August 22, 2016

Children At Weddings

Children can be cute, and sweet, and the life of the party. They can also be obnoxious, whiny and disruptive. Do you take a chance on the latter version at your wedding?

This can be a difficult choice for a lot of couples. Do you tell your guests (especially the ones traveling from out of town) that they need to leave their children back home or that they need to hire a sitter after they've already kicked out money to come celebrate with you?
Joye Speight, Virtue Event Planning

I talked with Joye Speight, owner of Virtue Event Planning in Durham, NC, about a solution I've seen her use, and that is hiring a sitter service at the event.

I saw this in action at the Richardson's vow renewal in Raleigh.
Photography by Kumolu Studios
The couple had initially planned to make the event adult only but they changed their mind at the last minute. Instead they hired a sitter service. The children were upstairs at the venue, 214 Martin Street in downtown Raleigh, with ice cream, movies, arts and crafts and their own dance party.

Some of the children eventually joined the grown ups when the dancing started, but that was their choice. They didn't have to sit with the grown ups for the entire reception and they had their own party within the party.
Photography by Kumolu Studios
Photography by Kumolu Studios

If you are considering allowing children to attend your wedding, Joye strongly suggests you have a plan, no matter the age of the children, and no matter your budget.

Here are a few of Joye's tips:

1) Identify a room at your venue that can be used for babysitting and make arrangements to use it.
2) If you can't afford a sitter service, ask a responsible teenage relative to watch the children for a few extra bucks.
3) Set up a text system for that teenager to communicate with the parents.
4) Create a document for the parents to sign giving permission for that teenager to watch the children, even in family situations.
5) Don't include the sitter service in the invitation. Instead reach out to the guests with children and let them know the service is available.

What is your plan for children at your wedding?

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  1. My son was married recently at the Grand Marquis Ballroom in Garner, NC. Because it was an open bar, he opted for guest 21 & up, which was written on the invite. The invitation actually said on the RSVP portion '3 invited, _ attending'. Or '1 invited, _ attending'. This eliviated unknown plus ones, families with young kids, etc. He did make personal calls to those who may not have understood. I'm sure some were not pleased, but this is the bride & grooms day. In my scenario, the couple financed the nuptials 100%, so it was their decision.

  2. Awesome way to handle it and you're right, the bride and groom are paying so they're the bosses.

  3. Honestly, if I was told my kids couldn't come, I'd just decline the invitation myself...

  4. I don't do small / young children and it would be my right / choice to choose for my event to be adult only or not. If people don't understand that we'll I'm sorry. I do like the alternative by having a sitter service. I would not offer to be paying for that though. I would offer it at the parents of the childrens expense. All the more reason why the more I think about it - when it comes time for a wedding g for me again I may just do a destination wedding to save myself from the stress aggravation and hurt feelings......

  5. We had a no-child policy for my 10 year anniversary party so I totally understand where you're coming from.