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When wedding planning, most couples have to decide if they want their wedding to be family friendly. Deciding whether you want kids at your wedding is not an easy decision, but it’s an inevitable part of the planning process. Having infants or small children at your ceremony and reception can pose unique challenges. Unfortunately, the inclusion of kids is often a sensitive wedding subject. Here are a few tips for deciding whether to invite kids to your wedding and explaining your decision to guests. 

Decide Early in the Planning Process

The decision of whether or not to invite children to your wedding can be divisive. Many guests with young children can take it personally if their kids are not invited. However, the reality is that creating a family-friendly wedding takes extra effort and money than what you may feel up for. In most cases, it is best to decide whether you are going to invite kids before sending out your invitations. There are a few factors that can influence what choice will make the most sense: 

  • Your wedding budget. Inviting kids will probably require you to allocate funds for kid-friendly things, such as children’s menus and childcare services. 
  • Kids are unpredictable. Consider whether you can rely on parents to keep their kids under control during the ceremony and reception.
  • Your wedding location. If you are having a destination wedding, it might be hard for your guests to find childcare in a new place without their regular babysitters. Conversely, if you are having an outdoor wedding, there is plenty of room for kids to play without being disruptive.

Make a Decision and Communicate Expectations

Once you have made a decision, you’ll need to let your guests know. If you make the choice to have an adults-only wedding, communicate your decision to guests in a concise manner. At the end of the day, it is your wedding, and they should respect your decision. 

If you decide to invite kids, it is extremely important to be clear about your expectations for their behavior. There are a couple of avenues for delivering your decision to guests. For example, you could choose to include your policy about kids on your invitations or on your wedding website. Regardless of the delivery, there is some key information you should include: 

  • What you expect from the parents. Be sure to specify what you expect from the parents concerning their level of childcare responsibility. 
  • Which children are invited. Some couples decide to only allow kids over a certain age. If this is your choice, be sure to specify which kids are invited.
  • Food and entertainment. Specify whether there will be a kid’s meal and other family-friendly activities. 

Important Considerations for a Family-Friendly Wedding

If you choose to host a kid-friendly wedding, you’ll need to plan accordingly. Some important considerations for a family-friendly wedding include:

  • Hiring childcare services or a child entertainer 
  • Offering a variety of options on the children’s menu
  • Providing table-top activities to keep kids occupied during the reception

The Big Picture

Deciding whether or not to include children at your wedding is a big decision, and it’s not a fun one. It’s important to set time aside for discussing the decision with your partner early in the planning process. When deciding, consider what will work best for your respective families. As long as you plan ahead and make a decision early on, you shouldn’t have a hard time navigating this sensitive topic with your guests.

Contact Windows on the Water to Plan Your Outdoor Wedding

Are you planning the tent wedding of your dreams in Central New Jersey? At Windows on the Water, our wedding experts know how to make your wedding day smooth and special. When you consult with one of our wedding professionals, you can enjoy your special day stress-free knowing all the small details are in trusted hands. Our team of skilled wedding planners will guide you through every step of the planning process. Call (609) 208-9475 to talk with our expert wedding and event staff, or complete our contact form.