Should You Invite Children To Your Wedding?

Wedding couple outdoor shot

Guest List Wedding Etiquette for Kids

How to determine if you should invite kids to your wedding, and politely communicating your wishes to your guests.

Compiling your wedding guest list is no easy feat, particularly when you consider the question of whether or not you’re going to be inviting children. Having kids at your wedding can be a contentious issue, not least because you might not want them there, yet worry about hurting the feelings of their parents! This guide looks at the etiquette of inviting children to your wedding and how to go about it.

Setting Expectations Early On

If you have a blanket ban on having children attend your wedding, it’s important to set expectations early on. For example, one of your bridesmaids may have children that you’re not able or willing to invite. Weddings often have tight restrictions on numbers, so it’s perfectly reasonable that you might not want several of your guest list spots being taken up by little ones. Setting expectations early on is incredibly important if you want to avoid putting anyone’s nose out of joint. You might include a polite line on your invitations such as ‘Although we love your little ones, this is an adults-only celebration’. However, invitations traditionally go out only 6-8 weeks before your wedding date, so if you know that there are friends or family members who might be expecting to bring their children to your big day, it’s best to have a conversation about your decision in advance to avoid disappointment or miscommunication.

Choosing Some Children To Attend Your Wedding

Things can become a little more complicated when you want to invite some children to your wedding, but not others. It might be that you have nieces and nephews that you can’t imagine side-lining on your big day. Or even friends of your own children that would make excellent playmates whilst you and your new spouse are celebrating. Ultimately, it’s your wedding day and you can invite whoever you wish to, but you should be aware that some of your guests may take offence at the idea that their own offspring aren’t invited. It may also be inconvenient for them to organise childcare for the duration of your wedding, so you should be prepared that they may decide that they’re unable to attend if their children aren’t invited.

Accommodating Children

Having children at a wedding can be incredibly memorable. Lots of happy couples love watching the little ones knee-slide across the dance floor or chasing each other around the outside of a marquee. But weddings can be a long day for small kids, so it’s important to keep them entertained so that they don’t get bored or become overwhelmed. Our wedding venues Essex team are happy to cater for children, both in terms of kid-friendly menu choices as well as childcare and entertainment options. You might choose to hire an event nanny or set up a creche to keep everyone under control. Or else you could set up a crafts table with colouring activities and some giant garden games such as Jenga and Connect 4 which will provide hours of fun.

Begin by sitting down with your partner and ask yourselves the question – do we want kids at our wedding? Then come up with a rule about who or who not to invite, followed by a decision on how to convey the news to your guests with politeness but absolute clarity. Inviting children to your special day may feel like a bit of conundrum, but it’s worth discussing sooner rather than later.