Children at the Wedding?
Often one of the most controversial choices of your wedding, the discussion on whether or not to include children at both ceremony and reception should be made as soon as possible. Although your wedding is a wonderful opportunity to include the special little people in your lives, children can be unpredictable and occasionally noisy. When you do make your choice, remember to make sure that everyone knows what your decision is from the beginning and don't cave under pressure from others. This often leads to hurt feelings and unfortunate conflicts between family and friends. As always, remember it is your special day and make the choices you know will make your wedding day what you always dreamed it could be.
Of Course the Kids Are Invited!
If you do decide to invite children to the wedding, whether they're yours or those of your guests, here are some helpful tips to guide you through the day's activities.
- During the wedding, see if it is possible to include some of the children invited in the ceremony itself. Quite often, young children play the important role of flower girl or ring bearer, but there are additional activities that could keep them involved and interested. If the children are musically inclined, perhaps they can sing a song or play an instrument before the ceremony or as part of the wedding itself. Bell ringers are also a wonderful way of including children of any age. Have selected children walk up the aisle to signal the beginning of the ceremony.
- If the children are your own, perhaps include a family creation ceremony during the wedding, acknowledging the beginning of the new family unit.
- Another idea that may help during the ceremony is to have a ‘keeper'. This would include an older member of the family, someone your guests will respect, who can keep an eye on the children during the ceremony. If they misbehave, the ‘keeper' can then ask the parents to escort them from the room (politely, of course).
- Once at the reception, prepare a gift basket or bag for your young guests that may include coloring books, play dough, miniature planes, or balloons. When looking at the website, www.favorfavor.com, you can find a variety of children-friendly favors that can be included, such as pens, pads, candy and bubbles.
- When planning the menu, remember that children may have different requirements. Discuss this with their parents and the caterers.
- Many times a babysitter can be hired to watch over the children, leaving their parents free to relax and enjoy the evening. If there are a significant number of children, a children's area or room may be made available; allowing the children to play without interfering with the adults at the reception.
It is not uncommon for brides and grooms to request that the wedding and reception be for ‘adults only.' With the additional expense of paying for guests who may not eat anything at all as well as the unpredictable nature of children in general, guests are often requested to leave their children at home with a sitter. If you would prefer not to include children, remember to alert your guests as soon as possible so that arrangements can be made. It is also extremely important to stay firm in your decision. Once you invite one child, you would then be forced to invite everyone's children, or you will run the risk of unintentionally insulting many friends and family members.
Whether you have children or not is strictly your decision. The joy and youthful beauty of children can many times enhance a wedding, while their cries and running feet may create havoc. Whatever your decision, be prepared and stand by your choice. Your wedding day is a special and momentous occasion that you will remember for a lifetime. Embrace every decision and enjoy every moment!