Having Children At Weddings? Here’s Everything You Need To Consider

31st October 2022

To have or not to have? Choosing to have kids at your wedding can be a tricky conversation, and often it’s quite a sensitive one to discuss and inform your guests about. That’s why we have put together the ultimate guide for you to consider.

It’s something which always comes up, sooner or later: should we invite kids to our wedding? The pre-events? The reception?

For some couples, it’s an easy yes or no; but sometimes, parents, families and wedding guests definitely cloud our judgement, pass comments, or add to the confusion. We definitely sound like a broken record when we say that your wedding is your big day, and you truly need to do what’s best for you: including your relationship, your budget, and even your families.

Here’s a few of our top considerations, key questions, and tips for having children at your wedding.

Here’s what you need to consider:

1. Venue Capacity: Review your guest list, your numbers, and whether or not you can comfortably fit the children into your dream venue. Depending on your guest list, it can considerably change your guest list numbers.

2. Budget: Something to keep in mind is the cost per head for children, whilst it might be slightly cheaper if your caterer is doing set kids meals, this still might considerably add to your costs. You might prefer keeping that extra budget for other ways to treat your guests!

3. The Destination: Is it a destination wedding, or is it a local wedding? Are you paying for accommodation or meals at the venue? Be aware of any of the added costs which might come with this.

4. The Atmosphere: Children are innocent and pure little souls, who can really give you the sweetest (and most comical!) little moments.

5. What Do You Want? Sometimes your gut tells you exactly what you want to hear, if you and your partner have always really wanted flower girls, page boys, and children as ring bearers – then it’s a no-brainer!

6. The Guests: It’s important to think of your guests: will they enjoy more or less with children there? Does this depend on the event? Are they likely to enjoy more, or stress more in the absence or presence of their children?

7. The Wedding Party: If you’re the last of your siblings or cousins to get married, there’s a strong likelihood that you have tons of nieces and nephews, and maybe you can’t really imagine your big day without them? This might determine your general children rules.

8. Families: Whilst this shouldn’t be the sole and greatest consideration, in South Asian households, your families are likely to have an opinion and want a say in the decision as well. It’s good to understand their views, but at the end of the day, you’ll need to find a middle ground that you are the most comfortable with. If you don’t want children there, and you families do, keep reading for some of our top tips on how to keep children occupied.

How about if I only invite some children, and not the others?

Whilst there’s no reason not to do this, it can always be a tricky one. You want to be very clear about your ‘having children at your wedding’ rules.

The easiest work around of this can be: inviting the children within the families, and sending our Adult-Only invitations to all your other guests. It’s always tricky territory if you’re inviting some children of some of your friends, and not of the other friends in the same group – but, every circumstance is different!

It’s also totally ok to invite children to some of the events, and not all of them. The likelihood is that they might enjoy the daytime wedding a lot more, and possibly not even be awake or enjoy the loud music of a late night wedding reception.

How should I make it clear if children are or aren’t invited?

Your wedding invites should very clearly state who is invited, to avoid any confusion. There’s a couple of ways to do this:

1. Write the exact names of each guest – tedious, but avoids any confusion.

2. Write the exact number of guests invited – it’s slightly vague, but a really easy way to bulk send invites out with slight customisations. This is also preferred if you don’t mind which 2 family members, from a family of 5, attend.

3. On the RSVP – whether you’re having physical RSVP slips, or if you’re using a wedding website, be sure to clearly state this for your guests when they RSVP back ie. attending for 2 (of 3) invited guests.

4. Clearly state that it’s a ‘No-children’ wedding – maybe add one of the following phrases:

– “With respect, whilst we love your little ones, we have decided to have our wedding be an adult-only ocassion”

– “Due to space constraints, we are only able to accommodate children of the wedding party. We hope the advance notice means you are still able to attend.”

– “Please be aware, this is an adults-only wedding”

What to expect if you’re not having children at your wedding?

Be aware that no matter how clear you are on your invitations, you will always get the odd friends or aunties asking about whether or not their kids (or someone else’s kids – nosey aunties!) are invited or not. As long as you have the reasoning in your head, and you, your partner, and your families are comfortable to consistently answer back to any such questions – that’s all that matters.

Tbh, it’s also best not to over-answer and you don’t really need to justify it to everyone. So, if they ask, and you know their kids aren’t excited, there’s no harm in saying the following: “We’re not inviting children to our wedding, as our personal choice, but we’re excited to see you there and have you celebrate with us!”.

If you are inviting children, how can I keep them occupied?

There’s so many fun & unique ways to keep children busy. Whilst it’s most definitely not up to you to decide how to keep the children occupied, we’re sure that them and their parents will definitely appreciate a little help!

– Place some fun game-cards on their seats.

– Have a kids-only wedding favour table! There are so many wonderful suppliers who can help create little goodie bags for them.

– Hire some entertainment! A magician or photobooth can really go a long way in keeping your children busy – they’ll love it.

Looking for more inspiration?

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