Children at weddings. It’s a topic that often crops up on parenting forums and in the media. But I don’t think I’ve ever read an article that’s riled me as much as this one ‘All weddings should be kid friendly’.
Of course everyone has their own opinions. But that doesn’t mean they should judge people who have the opposite view to them. Children at weddings debates probably reach the extreme views in the same way that breastfeeding vs bottle fed debates discussions often do.
My view on children and weddings hasn’t changed over the years.
I’ve been to quite a few weddings, admittedly most before we had N, because we were late in our group of farmer friends to get married, and therefore later in having a baby. Thinking back, most of the weddings have had some children at them. Some have just been family children, others celebrated having children along. Some only had older children (secondary school age). Children certainly change the dynamic of weddings and can provide comedy moments.
Generally, I’m not a child person. The ones who’re part of my life, yes of course. And I can talk to them and know where they’re coming from. But children I don’t know, and parents who don’t care if their children are running wild. That’s a different matter.
In their own home, let them do what they want. But kids should be taught to know when certain behaviour is appropriate. And at weddings it’s not always appropriate. Why should the bride and groom be worrying all the time about kids wrecking the joint when they want their special day to be the way they want it.
I didn’t want children at our wedding. It was a big country wedding, church and then marquee back at the farm. At the time we had 3 nephews, all of them well behaved, and if one had got bored or was playing up, the parents are responsible enough to take them outside for a breather. They also wouldn’tt have been allowed to run around the tables and because we were at the farm, there was a place for them to sleep if needed for the evening reception. So obviously the nephews were invited.
But other people’s children weren’t. Admittedly most of my friends didn’t have children at that stage, and friends who did had family living near enough to baby sit. Friends were happy to leave children at home to have time away as grown-ups at a wedding.
There was a mistake when we did the invites, not realising 2 sisters were nvited who weren’t adults – my mum and I didn’t know when we wrote the invites (we’d been given a list of names for the OH’s family friends). Then there was a family member who decided not to rsvp but just turned up, bringing along their 7 year old child for the evening. I defnitely wouldn’t have brought a 7yo to an evening reception.
Only one friend got a bit huffy. The invites went out to adults only, and the rsvp came back with the daughter’s name on the bottom too. Thankfully they couldn’t come otherwise I would have checked to make sure they knew it was only for the adults.
For me, it was the wedding we wanted. We didn’t have loads of kids running around excited and getting each other worked up. There wasn’t parents leaving the service because children were fidgeting or noisy. And we didn’t have to worry about people having to leave to take children home to bed for the evening.
The case for children at weddings:
- Children liven things up
- Many couples now have children before they get married, so it’s hard to say no kids when you’ll have your own there (but not impossible)
- You could lose friends
- They make the photos look cute
- You might get more people coming along if they don’t have to get babysitters/leave children at home for a weekend
The case against children at weddings:
- Some guests won’t come (we didn’t make it to one of my good friends’ weddings because it was strictly no children, and not only was there childcare to sort out, but the day didn’t really work with work, nursery etc either)
- Increased cost – children sometimes get charged at full price, and you could end up either having to invite fewer people you really want there or having a massive wedding to allow for 4 people being invited over 2 (from a family)
- Children get bored and don’t always behave (and parents aren’t always good at keeping their children behaving suitably).
- Guests can relax more without having to worry about children in tow/needing to sleep
- Weddings can be long and boring, and some aren’t suitable for children – late weddings/evening receptions
- You can have the wedding you want, instead of having to provide entertainment or a creche for children
Even though I have a child, I wouldn’t be bothered if N wasn’t invited. It’s not my wedding, so it’s not my choice whether he gets invited.
If he’d been invited to a wedding when he was younger, I’m not sure I’d have taken him unless it was nearby and we’d been able to take him home to bed inbetween afternoon and evening. Now he’s older, I think he’d enjoy one more, and given the choice we would probably take him along to one.
In my opinion is that guests shouldn’t have a say whether their children are invited. Bride and grooms shouldn’t be judged or criticised for making a decision either way over inviting children or not. It’s their day, let them have the day they’ve planned. If you’re put out about your child not being invited then don’t go.
What are your thoughts about children and weddings? Did you have them at yours?
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