Adults Only Affair or Family Fun? How to Decide if You Should Allow Kids at Your Wedding
We’re getting real with you today. Should you have kids at your wedding? Whether this is a part of the wedding planning you’ve looked forward to for years, or the question you’ve been avoiding all along, it’s a topic that begs you to ask some hard questions. No matter what your opinion is, it’s totally valid! But in case you’ve been on the fence, it might be time to whip out an old T-chart for some pros and cons. Because at the end of the day, this is a decision you’ll want to be comfortable with. And nothing says solidarity in a choice like a good old fashioned list.
Photo by Hannah Rose Gray
Photo by Reality and Retrospect from this wedding jacket roundup
Pro | The Cute Factor
We’ll start with the obvious. Children in mini bowties or mini shoes or mini tulle skirts are just plain adorable. They’ll add an element of warmth to your day and are sure to garner some smiles and “awwwws.” If you don’t believe us, we’ve got the evidence to back it up here, here and even here. Plus, you’ll have a ball helping your flower girl + ring bearer search for the perfect wedding day attire because again, little ones are fun to dress up.
Photo by Olivia Rae James
Photo by M&J Photography
Con | The Potential for Chaos
On the flipside is the not so cute stuff. The potential for tantrums, hissyfits, unwillingness to walk down the aisle or just plain rowdiness. Kids are unpredictable, and much like adults when they find out the restaurant is out of mozzarella sticks, they’ll cry over anything and everything. You probably don’t picture a child screaming out during your vows or first dance, but hey, when you throw kids in the mix – it’s the kind of thing that can happen.
Photo by Amanda K Photography
Photo by Sophie Epton from this painterly wedding inspiration
Pro | The Treasured Memories
Weddings are a golden opportunity for those sweet and meaningful moments both you and the important littles in your life will treasure for years to come. Not to mention, you’ll seem like a god in their eyes for inviting them to a grown-up event that’s super important. This kind of stuff sticks. If you were ever a flower girl or ring bearer when you were younger (skill and temperament aside), you’ll totally know what we mean.
Photo by Birds of a Feather from this 10 year vow renewal
Photo by M&J Photography
Con | The Guest Count
One thing to keep in mind is that as the guest count goes up, so does the cost. Your caterer is likely charging per head, and kiddos count too. You may have to add an extra table specifically for the kids, which means additional rentals, kid-friendly decor, etc. Another consideration is the capacity of your venue. Will opening the invitation up to kids affect this?
Photo by Mariel Hannah
Photo by Kaylee Chelsea Photography from this chic Malibu wedding
Pro | Fun, Youthful Energy
Kids are undeniably entertaining. They’ll bring a playful spirit to your day, keeping it all smiles (for hopefully all the time!). If you love interacting with children on the daily, or just love watching them kick it on the dance floor, their carefree attitude just may add the element of fun you want for your big day. And encourage the adults to let loose too.
Photo by Patrick Moyer via Grey Likes Weddings
Photo by Kim Stockwell
Con | Losing the Parents
Distracted parents are just a part of the bargain. They’ll be keeping an eye on their younger kiddos throughout the day, which may mean bathroom breaks during the Father of the Bride speech, or just pockets where they need to take their kids out to run amuck or settle down. If you want the parents to be present for the full shebang, this is definitely something to think about.
Photo by ctroia via Green Wedding Shoes
Photo by Sally Pinera
Pro | The Parents will Thank You
BUT, the Parents will totally sing your praises from saving them from making babysitting plans, or if they’re having to travel for the wedding, weekend arrangments with family. There’s a whole lotta extra work that goes into making separate plans for the kids, so giving them the option to stay together (if they aren’t dying for a kids-free weekend) just may be a lifesaver.
Photo by Stephanie Brazzle
Photo by Lara Hotz from this whimsical wedding
Con | Requires Additional Planning
Still, saving the parents from extra planning does put the work on you. You’ll have to think about things like a kid’s table without elaborate (breakable) decorations, a separate kids-room, maybe a professional sitter to keep watch… You’ll also need to throw in some kid-friendly food options and specialized entertainment (i.e. games + activities) that will keep them occupied for a while. If you’re having a wedding that extends late into the night, you may want to consider a transportation option that allows them to leave a bit earlier too. Which again, includes the parents.
Photo by Heather Forsythe
Photo by Amanda K Photography
We know it’s a tough decision to make either way. The good news is, you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to. If you want to have a flower girl and ringbearer because they are important kids in your life, but not open up the floodgates for your 200+ wedding guests to bring their kids, that’s totally fine. If you want to invite kids to the ceremony, but keep the reception an adult-only event, also fine. If you want to give an age cut-off… you guessed it. Totally fine! The beauty of being the celebrity couple is that you get to make the calls that are best for you, so think about the ambiance you want to have, the amount of planning you can take on, and the memories you want to make. And don’t sweat the small stuff! Literally 😉