Advice & Ideas Articles

Kids or No Kids… Your Wedding, Your Choice!

Kids at a Wedding

image posted from by David Murray Weddings

I love kids. I don’t have any of my own, but I have nieces, nephews and friends with children. I am uncle to a bunch of little ones. That said, I am often very concerned about them mixing at weddings. These days, weddings are not typically a backyard party with barbecue and slaw and beer; at least not in my world. In my world of weddings, we create a setting that is decorated, lit, scented and attended to down to the smallest detail. That is what we are hired to do. We usually provide luxury meals and beverages of the highest quality, custom linens, draperies, decorative props, lighting, candles, florals, etc. The list goes on and on. It is what you have to do in order to create the perfect memorable event for today’s discerning bride.

In every wedding we plan, we first ask the couple what they want. One of the early things to nail down is whether they want a wedding encompassing everyone including children or only those of the adult variety. More than 90% of the time the response is that no children are to be included. That’s where the nightmare begins. Kids tend to throw their uncomfortable shoes off and roll around the dance floor, hide behind columns and knock things over. Adults are drinking and celebrating much like they would in a night club, They are not paying attention to the tots rolling around the floor under their feet. Do I smell catastophe in the air? Uh, YES! Something must be done.

First, you can never put a negative comment like the word “no” on an invitation. Martha Stewart once asked me how I dealt with this subject. My answer – We always put the phrase “number of adults attending” on the response card. It doesn’t say no children but it does get the point across. That doesn’t mean that the couple’s family and friends will understand or comply. They will often show up with their offspring anyway and try to force the issue.

As wedding planner, it is my duty to carry out the couple’s wishes. If that means no children then it is NO CHILDREN. My staff advises the guest that children are not allowed. They will always want to talk to the couple and strong-arm them into allowing this one child. That is not acceptable and won’t happen. The couple should not have to deal with these types of negative issues at the wedding. They are to be protected and shown only the best day possible. That doesn’t include a narrow-eyed glare from a ticked off family member or other wedding attendee.

When we have guest issues that are known in advance, we will often suggest a kids room with certified nannies and games, video and other toys appropriate to the age groups attending. However, that doesn’t mean the parents will allow it. I have actually seen a bride break down in tears because family members brought a small infant to a wedding, refused to allow a nanny to oversee them during the event and then walk a whole table of people out refusing to attend and making a scene. REALLY? How rude!

The point of this post is that if you are planning a wedding, don’t wait until the last minute to give consideration to this subject. Make these types of decisions early on so you will have less stress in the latter planning stages or on wedding day. And hold fast on your wishes. It is your wedding after all!

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