Do Kids Belong at a Wedding?

You just got an invitation to a wedding. What do you do about junior?

Weddings come in all shapes and sizes. What’s right for one bride and groom may not be right for another.

The choice of whether or not to invite children belongs to those throwing the party, but sometimes parents get to make that call.

For my wedding, we decided to have a no kids policy. There were a few teen cousins, but that was it. Not every guest or family member was happy with our decision, but I don’t think everyone would have been happy if we’d decided to invite children either. It was a decision that worked for us and for our wedding.

Sometimes, the bride and groom leave the choice up to their guests. So, what do you do? Do you bring along a youngster, a toddler, what about a nursing baby? What if your child is the flower girl or the ring bearer? Do you arrange care for the child after the ceremony or do you include the child in the reception?

Share your opinion in the comments area below.

Mom of One August 30, 2012 at 06:30 PM
Obviously, it's the choice of the bride and groom as to whether or not they'll invite the children. The cost for weddings today can be quite prohibitive so many choose to have just adults. On the flip side, the cost of a babysitter for extended periods of time can also be quite expensive now too. If adults are invited without children, they shouldn't be insulted. Also, if children aren't invited and the adults choose not to attend due to the cost of a babysitter (on top of the gift, bridal shower gift, engagement gift, etc), the bride and groom shouldn't be offended. Personally, I've seen some very good children at a wedding and sometimes they are quite cute when dancing, etc. I guess I'm lucky I've never experienced some of the horror stories people have put in the comments. You can't assume every child will behave badly. Many children take pride in being invited or in the wedding. How else will they learn about weddings and the etiquette if they can't attend any? I'm in favor of the more family oriented weddings, but that's just a personal choice. Either way, parents who take children to a wedding still need to act like responsible parents. It isn't the other guests' or reception hall workers' responsibility to take care of those children.
Regina DiLabbio Klugh King September 02, 2012 at 04:53 PM
Bless the beasts and the children -- and leave them at home! I recently took my 11-1/2 yr. old granddaughter to a relative's bridal shower (she received her very own invitation!), and she sat there all dressed up like a China doll, bored to tears and playing with her IPod until the gift-opening got underway. She then paraded the freshly opened gifts around to the tables like a model on The Price is Right while her 2-year old cousin (also receiving her own special invite) sat there ala Shirley Temple smiling and cooing. No tables or waitresses were overturned. After all was said and done, I asked Ms. Liz what she thought. Lizzie always has an analytic, highly thought-out comment to make and will make a fine Philadelphia lawyer one day. "So that's what ladies do at bridal showers?" she posed. "Yes." "BORING!" was the reply. She and her bro are not going to the wedding in November (although they were invited). And next year, when the time comes for the next cousin's bridal shower/wedding, we'll be ahead of the game knowing that kids probably don't want to go to these affairs any more than having their adoring parents drag them out like a monkey on a stick to attend!
Shirley September 02, 2012 at 05:00 PM
It should be specified on the wedding invitation. It is the Bride and Groom's Day! What they decide should be adhered to. Personally, if there is an open bar, no kids under the legal drinking age should be invited because once parents start drinking, God knows what they'll say.
Lorbee September 03, 2012 at 01:11 AM
Jeffrey, you can't be more wrong. Please do not embarrass a couple by calling them and asking "hey-are my kids invited?" and if you do be prepared for a possible rude answer to your question, e.g., "hey-if your kids were invited it would have been specified on your invitation and said 'and family' or 'and children'!" Don't do that to a bridal couple who already are under enough stress with costs, appointments, details and coordination, trying to tweak the number of guests, the seating arrangements, etc. etc. and now you're going to phone and give them grief if they've limited it to adults?? You said it yourself-if it doesn't specifically say they are invited THEY AREN'T!
Lorbee September 03, 2012 at 01:15 AM
Bottom line: weddings are very expensive for both the bride and groom AND the guests!


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