Thursday, August 12, 2010
We recently received this email from Erin, who is planning a wedding for next January. She's debating whether or not to invite children to her wedding.
Dear Ask a Planner,
My fiance and I are having a disagreement with our families about whether to invite children to our wedding in January. My parents want us to invite the kids because my two older sibblings have kids and there are a lot of young cousins in the family. My fiance and I don't want kids at all. Our wedding is at night and more formal. I feel like my mom just wants to invite kids so she can see her grandkids. On the other hand, my parents are footing the bill for the wedding, so I feel obligated to grant their wishes on this one. How should I handle this? Is there a way to involve kids without changing the vibe of our formal wedding?
Well, Erin, we're glad you asked. Making guest list decisions can be tough, especially when you're having a disagreement with the person signing all those checks for the vendors! Kids can definitely participate in a wedding without changing the feel of your big day, you just have to be prepared for them.
First, think about the ages and relationships of the kids. Are most of them teens? Are there lots of babies/toddlers? Teens will likely be fine on their own. You can sit them together at a table and they will entertain themselves, happy to be away from mom and dad for a few hours.
Younger children will need more supervision and more activities to keep them occupied. You can solve this problem by having a kids' activity table or even a special room/corner for them. Have some kid-friendly options on the menu (think chicken fingers or mac-n-cheese). Place baskets of crayons and paper for coloring. Another possibility is a prop box for dressing up and taking fun pictures. And if your kids are really young, you might want to consider hiring a babysitter to tend to the kids in another room. If your reception is in a hotel, you might even rent a room so youngsters can retire early while their parents party the night away downstairs.
Basically, with a few simple accomodations, most kids will be occupied, well-behaved and not a hassle on your big day. Besides, with a more formal evening wedding, many parents may opt to hire a babysitter themselves so they can enjoy the wedding. We hope that helps, Erin! Congratulations on your upcoming wedding!
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