Kids at a wedding…

posted 2 years ago in Logistics
Post # 2
42117 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

ZeroSixty4:  First as a Mom, I am not at all offended if invitations sent to DH and myself do not include children. I am not in the camp that believes that children are entitled to go everywhere their parents go, nor do I think they need to. If I were travelling from out of town, I would leave the children either with family or friends at home. If I wasn’t able to do that I would either bring a sitter with us from home, or hire a professional through the hotel.

As a bride I did not have children, other than my own, at either wedding. My idea of fun as a kid was never to sit still and be quiet in a church, then sit still be quiet and have a formal meal at a reception. I think that is incredibly boring to children and parents who drag them along are not doing their children any favors.

There comes an age when children are older and actually like to attend more formal social affairs. Then it is up to their parents to teach them proper manners and ensure that their behavior at the wedding does not detract from anyone else’s enjoyment of the wedding.

That being said, every bride and groom is entitled to make their own decision- whatever works for them. If invited guests disagree with a no children wedding, they have the option to decline.

Post # 3
7030 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

ZeroSixty4:  In my circle, it’s normal to get a babysitter and go out without kids.

I would however make an exception for breastfeeding age infants, because they don’t run around (so don’t disrupt) and hard if not impossible to get babysat. Again, it is normal in my circle that infants are an exception. Most mothers are considerate enough to take an infant out if he or she gets fussy. (Unlike older kids, infants do not tend to cry without warning – they usually start fussing first).

It is also ok to make an exception for kids you actually know, like your immediate nieces and nephews (siblings’ children), so long as you are consistent. (i.e. don’t invite some nieces/nephews but not others. It’s ok to invite your siblings’ kids but not your cousins’ kids though).

We only had 2 kids at our wedding (my two nieces) and as a guest, my kids have been invited to the weddings of some close relatives – not all – and I’ve been fine with it either way. My kids have never been invited to friends’ weddings.

Post # 4
1629 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2014 - Church

ZeroSixty4:  This is my experience with kids at weddings … There is no real standard in my region. There has been a mix of people who absolutely adore having the kids at their weddings and people who wouldn’t dream of it. I haven’t seen anyone have activity stations for kids. The weddings that do have kids under 10 that I have been to, the kids have typically stayed until pretty late (10-11 p.m.). The ones where there were a lot of kids took over the dance floor leaving other adult guests off the dance floor – but those brides adore kids and had a blast dancing with them, though there were times that I wasn’t sure because the kids ran around during the first dance and whatever else.

Even within my own family it varies. I am more of a no kids at weddings (same with my older sister) but my younger sister wouldn’t dream of having a wedding without kids – luckily for me it is my older sister who is more than happy to leave the kids at home and the other doesn’t have any. I will also add that some parents are really great and will exercise some control over their kids so that they are behaving but there are also parents who will do nothing and think their child is the cutest thing since ever when in reality the kid is a demon child.

Personally, I think that day weddings are great to include kids but if you have a late evening wedding with a late dinner start it may not be good for those with toddlers to maybe six or seven years old. Older children and teens would probably be just fine. However, if you are inviting any children you need to invite all and that is really more of a parent’s discretion at that point.

Anyways, ultimately it is down to what you and your FI want. No one else. This is your wedding. If you could not see yourself celebrating without those children there then have them there. If you feel sort of meh about it (don’t care either way) and have close relatives that feel strongly that their children should be there, then by all means invite them. If you and your FI absolutely do not want them there then have a child free wedding. When it comes down to it you decide who you want to celebrate your wedding with and no matter what you do someone will be unhappy with something.

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 2 months ago by  laceydoilies.
Post # 5
26 posts
  • Wedding: May 2015 - Backyard

I am having a cut-off age at my wedding–no one under the age of 12–which will allow my sister and some younger cousins, but no miniature noise makers. I am counting on the open bar driving certain (hyper-religious) parents of over-12 children to reconsider attending.

