As a multi-award-winning UK wedding planner, I can tell you there’s one topic that’s guaranteed to cause a bit of controversy with my wedding planning clients, it’s whether or not you should invite children to your wedding! As a wedding planner working with couples who are getting married across the UK, I can tell you that this question makes a frequent appearance and can often be a real bone of contention. In fact, when I last ran a story on Instagram (are you following me yet? You should do – find me here!), the answer was split 50/50 down the middle!
On one side of the fence, some firmly believe that children put the magic into the wedding, after all, you won’t get the brilliant pictures of knee slides on the dance floor, wedding cake covered faces or little people holding hands if they aren’t there.
On the flip side, some think a wedding is a perfect opportunity for parents to let their hair down and party like it’s 1999 which doesn’t always mix well with kids running about the place! Of course, lots of couples are also facing some tough decisions about uninviting wedding guests and reducing their guest list overall, so having an adult-only affair could undoubtedly help with this.
No matter what side of the fence you sit on if you do decide to invite children to your wedding, here are a couple of pointers to think about!
The UK Wedding Planner advice I Dedicate a space for children
One of the things we are often asked to set up is a kid-friendly area – a dedicated play area or mini tipi village offers the perfect retreat for children to escape to and have a place of their own to hang out, make friends and play some games. If you want to keep things a little more low-key, set up a table with some games and colouring books, perhaps even some (clean!) crafts with things to make and do – anything that will help to keep kids occupied.
The UK Wedding Planner advice I Wedding meals for children
This one is pretty key – consider setting up a kids table (if your mini guests are old enough to be seated away from their parents). This not only gives the kids a chance to mingle and make friends, but it may also help to keep them occupied throughout the meal and speeches.
Also, there’s no need to splurge on providing the same meal for kids as you do for the adults – they probably won’t eat it, and you can guarantee they would prefer a pizza or nuggets to the gorgeous filet mignon your older guests will be dining on. Lastly, think about the guests you have invited, the chances are your single wedding guests won’t relish being seated with the kids!
The UK Wedding Planner advice I Hire a wedding creche or wedding nanny
If budget allows, consider hiring a professional creche or wedding nanny for the wedding day, particularly in circumstances where you have lots of lots of children coming along. Whether you find a qualified nanny or draft in some kid-friendly entertainers (balloon artists, face painters and magicians are always really popular), having something for the kids to focus on will not only keep them from getting bored, it will also leave them with unforgettable memories of your wedding day!
The UK Wedding Planner advice I Let them join in
If you are having kids with you on your wedding day, then help them to make the most of their experience and treat them a little like adults! For example, if you are setting up welcome drinks stations for adults, then why not create a mini version for kids – milkshakes and cookies are always popular!
The UK Wedding Planner advice I And on the flip side
As a multi-award-winning wedding planner, my motto is ‘your wedding day, your way’. If you don’t want children to come along, simple – don’t invite them!
Make sure you make it explicitly clear on your invitations that your wedding is an adult-only affair (there are loads of lovely, polite ways in which you can say this – google is your friend here) and be sure to let parents know that you want them to celebrate with you and take a night off from babysitting!
You may receive one or two comments, so be prepared to weather this, but ultimately, the choice is yours so don’t be afraid to stick to your guns!
If you’re getting married across the UK and would like to chat through your wedding plans with an award-winning wedding planner, I’d love to hear from you!
You can reach me on 0800 772 0765 or email@example.com or book a free wedding consultation here.
As an elite member of the UK Alliance of Wedding Planners, I adhere to a strict code of conduct and do not accept commission or referral fees from wedding venues or wedding suppliers.