Today I am back with my regular feature ‘Advice from the Married Side,‘ real life wedding planning advice...
Today we are back with Jo and Nick on Diary of a Boho Bride and Groom. Last time they talked about the Church and offered some good advice for couples in the beginning stages of planning their church service. Today they discuss the contentious issue of children at weddings and how they have decided on a ‘no children’ option for their big day. This is such a big issue with guests and can be the basis of a lot of stress for both couples and parents. Jo and Nick put up some very interesting points, so I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject.
JO: Afternoon all! By the time this reaches the blog we will be into the 100 day countdown to our wedding. I honestly cannot believe how quickly the time is flying and it feels like extra things are being added to the to-do list every week! Today we are in the midst of invitation envelope stuffing but have had to take a break as ‘someone’ didn’t order enough ribbon to put them together (obviously it wasn’t me who had that responsibility!).
Our blog topic this time is possibly a controversial one and something that everyone seems to have an opinion on; children at weddings. We decided very early on that we will only be inviting three children to our wedding; my two nephews Harvey and Joshua, aged 5 and 4, and Nick’s goddaughter Meisha, aged 3. The tradition of having pageboys and flowergirls is something I love and these three little ones are perfect for the roles.
NICK: We know there is a chance a few of our friends and family will be disappointed that their child is not invited. We just hope that no-one is offended as this is not personal. There were a lot of factors we considered when deciding on only inviting the three kids. We both have been to weddings where children were welcomed and also to ‘adult-only’ affairs. One thing we both felt was that children can take the attention away from the couple. Little girls hover around the bride dreaming of one day dressing up in a big princess dress, little boys are constantly being shouted at by their parents for running too close to the cake table and for getting their Sunday bests filthy by sliding on their knees. We also felt that children could be a distraction to the photographer and videographer as it is very easy for kids to look cute and command attention.
JO: And whilst this may sound totally selfish, this is the one day when we are allowed to have things exactly as we want them. We are paying a lot of money to ensure the day is documented well and something we can treasure forever and a screaming toddler in the middle of the ceremony just doesn’t fit into this vision! Whilst I am under no illusions that our three little darlings may get stage fright and refuse to walk down the aisle, or decide they don’t want to pose for that cute photograph all holding hands, the difference is they are ‘our’ children. They are the ones that we know, know us and spend time with and this is why we want them to be part of our day.
NICK: Another concern of ours was the cost of inviting all the children. There would have been a total of 17 children at the wedding, the majority of which are under 5. To some this might not seem that many but it would mean 17 more meals, 17 more favours, possibly some sort of child entertainment, and in our case we would have had to find a bigger venue or invite fewer adults that we would rather have there.
We have spoken to a couple of our friends with children to see how they felt on the matter. We talked about our fears of crying kids spoiling the ceremony and the speeches, and how we want a real party night atmosphere for the evening reception. They understood our views and even expressed how it will be a nice opportunity for them to have a grown up night out and a stay over in a hotel where they can treat themselves to a much needed lie in.
JO: The invitation wording brought up some discussions between Nick and I. Should we go all out and write “no children invited” to avoid any awkward discussions? In the end we decided against this and have simply written the names of those invited on the invitations in the hope that people will realise what this means; we’ll be able to update you on how this has gone in a couple of weeks once the RSVP’s start hitting the doormat! And hopefully any declines will not be due to the no children policy, but even if they are, this is something we are going to have to acknowledge and accept it is a decision we have made and something we want to stick by.
And besides, wedding days are long events and sometimes it just all gets too much for the little people!
So what are your thoughts? the issue of children at weddings will run and run, no one will ever come to a clear decision or agreement on it. Are you having children at your wedding? Or have you decided on a ‘no children’ policy? If so how has it gone down with your guests? I’d love to hear all of your experiences, good or bad, feel free to comment in the box below.