Wednesday, May 6, 2009

GET WED WEDNESDAY: rugrats in bowties

To include children or not to include children? That is the question for many couples these days as they plan their weddings. For some, it is a no-brainer because children are an integral part of their lives; an element they couldn't imagine their wedding without. For others, a wedding celebration is an event exclusively for adults; the pitter patter of little feet would be most unwelcome in a ballroom full of champagne and dancing. Lots of couples find themselves under a huge amount of pressure regarding whether or not to allow children at their wedding, with friends and relatives telling them what to do or threatening not to attend. As a former bride, a wedding professional and a mother with three wedding invitations sitting on the kitchen counter right now, I have been on all sides of this issue and have some thoughts to share.
  • Understand that you won't be able to please everyone. If your Grandma declares that weddings are inappropriate for kids while your cousin insists she must bring her triplets.....well, someone is going to be unhappy. That's life. It is your wedding not their's, so plan it the way you see fit.
  • Babies are a different story than kids. Even if you don't plan to invite children you may want to consider making an exception for small babies. Leaving a newborn with a sitter is difficult, and if the mother is breastfeeding it may be impossible.
  • While lots of the bridal advice resources suggest hiring a sitter to care for your guests children while they are at your wedding, I'm less than enthusiastic about this idea. I'm happy to leave my kids with a babysitter that I've chosen and am comfortable with. But I would never leave them with someone I don't know, even if the bride endorses him/her. It just wouldn't happen.
  • Including kids may make your wedding a little unpredictable, especially if they are in the wedding party. Captain was the ringbearer at his Aunt Chrissy's wedding. During the rehearsal he was golden; he walked the aisle, did his little part and then sat and played quietly for the rest of the ceremony. The next day, he looked cute as pie in his tiny tuxedo and walked down the aisle perfectly. However, after handing over his ring pillow he proceeded to share a running commentary of the event! "what is that thing in Aunt Chrissy's hair?.....when that lady is done reading her story I'm going to clap.....those flowers are red and I'm going to smell them...." On and on and on. Fortunately most of the guests (and the bride) found it sweet. But that sort of disruption would have driven some brides to tears.
  • Know that if you don't allow children, some of your guests may have to decline your invitation, particularly if they would have to travel. Don't take it personally. Childcare is expensive and often difficult to arrange, especially for small children.
What experiences have you had with children at weddings? Share your thoughts, adive and stories.


Ashley said...

Hubs and I included two four year olds in our service. And boys at that. I think the most important part as the bride is realizing that not everything will go according to plan and to expect the unexpected... no Bridezilla moments will make the day a lot more enjoyable and memorable.
Have a great one!

Kylie4984 said...

We are having our neices and nephews in the wedding, but as far as kid guests..our decision was made on numbers alone...When you come from a family as big as need to find creative ways to make it less that 500 people at the cousins that are under 21 aren't even invited. infants..and breastfeeding children are always welcome as far as I am concerned!