To kid or not to kid….
I think this has to be one of the most controversial topics at weddings.
On the one hand you have very pro kid brides , who wants everyone to bring their little ones, have a zillion flower girls and include them as much as possible in fact, after a poll I did, 68% of my followers wanted children at weddings.
And then there’s the bride or guests who feels that kids should not be invited and that it’s for adults only – a night off for parents to enjoy and let their hair down.
To be honest whatever decision you make is right, It’s totally up to you whether or not to invite children to your wedding and which children you invite! You may want just your own kids, all your nieces and nephews, or perhaps the children of all your guests – there’s no right or wrong answer, just try not to feel pressured either way!
After asking my followers why they did or didn’t invite children, there were some mixed reviews, some didn’t invite children for the reasons stated above, some didn’t invite because of budget issues, some just wanted the night off with their partner, where some invited because they didn’t want the parents traveling from far to have to leave them and most just wanted children at their weddings because they added an element of fun
Give them special jobs to do
There are lots of really special ways to include children in a wedding day, but again this needs to be thought about and planned properly in order for everyone to know what’s required of them.
Here some ways some of my followers included kids at their weddings:
Include them while the bride gets ready
Have them in the ceremony procession
Carrying the rings
Saying a poem, do a little reading or sing a song
Hand out wedding programs or the petals at the ceremony
If the bride and groom have their own children at the wedding they could light the candle or be a part of this special moment
Think about how the day will go down from start to finish
This is an important one, you really need to think of the flow of your wedding day and how the children you invited with fit in. Remember they probably won’t sit still for very long so think about whether you just want them only at the reception, once the vows have been done, or possibly only at the ceremony and then home after an early dinner. Think about the age of the children invited and your expectations from them, can they sit through an hour ceremony quietly. These are all important things to consider before inviting them.
Dressing the part
If you including children in your proceedings then its important they dressed appropriately and comfortably. All you need is a little boy keep pulling out a wedgie half way through your vows.
How to avoid tears
A great way to ensure the day runs smoothly with minimal or no tears can be easy., all it takes is just a little more planning and preparations They say its important if you including children to make sure they at the rehearsal so they know where to stand and what’s required of them. Invite a sibling or friend along for them to feel safe and comfortable
Ensure they practice walking down the isle before hand so they can be comfortable in the church and space
Lastly and most importantly, children are not robots and can’t be programmed to do what you say. If they don’t want to walk down the isle, don’t push it. The more you fuss around them the more likely it will end up in a disaster with tantrums and tears, so its best to just leave it and perhaps once it all starts they will feel more comfortable to be involved.
Make sure the ceremony & reception are kid friendly
Lots of my brides have included children and I always love seeing what they have done to make sure they have the best time.
If they involved in the bridal party, then give them something they like to play with, and that will make them feel important because they the only kids that have it.
Seat them at their own table with fun games and distractions to keep them entertained. All kids love a party pack so this is the time to get creative and spoil the little people at the wedding, it should give the parents a little time to enjoy their drinks in peace while they little ones fiddle with their toys or munch on the sweets.
Some brides provide them with their own snacks and dinner options earlier than the adults, this prevents hangry tears and also you don’t waste money on a meal that they won’t eat, , I guess not all 3 year olds want to eat prawn risotto
If you keen to include them more then here are more opportunities, whether its to help cut the cake, say a prayer or even open up the dance floor, there so many options.
One clever bride suggested wrapping the table in brown paper so they can draw on it.
Baby sitters or helpers to mind the kids
Unfortunately not everyone has the option of bringing along help to a wedding, so if you can help, provide the parents a safe space where they can leave their children during the reception with someone experienced to look after them. This way it gives the parents the best of both worlds, peace of mind and their children close on hand to check on.
For every bride they have their reasons, to include or not include children, and there is no right or wrong answer. So enjoy your day, or if you a guest enjoy the wedding, embrace or ignore the children and just remember why you at the wedding , to celebrate the happy couple, that’s all that matters at the end of the day