(Closed) Kids at Weddings…to have or not to have?

posted 7 years ago in Etiquette
  • poll: Should guests be allowed to bring kids to the ceremony and reception?

    Yes! Bring them to both!

    No, they'll be distracting and will disengage the parents.

    Bring them to the reception only.

    Just invite children of immediate family.

  • Post # 17
    394 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: May 2013

    Immediate family is fine for my wedding and a couple good friends that have small children. Neither of us have a lot of friends with kids though – he has a young niece and one of my Bridesmaid or Best Man has a baby that will be 1 at the time of our wedding but that’s about it. I have a large extended family but most of my cousins are about my age – there are a few that I would prefer didn’t accompany their parents just because they’re all elementary school age and literally the most destructive, badly-behaved children I have ever encountered lol. 

    Post # 18
    4464 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: February 2012

    I don’t necessarily think all kids will be a distraction or disengage adults from the ceremony. I think it depends. I’ve seen both ends of the spectrum. Personally, at my wedding, we had the flower girl and ring bearer, who were not immediate family, but kids of close family friends. They were funny/adorable walking down the aisle (the ring bearer saw his dad sitting in the crowd, and smiled and yelled, “Daddy!” and ran toward him), and I don’t believe they got fussy at all during the ceremony (they were four and two). If they did, I didn’t hear it, and perhaps my family friend took them outside. But again, I didn’t hear anything. My friend got married four months after me and she has many nieces and nephews. Her sister has two kids, her brothers have three kids between them, and then her husband has many married siblings with children. They ALL walked down the aisle at different times. During the ceremony, the kids set themselves up on the steps leading up to the ceremony platform. It was adorable, and I think it made for some great pictures. The kids did take some time settling themselves down, but it didn’t necessarily take anything away from the ceremony. In fact, due to family circumstances, the ceremony was actually quite sad at times, and the kids weren’t a distraction from those emotions and the touching moments. However, that was also a wedding where the kids were very much accepted and a necessary part of the entire event, so people were cool with what was going on.

    With all of that being said, I didn’t invite any other kids to my wedding besides my flower girl and ring bearer, and my friend didn’t invite any other kids to her wedding besides her nieces and nephews. The majority of the couples invited to my wedding and my friend’s wedding have young children (one family in particular had three young girls at the time, youngest being two) and no one was invited with the kids. No one expected to be invited with their kids. They got a babysitter for a couple of hours, just like if they went out to dinner and movie for a date night. I think that it’s really a matter of what you feel in your heart. I don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer to having kids – every event has a different vibe and feel based on what the bride and groom want. I think you should take a look at your guest list and see which children are in the mix, and figure out from there whether or not having them would enhance your day or not. 

    Post # 19
    2966 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    we only invited children who were immediate family (my husband’s nieces and nephews) and babies who were nursing.

    if i could do it over again, i would not invite my husbands nieces and nephews. they were running around everywhere and they just got in the way. during our first dance, my husband’s nephew was skipping around in circles around us and of course his parents were oblivious :/

    Post # 20
    1880 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: April 2013

    I like weddings more with kids, but all the kids of our friends/family are well-behaved and fun! We had 18 kids at our wedding, haha.

    Post # 21
    665 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: April 2013

    I had my two nieces who were flower girls at our wedding but that was it. We had two couples ask if they could bring children and we declined. They were welcome at the ceremony but not the reception. 

    Post # 22
    870 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    Nearly all of our guests are Out of Town, so I think if we hadn’t invited children, some of our guests wouldn’t have been able to make it.  I have a cousin who has 5 kids, and finding a babysitter would have been hard.  That said, I think we’re only going to have one baby who is under a year old and most of the others are very well-behaved, so I don’t think the kids will be much of a problem.

    Post # 23
    429 posts
    Helper bee

    View original reply
    @lilchicana:  THIS, this is why no children will be attending our ceremony or reception ๐Ÿ˜€

    Post # 24
    2440 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    I planned on having a kid free wedding until a relative of Fi’s had a breakdown over it. ๐Ÿ™‚ Apparently life is not living unless her baby is in her arms at all times.


    I say no kids. ๐Ÿ™‚ Wish I could use my own advice ๐Ÿ˜€

    Post # 25
    1783 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    We’re having kids at ours. I’ve seen where guests who have kids and are asked not to bring them, just don’t come to the wedding. We have too many guest who are parents who we want there! We want the kids to have fun too!


    we don’t have kids in our wedding party though!

