So here’s the dilemma, children or no children? Not whether to have them or not, but whether to include them in, or invite them to, your wedding. This has to be one of the single most polarising topics of conversation in society at the moment, and not just relating to weddings. Cafes that discourage, or actively ban, children from the premises are receiving equal volumes of plaudits from one corner and hate mail from the other. So, what to do about your wedding?
Kids at weddings used to be mainly a big no-no! But that was in a time when the vast majority of couples took their trip down the aisle before having children. Today things are very different and there is a big debate for and against.
Those in the affirmative will insist that many couples already have families before making the decision to formalise their status and will therefore have their children involved in the day. And if the couple have children, it’s likely most of their friends will have children too, and etiquette would likely suggest that the invitation be extended to their children. But where do you draw the line – how many is too many and how will you deal with them? Are potential guests likely to be put off attending by the need to organise babysitting, or will they happily take the opportunity for an adult night out, free of responsibility for one night?
Those in the negative will suggest that children at a wedding can be an unnecessary distraction, pointing to ceremonies interrupted by babies crying, or toddlers misbehaving at a reception. They will also suggest that venues often have limits on guest numbers, which includes children, or that children’s meals can be an expensive addition to the budget.
I’ve attended hundreds of weddings, and seen children present and excluded. At those with children I’ve seen just about every range of behaviour, from the angelic to the demonic, and have seen just about every parenting technique used to control their actions. As a guest, I have also taken my own daughter to weddings, both as a baby and later as a 7 year old, and whilst I don’t want sway opinions (her behaviour at both was good) although I did find myself adjusting my behaviour to accommodate her.
Whichever way you decide to go, children or no children, the likelihood is that you will offend, or at least upset, someone. However, it is YOUR day, and your right to choose so hold your head up high and stick to your gun.