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Children Before Wedding? How To Include Your Kids In Your Nuptials

The idea of a perfectly-planned wedding clashes with the idea of kids running around, right? But the two don’t have to be polar opposites! There are many ways in which children and weddings can exist in harmony. Here are some ways to make it happen.

Include Them
There are many stress-free ways in which you can include children in your wedding ceremony. The most obvious one is to have them be the ring bearers and flower girls. However, if you have children that are a bit older and don’t become impatient with standing for long periods of time that you’d love to have participate, you could let them be the maid-of-honor and best man. This is really special and a great way to make your wedding a family affair. You could even include your them in your vows.

Get a Chaperone
If the thought of lots of kids being at a wedding makes you feel a little nervous, you’re not alone. But a good way to keep kids under control while still enjoying their presence at your wedding is to hire a chaperone. This could be hired help, an older child or teen in the family, or even a young adult who’s just great with kids and will do damage control (such as if someone gets hurt and needs a plaster) while keeping the party going at the kiddies’ table.

Give Them Creative Tasks
Children tend to become rowdy or mischievous when they’re bored, so you can prevent that from happening by ensuring children at your wedding have things to do. These should be fun ideas to keep them entertained and on their best behaviour, such as giving them disposable cameras and letting them take photos, or allowing them to be creative which can be a wonderful opportunity for adding a heartfelt, special element to your wedding. For instance, maybe they could create beautiful crafts for the wedding, such as paper flowers or banners. Your children could also make something for you to wear to your wedding, such as a piece of jewelry that you will treasure forever. 

When NOT To Bring Kids to the Wedding
Sometimes having kids at a wedding is not ideal. Examples include when the wedding is very formal and posh, and the idea of having screaming kids around makes you go pale. In such a case, stick to having older children present who are more likely to behave and fit the formal atmosphere.

If the wedding is held in the evenings, this might make it a little more difficult to entertain children, especially young ones, so it’s perfectly acceptable not to invite very small kids. Whereas during the day they would be freer, such as by playing outside, at night they could be a bit more restricted which could be problematic unless you have formal plans in place. Examples include a play room for them that is separate from the wedding room so they can live it up without raining on your parade.

From the Other Side: Are Your Kids Invited?
It’s one thing to decide to let your children participate in your wedding but not let other children attend, but what happens when you look at the subject from the other side and it’s your children who aren’t invited to a loved one’s wedding?

Sometimes children are present at weddings, but only a select few that have been invited. These can be family members of the bride and groom, for instance. This makes sense as it will prevent too many kids from being present, which could become noisy, especially in a small space. If you’re a wedding guest and the invitation you received didn’t explicitly state if kids are invited, such as if it is addressed to you, your partner “and family”, always check to be sure that kids are allowed. Don’t assume that just because the ring bearer is a small child that this means all the guests can bring their children. Don’t be offended if not all the guests’ children are invited. It’s really about what feels comfortable for the bride and groom for their big day, and shouldn’t be taken personally. 

Having kids at weddings is really a personal choice, but it can work provided it is organized well. The important thing is to ensure that having children present will enrich the wedding, prevent stress, and make beautiful memories.

Amy Williams's picture
Children and Teen's Health

Amy Williams is a journalist and former social worker, specializing in teen behavioral health. She believes that, in our digital age, it's time for parents and educators to make sure parents and students alike are educated about technology and social media use, hoping to inform others through her writing.