Do you plan to invite children to your wedding?

3rd June 2016


You’ve got your whole wedding day planned - it’s going to be perfect, but now you’re on to the final invite list and you’re in a dilemma about the children - a real marmite subject.  You want to include your best friend’s kids, your cousin has two little ones and your Aunty’s teenagers are just about, but not quite grown up.  Do you include the children, aged 0 to 14, in your wedding plans or do you just ban all kids from your wedding party? 

I asked Becky Joiner of My Fabulous Life what she thought since, being a wedding photographer, she should be well qualified to comment on the whole knotty subject - this was her take:

“Personally I love kids at weddings, they are part of the whole family and they are, after all, the next generation.  Besides they have an uncanny knack of bringing the party to life!

Photo by Becky Joiner

Happily most couples that book me as their wedding photographer seem to love kids as much as I do and encourage the whole family to enjoy their wedding day.  Having attended quite a few weddings with children I’ve worked out a few ideas of how you can include them in your wedding celebrations and keep them (and their parents) sane and happy for the whole day:

So here are my 5 top hassle free tips for including children in your wedding:

Book a childrens’ entertainer.

Organise a children's entertainer for about an hour or so while the speeches happen, this gives everyone the freedom to bring up all the raucous, debauched moments in your lives, without little ears listening in! You could also consider hiring a child minder or nanny for 2-3 hours to look after the little ones.  This way children will be involved while their parents can relax knowing their kids are safe.

Photo by Becky Joiner

Colouring pencils, party bags, toys and a dress-up box.

A great idea borrowed from those family friendly restaurants that know sitting at a table for ages while the grown ups chat and eat is not the most exciting thing for kids to do, is to have colouring pencils or party bags at each child’s place for them to use at the tables and take home with them. You could also have an art table, a big box of toys and/or a fancy dress box for children to go off and play with in one corner of the reception space.

Supply some garden games.

If you’re planning to get married outside in the summer months, garden games are always a winner for both children and adults. Games like giant jenga, coconut shy, quoits and other traditional party games are perfect for all ages to play. Bouncy castles are great fun and can easily be hired - who doesn't like a go on a bouncy castle?

Photo by Becky Joiner

Plan some child friendly food.

The chances are that your wedding day timings will be totally out of sync with the smaller kids eating times. Parents may well plan to bring a packed lunch and snacks so it may not be necessary to provide a meal. But make it clear on your invites that you will be providing special food for the children - maybe macaroni cheese or sandwiches - it can be fun party food and doesn't need to cost a lot.

If you include children in your wedding plans from the start, just as you plan for your friends and family, they will be entertained, looked after and enjoy the whole day too.”

Photo by Becky Joiner

Thanks to Becky for such a great insight into how to make children a big part of your wedding day.  It’s crystal clear that kids only become disruptive and noisy when they're hungry, bored or tired so if you want to successfully include kids, plan ahead and make provision for them.  Celebrate the kids being a part of your wedding day and you will have a wonderfully inclusive day that embraces everyone equally!

All the photos here were taken by Becky Joiner of My Fabulous Life, a wonderful natural wedding photographer who collaborates with many of Green Union's hand picked venues and other wedding suppliers.  You can see more of Becky's work in one of our #GreenUnions - Alice and Kevin's real wedding at Middle Coombe Farm.


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