When I think of children at weddings, I picture gorgeous little kids frolicking on rolling lawns and busting adorable moves on the dance floor. I can also picture them crying loudly through the ceremony and knocking over the wedding cake while playing tag!
Kids can be both delightful and unpredictable so read on for the etiquette, practicalities and fun of children at weddings.
It’s always tricky navigating the murky waters of who to invite. We wanted all twelve of our nieces and nephews to be part of our day but started to get anxious when thinking about the cost of including our friends’ kids too. Is it rude not to invite them as well even if it means we’ll have 30 hyperactive children at the wedding?
For us, this number was just too high so we included only our friends and their partners on the invitation and spoke with them individually about the situation. They all understood when we told them we had to keep it “family only” regarding children.
Inclusion of all young relatives on the guest list despite your personal relationship with them usually means no family drama. It also doesn’t really matter how many little girls or boys are dressed up as attendants as it will make them feel special to be part of your day.
Finally, whether you are getting married in a gallery space or a paddock, parents need to think about logistics for keeping kids safe and happy. Ask them if they need any information about the ceremony and reception spaces – they will appreciate your thoughtfulness!
Sometimes even confident kids can get stage fright when it comes to walking down the aisle – petrified and teary is not a good look, but it can happen! Give them time to practice so they feel comfortable, and if they are aged three and under, it’s a good idea to ask someone they know to walk with them. A parent can also be waiting at the other end of the aisle to collect them.
When drawing up your seating plan, consider what your young guests have in common and where they will feel most comfortable. If they don’t know many people, it might be a good idea to sit them with their parents for the meal and provide a hang out space elsewhere for the rest of the reception. Otherwise, a kid’s table is a great option as you can set up activities, colouring books, etc. and they will have a fantastic night!
Teenagers can be offended by being included on the kid’s table if they are outnumbered by littlies, so consider seating them with adults they get along well with (unless they’re happy to babysit!). Giving them a fun job to do also helps them feel included – they might enjoy circulating your guest book or being one of your candid photographers for the night.
Once you’ve made your decisions about numbers, attendants and seating plans, it’s time to relax and just enjoy your night! Your guests will appreciate you have tried to make it fun for them too. Check out our Kids at Weddings Pinterest board for more cute outfits and sweet moments.
P.S. This ring bearer is the perfect example of the unpredictability of kids at weddings! Just remember to take everything in your stride (and give your real rings to the best man).