Children – To Invite or Not To Invite

Figuring out your guest list can be stressful enough. Deciding whether to invite kids can add to the stress level.

You may have already noticed this, but other people have their own ideas on what they believe to be the “right way” about planning a wedding – including inviting children – and aren’t shy about expressing these opinions.

First off – remember that this is YOUR wedding, and you can invite (or not invite) whomever you choose. There is no right or wrong here.

Second – don’t feel bad about choosing something that others may think is not the right choice. And don’t let anyone make you feel bad about it either – if the shoe were on the other foot, they wouldn’t want anyone telling them what they should or shouldn’t do.

Inviting Children

If children are on your guest list, remember that they are not small adults, and shouldn’t be expected to act that way. Kids perceive wedding receptions, and how to behave when attending one, very differently than adults.

Adults realize that there is a lot of sitting and watching involved in a wedding reception – not so much doing – at least until the party gets rolling. Kids are active, they want to do, they get bored sitting and watching.

I always say that if kids aren’t given something to do, they’ll find something to do – and it’s usually not what they should be doing. They will run around the cake table; run up and down the hallways; run in circles on the dance floor; run around the guests’ tables. (Really, they do a lot of running!) And even with mom and dad there, kids are often left unsupervised. (Sorry, but too many people DO NOT watch their own children while attending a wedding reception).

Give the kids something to do! Provide a scavenger hunt, age appropriate toys and activities at special “kids only” tables, a balloon artist – something they can enjoy, stay occupied, and be made to feel like part of the event.

Not Inviting Children
There are many valid reasons for not inviting children – perhaps your venue isn’t “kid friendly” – you know the kind that’s decorated with antiques or has a large pond on the premises; or maybe you really want your wedding day to be an adult-only event. Regardless of your reason, the fact that you chose to not invite children is your decision and it should be respected.

If anyone questions your “no kids” decision, (and there will be guests who just don’t understand why they can’t bring little Johnny or Suzie), explain it this way, “We want our guests to enjoy a night out without the kids, that way they can party, have some drinks, and actually eat their dinner without having to cut up somebody’s food.” And when they express their dilemma of what to do with little Johnny or Suzie, remember – that’s what babysitters are for!

This may be trickier for your out-of-town guests – but arrangements can be made. Hire a sitter, get a local hotel room or a conference room at the reception venue, and parents can drop off their little ones on their way to the party.

Do you have a wedding dilemma or question you need answered? I’d love to help. Contact me at or at 937-235-2586.

Hearts, Joy, Love!

Photo Copyright – © Mat Hayward –

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