Part two in my kids and weddings mini-series - other people’s kids. There’s a few options here:
Invite the kids to all the things!
Invite the kids to the ceremony, but not the reception
No kids, sorry!
All options are completely and totally valid and up to you (hello, the whole day is up to you!).
You officially have permission to do whatever the heck you want here with this. Make up your own rules. I’m going to tell you what we did for our wedding though.
Our own son came to our wedding, he was in the ceremony and if you’ve read part 1 of this series you’ll know all about what we did to include and occupy him. He was there for all of it! Other people’s kids on the other hand, weren’t.
We did invite other people’s children to the ceremony, and a few did come along - it was lovely!
However, we respectfully asked parents to leave their children at home. Simple as that!
Do you know what? All the parents who left their kids at home had an awesome time! They didn’t have to worry about what their little one was doing or where their little one was. It was great!
But what if I want some kids there and not others?
Ok, perhaps you’ve got a niece and nephew you want included in the ceremony, but you don’t want there to be HEAPS of children running around? All good - as I said, it’s your day, you do what you want! But perhaps put a note on your invitation kindly asking for children to be left at home. You really don’t need to explain yourself to anyone, and you would hope that anyone who you’ve invited to your wedding will be reasonable enough not to mind anyway!
How do you ask people to leave kids at home?
Here’s what we wrote on our wedding invitation:
Although we love to see children run and play,
This is an adult kind of day.
Children are welcome to attend our wedding ceremony,
However the reception is adults only.
This is just one example, and you can tailor it to suit your wedding vibe - if you’re not sure, ask your wedding stationer to help you out with this!
Just remember, it’s about you as a couple, and nobody else - if you want all the kids there, then do it! If you want no kids, that’s fine too! Just make sure it’s very clear on your wedding invitations so that nobody is confused. People won’t be upset if you ask them to leave their kids behind, most parents will jump at the chance to hang out and have fun without their kiddos there, it’s often a rare and treasured occasion!
If you do end up inviting kids, make sure there’s plenty there to occupy them - while this isn’t your job necessarily, some parents don’t think that way, so just to be safe, why not ensure there are some colouring in activities, perhaps some bubbles and a frisbee if there’s an outside space for them to play. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just a couple of things in case parents don’t think that far ahead. Also, perhaps some snack packs for kids, so you don’t end up with hangry children, of course though this is all up to you.