Post # 6
5392 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2014

We had 3 children at the wedding: OH’s 16 and 11 year old cousins (the 11 year old was a bridesmaid), and my 12 year old cousin. We didn’t invite any other children, for a few reasons; mainly because we were strictly limited to 62 and so only invited people we are close to. We’re not close to any other children, and so didn’t invite them. The style of wedding was also very adult, with the venue, food, music and ambience just not suited to lots of small children. We’re very happy with the decision we made; we had zero complaints and everyone had a blast and commented on how great the atmosphere was. I strongly believe that having children there would have totally changed that, and not in a positive way.

However, it’s each to their own. We’re attending a wedding next year which will be totally different to ours. It will be more than double the size, for a start, and will have a much more family-oriented atmosphere, with kid’s menus (our venue didn’t offer them), kid-friendly disco, etc etc. That’s what the couple want as they have a child themselves, and have lots of children in their family.

So my advice is to do whatever you want; just if you decide not to invite children or to only invite some children, try to be fairly consistent eg invite only children you are close to/that are immediate family/have an age cut-off, etc. If you do invite children and will have a lot under 10, then I definitely think providing some form of entertainment for them is a good idea.

Post # 7
1080 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

We had a bunch of kids at our wedding and it was fine. We had a kids table for the majority of them but some preferred to be with their parents and a couple we put near other family members (we talked to the parents to ask their preference). Actually the kids dancing got a bunch of people on the dance floor and there are some really great pictures of them. 

We had no cut-off age, just invited all the kids. I think about a quarter of the parents opted to not bring their children. I didn’t find that anyone left earlier than usual or that the kids were disruptive.

We did not have activities. The majority of the kids had some sort of little game device or ipad or something near them anyway. We also had an open bar and the venue was upscale. Our food was also more upscale but there was a children’s option which a bunch of them opted for. We also flanked the kids table with tables made up of parents so they could see their kid without being at the same table. 

Post # 8
405 posts
Helper bee

I prefer weddings without kids.  I am not a kid person, and witnessing crying, temper tantrums, sticking fingers into cake, and other things is not my idea of a good time.

Post # 9
579 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

I never bring my kids to weddings. But, I’m not excluding kids from mine. We’re the last of the adults to get married, and everyone has kids. Some are traveling from out of state, so I kind of want all the cousins together. My 13 yo daughter is one of my bridesmaids, and my toddler is my ring bearer. I’m having his babysitter stay with us/him for the whole wedding weekend. This is so I’m not the only one taking care of him while I’m trying to be a bride. Im 99% sure though, that only family is bringing kids. I’ve never seen our friends bring their kids to weddings either.

Post # 10
1981 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

FI is adamant about having a child free wedding with the exception of the flower girls and ring bearer (3). I love kids, but think weddings are an improper place to bring them. We will be making an exception for breast feeding infants- there are 2 (though I’m not thrilled about it). Our ceremony is outdoors and we really dont want any fussing, crying, etc from any children at all. If one starts fussing and crying, then it is already a disruption and they have to walk the length of a football field to get into a building. This is our current plan. The flower girls (who are toddlers) will be escorted away from the wedding ceremony into a nearby building after they walk down the aisle. We will have a professional sitter watch them over the ceremony. I’m REALLY hoping the parents will respect our desire to have no children at our 15 minute wedding ceremony and either leave the baby with the professional sitter (or have one parent stay with the baby during the ceremony if they are not comfortable with a sitter). 

During the reception, there is a room upstairs from the ballroom we will turn into a kids room with the sitter for napping, breast feeding, and toddler activities. Hopefully the parents use it! I’ll be calling each individually to see what they think.  

Post # 11
714 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

IMO I think weddings are about bringing families together, which includes children. However, I am the eldest cousin (of 15 on my mom’s sides) and we all live within 30 minutes of each other. I am very close with my aunts, unlces, cousins and invited them all. I completely understand why some opt for child-free weddings though.

