Every engaged couple must, at some point in their wedding planning journey, address the eternal question: to invite kids or not to invite kids? For some, it’s an absolute no brainer – but for others, the issue can be agonizing and even divisive.
So we thought we’d write up a little pros and cons piece for those of you grappling with whether or not to involve children in your big-day plans! Here is our entirely objective take on the issue:
The case for inviting kids
1. There are many advantages to having children present at your special day. Kids are full of joy – there’s nothing more heartwarming than looking over at your wedding and seeing kids playing, perhaps symbolizing the family in your own future, if you want to have one.
2. Kids are cute – they’re cute in their little wedding outfits, and adorable in pictures. How can you put a price on that?
3. You may have kids in your life, nieces, nephews or friends’ children, who you absolutely adore and couldn’t imagine not having there, in which case, it would be a shame for them to miss out. For later on in the evening you can always use a wedding creche service like Safe & Sound Childcare who we are big fans of (see them reviewed in a real Jewish wedding here).
4. Your friends may well appreciate being spared the expense and hassle of a babysitter, and making their lives easier is simply more accommodating and considerate.
5. Having children at the wedding is a great excuse to bring in entertainment for small and big kids alike – from bubbles to coloring books, a kids’ corner to a special menu, thinking about how to keep kids entertained can add an extra, exciting element to the day.
6. It’s also a really exciting experience for kids to see their first wedding – if they’re old enough to commit it to memory, they will never forget it.
The case against inviting kids
1. Picture this: you’re under the chuppah, and promising to love your other half for the rest of your life – and a baby starts screaming. Yes, it’s part of life, yes, it happens – but it is undeniably distracting.
2. It may be that parents actually would quite like to leave the kids with a babysitter, let loose and enjoy the party, without worrying about what their kids are up to. A child-free wedding means that nobody has to worry about the party getting to raucous, or watching their language – people can feel free to be themselves.
3. Kids get bored and do need to be entertained, which means there’s even more to think about in the run up to the wedding. Although they’re cheap to feed, this cost can quickly add up when they come in numbers, and add to the total head count of the day.
Some dos and don’ts
Whether or not you choose to have kids at the wedding, here are some tips for communicating smoothly with loved ones.
Do: be consistent. Don’t invite some kids and not others. Yes, you may be closer to your niece or nephew than you are to your second cousin’s kids, and in theory that’s fair enough, but we can guarantee that parents will not necessarily see it that way.
Do: be really clear in your communication. If kids are invited, say so explicitly. Do so similarly if you are having a child-free wedding.
Don’t: make exceptions – if you say no kids, stick to it. Imagine how your friends will feel if they’ve been told no, but allowances are made for somebody who pushed harder.
Don’t: overcompensate. If you do have kids, it’s nice if you provide some sort of entertainment, or even childcare (we personally are big fans of Safe & Sound Childcare – specialist wedding childcare), as it helps them to enjoy the day more, but you are not responsible for people’s babysitting arrangements if you’d rather they left their children at home for the night.
Are you having children at your wedding? Can you think of anything we’ve missed? We’d love to hear your reasons – and comments – in the box below!