Everyone from your Mum to your Mother-In-Law has a very definite opinion on this "minefield"......
And whichever way you choose, tips for doing it right...
For some couples, deciding whether or not to invite kids to the wedding is not an easy question. Kids certainly add an air of 'unpredictability' to a wedding, But as we all know...unpredictability can go any number of ways. If you are on the fence about whether to include kids or have a strictly adults-only event: read on. Or, worse yet, if you and your fiance/ee are on opposite sides of the fence on this issue these are some points to consider, which will hopefully help you make the right decision.
Being honest, kids add a festive, fun, exciting air to celebrations. They can serve as emotional reminders that this is what it life all about: the start of a new family.
As free spirits, kids can add wonderful memories to your ceremony and celebration. It is hard to resist a lovely young flower girl walking, skipping, or marching up the aisle. Children also have a wonderful way of linking generations, and bringing guests together.
Inviting kids can make the difference between whether some of your guests can attend or not, especially if they are travelling from far away. If you haven't seen some of your guests (and their kids) in a while, the wedding may be your only chance to meet or spend time with their kids so do give it some serious consideration with an 'open mind'.
Your image of a formal, elegant wedding just doesn't equate with the image of loud kids running around screaming or disturbing the setting and mood in any way.
While you and your fiance/ee are close to a few kids, you can't possibly invite all of the children that belong to your guests, so why pick and choose and possibly offend some parents? It might be easier, not include kids at all. Safest bet!
Your wedding budget is already blown beyond what you hoped; not inviting kids could keep those numbers down.
If you do decide to invite children, consider the following tips:
(a) Arrange for childcare. You may want to hire a professional magician / childrens entertainer to keep your guests happy. Children enjoy their own entertainment at a celebration, leaving your guests will enjoy themselves even more when they see their kids having a good time.
(b) Arrange for special areas and activities for the kids. The kids don't necessarily have to stay in those areas (certain rooms, or tables with crayons and kid-friendly amusements), but they will enjoy the option of being able to wander around.
If you decide not to include children:
Be specific in addressing your invitations to individuals and not to families.
Offer childcare options and suggestions to guests with children.
Stick to your decision, and thank guests who ask for respecting your wishes.
(You can always blame your decision on budgetary constraints, and thank them for understanding)
Whatever you decide, it has to be the right decision for the right reasons for both of you. After all, you'll hopefully only have the one Wedding