of parents’ nightmares. If the mere thought of it all puts you in a foul mood, don’t risk it. Weddings are supposed to be stress-free. two kids together in forest | Should I Have Kids at My Wedding?

Reason #3: You don’t have any room in the budget for more guests

This is one good reason not to have kids at weddings. Kids’ needs must be respected. If accommodating them by way of an additional menu or chaperone isn’t within your means, then the prudent decision is leaving them out.

Reason #4: There aren’t even many kids in the family, and you don’t have many friends who have kids

Not too many kids in your circle? No problem! If you don’t have any friends who have kids, they won’t be as understanding as those who do. Best to leave them out of the festivities.

Reason #5: You’re having an open bar, and you want the adults to have fun without worrying about any kids

With kids in tow, guests won’t have the time nor luxury to switch the parenting button off. If you plan to have an open bar and want the adults to have fun without the worry, let them know in advance that kids aren’t invited. Give them time to make the necessary arrangements for a sitter especially if the venue is out of town. Alcohol and kids do not mix!

Reason #6: Most of your guests are local/in-state

If most of your guests live within a few minutes’ drive from the wedding venue, their kids don’t need to be invited. But do give them advanced notice that your wedding is an adults-only affair. They will still need time to make arrangements for a sitter until they return. two kids walking together on a bridge | Should I Have Kids at My Wedding?

Reason #7: You’re not a huge fan of kids to begin with

No judgments here! Some of us just aren’t meant to be with kids. You don’t hate them, but you just don’t want them around on your big day. We get you! And we agree. If their presence will put you on edge, best to leave them at home.

Reason #8: Most of the kids that would be invited are quite disruptive and loud

Kids will be kids. If most of the kids that you plan to invite are disruptive and loud, best to leave them out of the list. This isn’t just for your sake, but for the other guests as well. Weddings are milestones with poignant parts. Tantrums and meltdowns are the last things anyone would want to hear when the bride and her father are having an emotional moment.

How to Tell Your Guests that You Won’t Be Having Kids at the Wedding

Being honest upfront is the only way to go. A wedding is an event that must be respected. And guests must be gracious enough to honor the couple’s wishes. However, do anticipate that an adults-only affair will most likely offend someone. To avoid animosity, be mindful of what you say and how you say it. Here’s what we’ve gathered from those who’ve gone the adults-only path…
  1. In order to allow all guests an evening of relaxation, we’ve chosen our wedding to be an adult-only occasion. We hope this advance notice means that you’ll be able to share our big day and will enjoy having the evening off!

  2. To give the adults the chance to let their hair down and have a good time, we’re requesting that this day be adult only.

  3. While we love to watch the children run and play, this is an adults-only kind of day.

  4. Although we love the kiddos, we wish for this occasion to be adults-only so we can all relax and have some fun!

  5. Adult-only Event

  6. No Children Please

  7. Make our wedding a date night and leave the kids at home! We’re asking you to help us keep this an adults-only event.

  8. Leave the Littles

  9. Please note that this will be an adults-only event.

  10. We respectfully request no children under 16 at this event.

  11. Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate children—thank you for your understanding.

  12. Due to limitations, this is an adults-only event.

  13. We love your kids, but we thought you might like a night off. Adults only please!

  14. Children of immediate family only, please.

  15. Due to budget/venue restrictions, we’ve chosen to make this an adults-only event. Thank you for understanding!

bride with flower girl | Should I Have Kids at My Wedding?

Stephanie Holsman Photography

Conclusion  Whatever kind of invitation you extend, keep a good sense of humor about it. If little Caitlyn couldn’t keep her hands off the cake, don’t throw a fit. Simply have the photographer catch the moment. Should you decide to leave them out but end up with a small tiff about it, politely explain that it’s a decision you and your fiancé didn’t take lightly. And that you hope that they respect this wish on your big day. Would you have other pieces of advice you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you! Buzz us or comment on the section below.

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