Should You Have Children At Your Wedding?
The debate to have or not have children at your wedding can become a pretty heated conversation. We dive in to the view of both sides to help you hash this out.
Welcome to our blog. I have spent decades helping couples with the tough choices they need to make through out their wedding planning. Now, heres your chance to get professional, realistic, and practical advice to help you navigate your way to a stress-less wedding day.
Be Prepared For This Big Decisions
"Saying you don't want children at the wedding can have lasting consequences, but with these tips you may just save a avoid a devastating relationship ending."
Deliberating the Positives and the Negatives.
To have or not have children at the wedding, that is the question! This seems to be an extremely sensitive subject and one that often causes many unwanted stresses and hurt feelings from both the guests and the couple getting married. Having helped many couples through this, I honestly can see both sides. After all, it is the couple’s party. Shouldn't they be able to invite whoever they want? Being a parent myself, I can also empathize with those with children and feeling as if my children are not welcome to the same event I am requested to attend. So, how do we come to a compromise or a happy medium?
When I am helping couples with the issue of not wanting children in attendance at their wedding and trying to help them manage their way through the topic; I ask them, why is it that they don’t want to have children there? We need to analyze the “why” carefully so, I know best how to help them. I find often there are many preconceived ideas that may not be accurate for their wedding.
Sometimes their response is from bad experiences they've had at other peoples weddings, it may be they think it is an all adult affair and children shouldn't be part of that, it may be the additional cost for children, or it could just be they imagine children running all over and disrupting the atmosphere.
Looking at it from purely a “planning” side, I totally understand it. However, I don’t usually look at it as just a planner. I also want to help them address the subject from a concerning, caring, and long term thought process. I want to help make sure that there are not long term negative results from their decision. Unfortunately, I have seen many long-time relationships end in irreparable hurt feelings and I just don’t want that to happen needlessly.
So, we will examine this subject carefully from a unique perspective for each wedding. As we begin the process of considering not inviting children, I want to introduce several things to think about. The 1st thing we need to make clear is that this is a very sensitive subject and just because one person has a particular feeling or opinion on the topic, doesn't mean everyone shares the same view point.
Once careful thought and consideration has been given to the subject, if the couple still decides not to have children at the wedding, I will give several fool proof ways to ensure children are not in attendance.
The 1st question we must ask is, “Why not have children at the wedding?” In other words, how does the couple visualize the addition of children at their event? There are several answers I usually hear when I ask this question. Some couples tell me they don’t want the chaos of children running around, or they don’t want to pay for the extra meals. Some say they think children will distract form their “spotlight”, while others may tell me they honestly just don’t like children. Of course, I am not judging any of their answers; they are entitled to their feelings and viewpoint. Having a personal connection to all my clients, I feel it is my responsibility and obligation to warn them of the possible repercussion of their choice, and how they may be able to avoid a disastrous outcome.
Reality of Having Children Present
Once I find out why no children are “welcome” at the wedding, I like to address the specific reason and if there is a solution we could implement then maybe children can attend and everyone can be happy, because the truth is, most likely, people’s feelings will be hurt when they find out their children are not welcome.
After deciding why the couple desires to exclude children, I suggest assembling the guest list to determine how many and what the children’s ages are that may actually attend. I have experienced a few cases where only a few children would potentially come to the event and happened to be under the age of two or at an age and temperament that it was determined there wouldn't be any of the issues they once feared.
Alternatives to Not Restricting Children
Let’s look at a few common situations and some possible quick fixes:
Problem: The couple doesn't want to pay for children, because it is viewed as a waste of money.
Potential Fix: When children are under the age of 3 they may not require their own meal. In addition, many caterers offer children under 12 a much less expensive meal option.
Problem: The couple doesn't want a bunch of kids running around at their wedding.
Potential Fix: A couple possible solutions to consider are providing some type of entertainment for the children or arrange on-site childcare. In years past, my experience with the majority of these situations is that most parents have kept a pretty close eye on their children as far as wedding etiquette is concerned. However, in recent years, I have seen an influx of parents who think their children misbehaving is somehow admired and assume everyone thinks it is kind of cute. Of course, I keep in mind the couple knows their family and friends’ ”parenting skills” much better than I do.
Problem: “It is an adult event and I don’t think it is appropriate for kids to be around all that “partying”.
Potential Fix: The majority of weddings we produce, parents tend to take their children home shortly after dinner. In general, parents want to get their children to bed at a certain time thus avoiding any “inappropriate adult behavior”.
Problem: We want to party with our friends and don’t want to spoil it with their kids distracting them.
Potential Fix: If friends share the same intentions of wanting to party, they will most likely secure child care on their own.
Okay, so we have examined the whys, the amount, the ages, the temperaments, and if it is still decided NO CHILDREN! What happens now? Stay tuned for part 2. I will be offering all of my tips on ways to ensure no children will be in attendance and ways to “soften” the blow.
Happy Wedding Planning~Queen V