Post # 12
4739 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

ZeroSixty4:  I’m going to weigh in as both a bride and a wedding photographer.

As a bride : I had a childfree wedding. The only “kid” was my 13 year old sister who was a bridesmaid. Aside from that we had a RB & FG (the children of my MOH) and while they were welcome to stay their mom promptly had the sitter pick them up after photos.

As a photographer : Children at weddings. ::sigh:: I hate to come off as negative nancy, but oh my gosh it is such a pain. It’s not that children are bing BAD, it’s that they’re being kids. And it’s disruptive and incredibly rude to the bride/groom and other guests who are trying to enjoy themselves.

My opinion is, if you’re having a casual afternoon wedding, bring the the kids. If you are having a formal wedding (ie: dinner, drinking, dancing – in the evening) leave the kids at home. Every wedding I do with kids there they are disrutive and constantly in the way of everyone. We’d all like to think the parents would watch their kids, but sadly I can promise you that is NEVER the case. The kids typically run free getting into everything while the parents are off chatting it up. Last weekend’s wedding a little girl (about 3?) was on the dance floor early. Sounds harmless right? Well lit was untill the wedding got later, the music got louder, and the guests got more rowdy. The parents wouldn’t remove the kid despite the guests all trying to dance because she would start to cry. Um…how about it’s almost 10pm and probably a good time for her to leave anyway. It really does baffle me the kind of stuff I see at weddings.

FWIW, my wedding was at an open air venue on a marina. Venue w/ no doors + docks + water + tons of alcohol = no kids in my book. We didn’t get any resistance, because our friends are awesome!! They all regularly go out for kid free nights, and still manage to function as humans without their children. Everyone got a sitter and had a blast. We had a handful of guests (mostly family) that RSVP’ed no, I’m assuming because of their kids, which was totally fine for us. We never made any excuses for it. It was never about budget or space or anything like that. I will say though, in regards to budget we wanted awesome food and full bar, and I personally had no desire to up our venue fee (which was by person, just to rent it, no food) AND our food bill for kids.

Post # 13
4483 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

We have 3 kids in our close family and will be inviting them only, although if FI’s cousin comes from out of state, we will allow an exception for his young son, since we don’t expect them to leave him with a stranger. I really want to have my high school friend there, but she is a single mom who may not have a sitter, so I’m not sure what to do.

Post # 14
4739 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

thanlon_88:  But family is different to everyone. I see that comment a lot “weddings are about bringing family together, kids should come”. Fair enough, but that’s your view on weddings. That’s no different than telling a childfree couple that they aren’t a family because they don’t have kids. Everyone has a different view of family. Some weddings it’s expected and normal for kids to be there, and that’s totally okay. But to say that everyone should allow kids at their wedding because it’s a family event would mean that everyone should view family the same way.

Post # 15
3 posts

I have nieces and a nephew who are not well behaved.  My brother and sister in law let the crowd watch them when they’re amongst adults and having their own fun.  I’ve spent more family gatherings keeping them out of the street and safe.  They just assume that someone will watch them.  I don’t want my wedding guests having to run after unruly 3 year-olds while my brother drinks and dances.  Additionally, my venue has priceless antiques and it’s an evening wedding.  It’s not child-friendly.  These kids are exhausted by 7:30.  The cost is a bit of a factor too.  $115 x 10 kids at a 60-70 person wedding is a big jump in catering.  We’d likely have to cut friends from the guest list to meet our budget if we allowed children.

I’ve been trying to figure out how to handle it and I think we’re going to have my dad talk to my brother and we’ll provide information for an acquaintance of mine who is a nanny on the wedding website.  

We never went to weddings with my parents as children.  I don’t want to hurt my relationship with my brother, but I also don’t want to be responsible for destruction of antiques and I don’t want screaming at my wedding. 

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