When it comes to wedding guestlists, one of the biggest conundrums usually stems around the inclusion or exclusion of children. Whether you have a brood of your own or a family with minimal little ones, it’s worth considering the best option for you at the beginning stages of your wedding planning.

A child-friendly or child-free wedding?

You’re going to have to make lots of decisions on the run up to your big day, from choosing your bridal gown to finding your ideal venue but to make your guestlist a little easier to collate, we discuss the modern options available to brides and grooms surrounding inviting children.

Choosing a kid-free wedding

Child-free celebrations can be fueled by the desire to host in a venue which is strictly adults-only or for others there’s simply no significant little ones in their circle of family and friends but if your guestlist involves a number of parents, here’s some advantages and disadvantages to having children present;

Advantages to a child-free wedding

  • Your invitees are present and importantly fully engaged to celebrate with you
  • Celebrations can be a bit more on the wild side, allowing you to really let your hair down!
  • Guests stay longer without the need to rush home for bedtimes
  • You won’t encounter interruptions during special moments like your vows and speeches

Disadvantages to a child-free wedding

  • You increase the risk of invite refusals due to parents being unable to get childcare or simply not wanting to leave their child during celebrations
  • Feuds can be formed, some parents may not be able to understand why you don’t want their cute offspring present

Child-friendly weddings

If you have a collection of your own little ones or young family members who you want present to experience your big day, going child-friendly could be a no brainer, you could go as far to say the more children the merrier! If you’re considering how children could affect your days events, take a look at the main aspects to child-friendly weddings;

Advantages to a child-friendly wedding

  • The family orientated atmosphere
  • The cute joyous laughter from multi-generation chatter
  • Being able to share your moments with everyone young and old
  • First to fill the dance floor, kids can actually get the party started making many adults feel at ease in joining in the fun

Disadvantages to a child-friendly wedding

  • Added expense, essentially you could be increasing your guestlist number dramatically, increasing your catering bill
  • The need to provide extra, suitable entertainment
  • The reduction in venue choices with the need to consider child suitability and safety
  • The atmosphere can be noisy and potentially disruptive during important moments

Opting for a stress-free child-friendly wedding

Hiring additional help and support with childcare during your wedding can certainly eliminate some of the disadvantages outlined above. Award-winning experts Safe and Sound Events, specialise in boutique event childcare, their services are hands down perfect for weddings, managing the logistics of the children for the day they can make little ones a greater part of your wedding.

Read More | The Stress-Free Way to Enjoy a Child-Friendly Wedding

Deciding to invite select children to your wedding

Instead of saying yes or no, when it comes to inviting children to your wedding you could opt to be selective. For example, if you envisage having cute flower girls and page boys, opt to have children that are only from the wedding party.

You could also select an age limit to reduce the amount of children present or simply only allow those of very close family. When it comes to being selective, try to keep it as simple and fair as possible as oppose to ‘Aunty Jane’s kids are so boisterous let’s not whereas Cousin Amy’s are little angels, we’ll invite them’.

What to write on your wedding invites

It’s important to be clear and concise with your intentions regarding inviting children from the very start. We recommend addressing your ‘Save The Dates’ to all of the individuals in the family household by including kids if you want them to attend.

When it comes to your formal wedding invitations, state your wishes to eliminate confusion or misinterpretation. Don’t give reasons as to why you are not inviting children, keep it simple and to the point, if the question is raised you can then voice your polite reasoning.

How to write ‘no children’ on your wedding invitations…

  • Our big day will be an adult-only celebration
  • Apart from immediate family, our wedding day will be a child-free celebration
  • Apart from a couple of little ones in our wedding party, our wedding day will be a child-free celebration
  • Our wedding will be an adults-only celebration however babies under 12 months are welcome

Should I write Babes-in-arms?

For many reasons, breastfed newborns and babies up to 12 months cannot be left without their parents. And, although it is entirely your choice to opt for a child-free wedding day, it is unreasonable to expect guests to not bring very young babies.

A term sometimes used on wedding invites is ‘only babes-in-arms’.  A trendy way of putting it we agree but put simply it has no official meaning and can cause confusion and potentially upset later down the line.

You don’t want your guest to presume their toddler is invited when your babes-in-arms definition certainly doesn’t fit this description. The clearest way is to state an age limit on the invite, an appropriate phrase being ‘babies under 12 months welcome’.

Should I invite children to my Destination Wedding?

If you are expecting your guests to travel abroad to celebrate your wedding, leaving their children behind may of course prove a bit more challenging.

This may all come down to the destination you choose, if you opt for a location easily accessible on a short-haul flight, many parents may find a child-free weekend doable and certainly enjoyable!

Begin discussions with family and friends who you really want at your destination wedding before you finalise your wedding abroad to understand their thoughts.

Read More | Ideal Child-Friendly Wedding Venues in Europe

The final say on inviting children to your wedding

Don’t feel pressured either way and don’t feel like you have to people please when it comes to inviting kids. Child-free weddings are completely accepted and respected as are child-friendly, you are likely to be investing a lot of time planning and a big sum of money into your momentous day, it’s important you are surrounded by who you want there, to create the atmosphere that makes you feel most special.

Discover your unique place to say ‘I Do’ here, be it child-free or child-friendly!