Should you allow kids at your wedding?

Are kids invited to your wedding? It’s often one of the first questions you’ll get and there is no right or wrong answer but the good news is, it’s 100% your decision to make!

Everyone has an opinion about kids at weddings and there are pros and cons to both sides. Below we try to offer some insight and tips once you decide who to add to your guest list. 

Kids at weddings can make for adorable pictures. pc: Brooke Miller Photography

Kids at weddings can make for adorable pictures. pc: Brooke Miller Photography

Adult only weddings: the pros and cons.

Some pros might be obvious, no risk of tantrums during the ceremony or kids overtaking the dance floor but the one that might matter the most is if you opt for an adult-only wedding, your guest count is more likely to stay on target.

The cons are a little less obvious but they do exist. For some, not having the option to bring their kids might offend them—they may opt out of attending your wedding because they cannot or will not pay for a sitter for the day. Another possibility is someone not respecting your wishes and making their own exception to the rule, creating an awkward conversation that you must have before the wedding day.

Our tips for an adult-only reception

Make your decision known to all, especially your parents and siblings. They can help spread the word and give the heads up long before invites go out.

Be sure to word your invitations correctly! Listing only or all you are intending to invite. “Mr & Mrs Smith” means just adults, “The Smith Family” means all under the roof. Going the no kid route? You can write “Adult Reception to follow” on the invite to help clarify.

Other than your own children or those invited to be in the wedding, you do not need to make exceptions to your rule, your guests should respect your wishes. That being said, sometimes newborns need to tag along. They can be the one exception to your “no kids” rule if you really want the parents in attendance.

Kids at weddings can make the day a family affair. pc: Taylor Ann Photography

Kids at weddings can make the day a family affair. pc: Taylor Ann Photography

Inviting kids, come one, come all! The pros and cons to go with it.

To many a wedding isn’t a party unless everyone is there, including the younger generations. Weddings and family are synonymous for good reason. Having kids at your wedding can be a good thing, you are surrounded by all the sweet little faces you love and that can make for some really cute pictures. Having little ones walking down the aisle is always a highlight to a ceremony. One perk that might not be the first thing you think of is, if you don’t have a big dancing group, the focus goes to them on the dance floor, taking the pressure off the adults to dance or the kids can help get adults on the dance floor.

There are some possible downfalls to inviting kids too. Kids in attendance can make your guest count grow quickly, therefore your budget too. Kids make noise, sometimes a lot of it and sometimes at the worst time. Some dance floors can get run over by little ones, making it hard for the adults to dance and have fun. Last and sadly one factor we see somewhat often, kids can get bored and bored kids get into things, potentially creating damage to property or equipment.

Our tips for a kid-friendly wedding

If you are inviting kids, keep in mind weddings are boring for them and attention spans don’t last long. Below are some ideas to help entertain kids so everyone can enjoy the day. 

Create a kids table: full of coloring books, games & activities.

Have a special display or option for kid friendly foods & drinks.

Create special kid gift bags—they feel recognized and you can fill it with items to entertain them!

If your venue & weather permits, have outside games for kids. Cornhole, ring toss or giant Jenga are sure ways to keep them happy. Footballs, frisbees and whiffle ball are fun for kids too.

How cute is this moment? You can just hear all the “awes” in the background. pc: Katelyn King Photography

How cute is this moment? You can just hear all the “awes” in the background. pc: Katelyn King Photography

One question we get asked a lot, is if I am inviting kids how do I count them in my final count?

If you are inviting kids, here is the breakdown for incorporating them into your guest count:

Seating: (The number to give to your venue)

  • under 2, don’t count them because they’ll be in their parent’s lap.

  • Over 2, give them their own seat both at ceremony and reception. Parents need personal space too.

Dinner count: (the number you give to your caterer & baker)

  • Under 2, don’t count them. They’ll eat off their parent’s plate or parents will bring their food.

  • Ages 3-10, count as a half person, they don’t eat adult-size meals.

  • Over 10, count as an adult. You don’t want to run out of food!

Like with all other details and plan for your wedding day, our best advice is to remember it is YOUR day and you and your fiancé get to make the rules. Who you want to invite is just as much your call as what your wedding colors or how you design your cake. If someone is offended by your decision they have a choice whether or not to attend but if they are true friends and sincerely care about you, they will respect your decision and go with the flow.

What are your thoughts on kids at weddings? We know it can be a heated topic and would love to know your opinion! Tell us below!