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by Jamie Jamison Adams

Wedding Dilemma: My Fiance and I are on a tight budget, i have a 4 yr old and and a much much much younger brother (8) who are part of my wedding party, we are only in our early and mid twenties and trying to make a go of things with out a substantial amount of debt however my family has a habit of overly reproducing, i know that probably sounds harsh but 13 kids on one side of my family are under the age of 10!!! and honestly at $15 a head that's an extra $150 plus tip we cant afford.. to top it off its my first cousins kids and some of them are great kids but i have several (4-5) under 5 and one that is special needs, and its so hard to plan everything remotely kid friendly when what i want is a classic simple elegance that i can enjoy my older relatives and family and friends that mean so much and maybe unwind after a couple hours with a more contemporary beat my friends and i would enjoy but i also don't want to offend family members old or young with or without small children, do i do as i please as its my day, can i tactfully not invite the kiddies, what can i do???

5 Responses to “Wedding Receptions and Children: How To Make It Work”
  1. Jamie Jamison Adams Says:

    Remember your wedding is all about you and your fiance. However, you are correct in wanting to make your wishes know in an appropriate way. This issue of whether to invite children to a wedding ceremony or wedding reception is a very touchy one with strong feels for both sides. There is no stead fast rule for inviting or not inviting children to a wedding. The most important thing is to make a decision and stick to it. Do not allow yourself to be swayed into allowing exceptions. Of course there are several options to your dilemma.

    If you decide to include children try one of these options:

    OPTION 1 Talk to your wedding reception caterer about a kids plate and cost effective options.

    OPTION 2 Talk to your wedding reception location about kids friendly services. Some facilities offer services for entertaining children during receptions.

    Option 3 To make a wedding kid friendly find wedding favors that will keep them entertained.

    If you decide not to include children, try one of these options:

    OPTION 1 Set an age limit for kids attending based on the attention span or needs. For example children under 10 years old usually prepare for bed around 8pm. If your wedding reception begins close to 8pm, children under 10 would need to be excluded.

    OPTION 2 Provide babysitting options for parents. A friend or someone from your church might be willing to babysit the children as a present for you.

    OPTION 3 Do not invite any children except those in the wedding party.

    Of course there are other options but the important thing is to remember this is your day. The decision of whether to include or not include children is solely up to you and your fiance. Make your decision based on financial considerations and what type of atmosphere you want to create for your wedding reception. Once you make this decision stick to it and don't allow other to talk you into making exceptions.
    However you need to make your preference known to others and be prepared to explain your decision. It is not appropriate to write "No Children" on the invitation, but you can enclose a note stating that no children are invited and the reasons why – cost, formality, space, time frame etc. This will give guests proper notice and any negative feelings will be a breach of etiquette on their part.

    One tip to make "no kids invited" smoother comes from Emily Post's Wedding Etiquette book – "Launch a proactive campaign to get the word out that your wedding will be an adult affair. Discuss the situation with friends and relatives. Ask them to help spread the word."

  2. jennifer Says:

    I had this problem at my wedding. Instead of asking the children not to attend I supplied a nursey for those who had children and hired a few teenagers to watch over the kids. Then instead of offering the food we ordered them pizza, gave a small gift bag to each child and cupcakes. They had a party within themselves. The children in the wedding were sent there for the food party. The guest enjoyed the party since they didn't have to

  3. Brynn Jackson Says:

    What a great idea!!! How did you choose the teenagers? Finding an appropriate babysitter is a big issue for a lot of parents, so it could be one for the wedding also. However, they're only a room away!

  4. Dianne Says:

    Do the brides and brooms parents, grandparents sit at the head table??? What is the proper etiquette for their seating arangements??? Please e-mail ASAP, Please and Thank you!!! Dianne

  5. Brynn Jackson Says:

    Dianne, parents and grandparents are typically seated at their own tables. The groom's family is given a table and the bride's family is given a table. For more information, view "Where Do Parents Sit During The Wedding Reception?"