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The 8 Do’s and Don’ts of Inviting Kids to Your Wedding

posted: 06/15/16
by: Ashley Vazquez
children at wedding
iStock

A UK mom recently wrote a hilarious open letter to brides and grooms who expect her kids to behave at their weddings. Her point? Trying to control her children at a wedding is like trying to control two tiny tornadoes. Though she promises to come armed with "snacks, drinks, books and toys," she notes that this won't stop the little ones from "tripping up the waiters, knocking over drinks and scooping up handfuls of confetti to shove down each other's pants."

And, as any parent who has taken children to a wedding knows, this is absolutely true.

This viral blog post has people talking about an age old question: do kids have a place at weddings? Having kids at your wedding adds a certain charm, but if you do decide to invite the whole family, you should go in knowing that you're introducing a little bit of chaos. Thankfully, there are certain things you can do to try and prevent the little rugrats from wreaking havoc. Here are eight dos and don'ts to make your wedding run as smoothly as possible.

Do: Be absolutely clear on the wedding invitations. A good way to let guests know that children are invited is to include the child's name on the invitation. Follow up with calls to families with children to assure them that kids are invited and will be taken care of.

Don't: Feel obligated to invite everyone's child. Just because you'd like to have your niece at your wedding doesn't mean everyone's kids need an invitation. You're allowed to be selective.

Do: Have a separate kid-friendly menu. Think: Chicken fingers, mini pizzas, and ice cream sundaes. Also ask parents to let you know about any allergies their kids may have, so you don't end up with a medical emergency on your hands.

Don't: Sit all the kids alone at one table. While this may seem like a great idea, an unsupervised group of kids is a recipe for disaster. Instead, sit the kids with their parents at tables close to other families with kids.

Do: Hire a designated babysitter or teenage guest to look after the kids. She can take kids to the bathroom, heal boo-boos, and organize games for them. The parents will love you for allowing them to relax and enjoy the wedding.

Don't: Distribute "ceremony-only" invitations to families with children. While it may seem like a good idea to include the kids and their parents in some part of your special day, there's nothing worse to a kid than having to head home while the other kids get to go to a party.

Do: Keep them entertained. Distribute goodie bags with drawing kits and handheld games to keep them entertained at the table. You might also choose to place a board game at each table where kids will be seated. If there's a lot of kids invited, you might opt for a special kids' room with movies, games, snacks, and activities set up.

Fun idea: Have the kids do an arts and craft activity that matches the theme of the wedding, such as painting shells for a beach theme.

Do: Understand that while excluding kids from the ceremony can be appropriate for a local wedding, leaving children at home might not be possible for destination weddings.