Having kids at your wedding is an eternal hot topic that we see so many couples struggle with. Our suggestion? It’s a personal choice. It is 100% up to you whether you have all children, some children, or no children at all. We’re going to go through all of the aspects of having kids at your wedding, or not! We’ll talk about how to approach it on invitations, how to entertain kiddos at your wedding and even companies that specialize in entertaining kids at weddings for you so they stay engaged and no one gets into trouble. It’s a sensitive topic, we know, so let us know if you have any questions past what we discuss here.
Whether or not you’re planning on inviting kids, you need to make it very clear on your invitations. It’s perfectly fine to want to keep it an adults only affair so please don’t feel any obligation. Here’s some ways to tell your guests on your invitations and on your website. Make it as clear as possible and post it everywhere so that there’s no misunderstandings.
To Keep the Kiddos Out:
“To allow all wedding guests, including parents, a night of relaxation and uninhibited revelry, we respectfully ask that no children attend the reception.”
“We hope you will understand our decision to make the wedding children-free, and take the opportunity to let your hair down and celebrate in style!”
“Although we adore your children, due to budget/space constraints we ask that only adults attend.”
“Please join us for an adult reception at six o’clock.”
“Although we love your little ones, this is an adult only affair.”
You can also list the exact people invited on the envelope: “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” versus “The Smith Family”
To Invite All the Kiddos to the Party:
“Children welcome - activities have been planned for them!”
“Children welcome! There will be trusted childcare available.”
“A special kids reception will be provided for your little ones.”
You can also list all members of the family invited on the envelope: “Bob, Mary, Susie, Bobby, Tommy”
Having Only YOUR Kids:
A wedding is a very special moment for the bride and groom. It’s a pinnacle. If you already have children from a previous life you are absolutely in every right to only have your children at your wedding. They’re your children and your marriage is a blending of the families. They are just as important as the bride and groom and this day is just as important to them as they gain a new parent. Never feel like you have to invite other people’s children just because your kids are there.
Now that you’ve decided to invite the special kids in your life to your very important day, how do you keep them entertained, because you know you’ll need to entertain them, especially the younger ones. (Teenagers that look close to 21 but aren’t quite of age? Have your coordinators point them out to the bartenders, just in case.)
Here’s some ways to entertain your little guests:
Bounce House - Coordinator Monica always dreamt of taking these photos at her wedding and was determined to make it happen. Bonus: all three under 7 kiddos were entertained all night long.
Magician - having a magician can be entertaining for adults as well. Schedule them to walk around during cocktail hour and do a half an hour long show during your dinner (to leave time for speeches of course)
Activity Books - You can place these at the welcome table, have your coordinator hand them out, or have them placed at guest tables. These can be as simple as coloring books and crayons from the dollar store.
Bubble Machine - Keeps the kids entertained outside and makes for a great exit too. Get the heavy duty ones, we promise they’re way better than the kid kind.
In House Sitter - Traveling with kids to weddings can be tough. Maybe there’s no sitter that can care for them at home overnight or that late? Consider inviting kids to the wedding but have care for them so that their parents can kick back and relax. Did you know that there are companies specializing in wedding day childcare? Tootles Event Sitters says, “Having an adults-only event doesn’t have to add stress to anyone’s life. Tootles Event Sitters have experience working alongside family and corporate events, and they also come prepared with plenty of engaging, developmentally appropriate toys and games for the children. Plus, all sitters are CPR certified and background screened.” A great option to allow for those cherished little humans to be there but also be taken care of.
Honorable Mention: Fur-babies
For those of you with fur-kids check out Fairytale Petcare - they’re your dogs’ plus-one! They will bring them from your home to the venue, take care of them during the wedding, walk them down the aisle, and take them home for you. They take care of it all! They are nationwide!
Your wedding day should have all of your favorite people surrounding you and if that means those special kids in your life, then so be it. When deciding who to include, just make sure you won’t be looking around the room wishing someone in particular was there (or lookback and wish maybe there were a few less rambunctious dance floor VIP’s). No matter what you decide, it should be your decision and what’s best for your day!
Have you had to make a decision like this? Tell us your story in the comments below! .