    Post # 26
    447 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    We’re not having children at our wedding, not even my nephews. It is at a winery, and I don’t find it to be an appropriate place for children to be. I get annoyed at people who bring their children wine tasting with them on the weekends. It’s a grown up place–like a bar.

    I’m an elementary school teacher with baby fever. I love kids. I just don’t think that our wedding is a place for them. We considered the idea of hiring a couple sitters to watch everyone’s kids at a near-by hotel, however most of our guests said that they would find their own sitter and enjoy a grown up date night.

    Post # 27
    360 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: March 2012

    I voted for just children of immediate family, but I actually prefer totally childless weddings. They are so much better as a guest, and I imagine for the bride as well so that’s what we’ll be doing. 

    The reason I voted for immediate family children is because if you’re going to include kids, these should be the ones included, and oftentimes if you have siblings with children someone is going to throw a FIT if they can’t bring their kid to their sister’s/brother’s wedding. 

    My fiance has 8 niceces and nephews and we went through with no kids whatsoever. One sister isn’t happy at all but is respecting us about it, and the rest really don’t care. 

    Post # 28
    1900 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: July 2012

    I had about 20-25 kids (kids = under 12) at my wedding. It was fantastic! All children were really well behaved, and it was a child-friendly venue (big garden), so they ran around, played games, and enjoyed the food. I come from a really big family, so I can’t picture not having all the kids there to celebrate with us. Not only did we get some gorgeous photos of little kids on the dance floor, or setting up a little picnic on the ground with some cakes, they were also instrumental in getting the party going! Most of the people on the dance floor in the early stages of the evening were younger children, and they helped get all the adults off their feet and dancing too.

    Post # 29
    155 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

    I’ve seen children destroy ceremonies and ruin the atmosphere of receptions. The youngest guest invited to my wedding will be 15, I believe.


    Post # 30
    7322 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: September 2012

    @FutureMrsBPJ:  we had no kids at our wedding and that was a must for me. The only kids were my 13 year old sister, who was a bridesmaid, and my “niece” (7) and “nephew” (5.5). They had the option of staying, but my BFF preferred to have a sitter pick up the kids after the ceremony so she ecolodges enjoy the evening without having to spend the whole time keeping them in check.

    my opinion is skewed more than the average person because I’m a wedding photographer. I’ve NEVER attended a wedding with kids where they were not a disruption, in the way, or running their parents ragged the whole time. Obviously this isn’t the case with older kids, but unfortunately there is no easy way to put an age cutoff on in. You can’t make the cutoff 13 and tell someone their 14 year old can come but not their 11 year old. KWIM? Saturdays wedding had a kid that stuck his finger in the cake in multiple locations…to the point you couldn’t even turn it so it wasn’t seen. Aside from the fact it’s terrible behavior, it’s also gross. 

    FWIW, we only had one person we thought wold decline over the issue. In the end she did, but not because of that, but because she decided shed rather use her vacation days to take a ski trip instead of our wedding. that was totally fine, because I don’t think anyone should Feel obligated give up their vacation time and hard earned money for my wedding if they don’t want to.

    View original reply
    @Rachel631:  I respect your decision to do and raise your children however you see fit. However, it’s not the couples fault or problem that you chose to breast feed and choose not to pump. Thats fine if that’s how you want to do things, but your choices should restrict you and only you, And should not encroach onto someone else. My mother of two BFF said it best…part of being a parent is knowing that sometimes life isn’t fair and there are going to be times where your kids arent invited to things. You have to make a decision between going somewhere without your kids, or declining and stay home. 

    Post # 31
    1668 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: October 2014 - Church

    @FutureMrsBPJ:  I’ll leave that up to you.

    Pros of having kids come:

    – Everyone will be able to come

    – Avoids pre-wedding drama

    – Don’t have to pick and choose if all kids come

    – Can be really cute

    – Kids do bring another dimension to weddings that is special


    Cons of having kids come:

    – Plenty of parents won’t/can’t control their kids (crying at the ceremony, no removal from the ceremony, run around, get in the way of dancing – don’t tell me any different because I see it at the grocery store, Mass, my cousin’s wedding, at stores)

    – If you have a limit on the amount of guests you invite then you may be forced to limit the friends you want to attend because there are so many kids

    – If you pick and choose which kids there is typically some sort of drama with guests who weren’t given that option

    – Can “steal the show” from the couple

    – your reception may not be kid friendly

    – some parents may be more distracted by their kid than being able to have a good time just being around other adults


    The questions should really be: What do you want? How do you feel about kids at weddings? That’s what it really comes down to.


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