As another year comes to a close, many are looking forward to a new year and, possibly, a big event…(NYE and Christmas engagements anyone?). As you begin to start the initial planning, you’re probably asking yourself about the guest list and who makes the cut. Many couples struggle with whether or not to invite kids to their wedding as it can become disruptive and kids can be hard to manage at big venues. Honestly, for every couple who get excited about kids at weddings, there’s another couple who really dislike the idea. Neither couple is wrong, it’s just important to consider all the facts. Here are a few guidelines for avoiding hurt feelings or upsetting guests who do, or don’t, want kids around.
Set an Age Limit:
Just because you want your niece or nephew to participate in your wedding doesn’t mean you have to allow every kid under the age of 13. It’s ok to only invite children who are close family members or the children of close family members. We recommend not sending out any “ceremony only” invites to kids. In an attempt to be inclusive you’ll actually be making it more difficult for both parents and child. No one wants to go home before the party.
Set Clear Boundaries:
Regardless of whether you do or don’t want children at your wedding, you need to be explicit in your intentions. Many people just assume that their kids are invited, or they’re afraid to ask. Adding something as simple as, “and family,” will clear up a lot of uncertainty. If you are only having a ring bearer and flower girl, simply state that in the invitations.
Managing the Kiddos:
If you are inviting kids to the wedding, make sure you check with the venue as some places will have guidelines. At Rolling Ridge, we just ask that children aren’t allowed to run around unattended. If we see unchaperoned kids we’ll give them a double shot of espresso and a puppy to take home (we’re kidding, but can you imagine?!). A good way to avoid that and still allow for everyone to have fun is to hire a chaperone. If you know a teenager or young adult who would be available for a few hours, it’s kind of a win-win-win.