Inviting children to a wedding can be wonderful. For some couples, they add something indescribably sweet to the proceedings, as well as priceless moments that rehearsed entertainment simply can’t offer. However, for others, children equal crying, tantrums and screaming – and can totally cramp your day’s style. As well as being the #1 UK Wedding Planning App, we want to be your pocket guide to wedding etiquette, to help you navigate the narrow nuances of invites. So whichever camp you’re in, here is our etiquette guide:
If you are including children:
1) This does not mean that every single child of every guest has to be welcome. You can always choose to have just the children of close relatives and friends, or just the pageboy and flower girl in the ceremony.
2) Clarify that children are invited in your invitation – address the invite to Mr and Mrs Windsor and George and Lottie. That way there’s no room for misinterpretation.
3) Make sure you organise the children at your wedding: seat the parents and children on the same tables, or have a separate table. Get some activity packs for their place settings to keep them occupied and having fun!
4) Remember to order special meals for them if they require it – you don’t want the oysters wasted on a little munchkin if all they want is a Fruit Shoot and some chicken. With our amazing free guestlist tool, it’s really easy to keep track of them all, who they’re coming with and thus how many meals you need to order in.
If you are not including children:
1) Try to avoid saying “NO SMELLY SCREAMING RUG RATS” on the invite and make a note that ‘Unfortunately children are not invited’ or something along those lines. If someone still RSVP’s with the names of their children, ring them up and politely explain why you chose not to have children at your wedding. They’ll completely understand – and if they don’t, steel yourself for the fact that they may come as a package. If the children aren’t invited, they may not come either.
2) If you know you are inviting couples with young children, give them plenty of warning to organise themselves, especially if they need to hire a babysitter.
3) Consider if you have any nursing mothers on the guest list. Their lovely little ones require different treatment, considering they may not be able to be left at home under someone else’s care. Investigate a nearby room where the baby may be able to be taken to sleep in close proximity to their parents so they’re able to check in regularly, but still enjoy the festivities.
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