I Do {How To’s} : Children at Your Wedding

When you picture your wedding, is it an adult or full family affair? As you figure out your vision for your wedding, your invite list and all the other details, often you are faced with the decision of having an adult only wedding versus inviting the whole family… and honestly it can be a tough decision. Here are your options and suggestions on how to handle an adults only event or what you can do to have kids be apart of your day as well.

{ Children Welcome }

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For many of you, the idea of not having your niece or cousin or neighbor’s child at your wedding is unthinkable. So for you here are a few tips.

1. Include the children’s names on the invitation or say “and family”. This helps parents know their children are more than welcome.

2. Ask your caterer for a child’s menu option. Chicken fingers, french fries or mac’ n cheese is a much better option for little guests. Often these meals are at a much lower price than the adult’s. Don’t waste a filet on a 4 year old who would much prefer the kid option. Also, ask if the kids can have their meal served while the adults get their first course.

3. Want kids there but not simply running around? Hire in a Wedding Sitter! Yep, companies such as LA Wedding Sitter and Corporate Kids Events have all star babysitters to come to your wedding and keep your pint sized guests entertained. They are trained childcare professionals that specialize in event childcare. They bring age appropriate toys, games and crafts for kids to do as well as keep a close eye on them so their parents can enjoy themselves as well.

4. Rent a bounce house. Have a large grassy area? give the kids (and maybe some adults) the chance to bounce around together.

5. Kids Table.  Only have a few children coming? We highly recommend having a kids table with coloring books (washable markers), stickers, puzzles or games.

For more info on LA Wedding Sitter or Corporate Kids Events , visit their sites for their list of services or other great ideas.

{ Adults Only }

Many weddings are very formal, have to be kept small, are at a non- kid friendly destination or too wild for kids to attend. Whatever your reason for preferring that your day be without little guests, here are a few tips on how to have an Adult’s only wedding.

1. Be honest, and tell your guests. Let your guests with kids know that your wedding will be adults only so they have plenty of time to get a sitter. Most parents assume that if they are invited, their children are too. Let them know you are looking forward for the opportunity for them to have a night out at your wedding.

2. Invitation: list only the adults names as well as state on the invitation “Adults only please” or “Adult Reception”.

3. Suggest a babysitter. If your guests are traveling and the kinds are coming, suggest a local babysitter for them to hire for the night of the wedding. If many of your guests are opting for a sitter near the wedding, you can get a hotel room to host the kids and sitter so that they are close. You could go as far as providing a space and a sitter nearby.

4. Keep in mind some parents will try to ask if their child can come. Also keep in mind for parents with infants, it is much more difficult to be away for more than a couple hours. Decide your rules. Are babies welcome? What about kids in your bridal party? If you have a flower girl but say it is an adult only event, then that can cause tension with your other guests. Decide on what adults only means to you and stick to that for all of your guests.

Photography compliments of:  Sargeant Photography, Jennifer Gilmore Photography, Brett Rose Photography, and Jim Kennedy Photographers (from left to right)