To Invite or Not to Invite?
It is an age-old problem, excuse the pun! Do you invite children or not?
A couple's own children or those from a previous relationship are more likely to be on the guest-list at a 21st century wedding than would have been the case for your parents or grandparents and with the average age of the bride and groom on the rise it is also more likely that friends and family will have children.
Wedding professionals often debate the issue of children at weddings and while many have their horror stories with some careful planning and consideration you will be rewarded with some beautifully behaved children who love you for inviting them and become the focus of some fabulous photos.
There will be some family politics to consider but, as with all aspects of your big day, this is YOUR wedding so you will have to bite the bullet and make the final decision.
No?If you want your wedding to be a child-free zone make sure you give guests with children plenty of notice so that they can make good arrangements for them. Some parents are lucky enough to have babysitters on hand but a wedding is a big chunk of time and often on a Saturday so for many parents childcare is a problem they need time to sort.
Compromise?Depending on the schedule for your wedding you might invite children to the day part of the wedding but let their parents know that the evening is for adults only.
Yes!Couples who invite children have a fabulous selection of services and entertainers to help and lots of simple, low-cost ideas to amuse the little ones. Provide a colouring book or bag of activities at the reception table to help parents amuse their children during the reception; these can be individually named just like the place-cards so everyone feels special and considered. Our websites for Alnwick, Derby, Loughborough, Hull and Nottingham feature childcare companies who offer a first class service to look after children of all ages and in all weathers with a great range of activities from computer games to colouring and evening babysitting at the venue. Check out entertainers, caricaturists and magicians on many sites; our Loughborough and Cheltenham guides display information about companies who hire giant garden games, bouncy castles and more, perfect for children and grown-up kids too! Ceidlidhs are good fun for children and it is easy for them to join in a ceilidh than a disco so ask a band you are thinking of booking if they are used to weddings with lots of children present.
If you do invite children, particularly those under 5 you may choose to spend some time writing a tactful but firm letter asking them to take the children out during the service if it becomes noisy so that other guests can enjoy the ceremony and the serious vows you are making without interruption.
Older children often rise to the occasion if entrusted with giving out orders of service, reading a poem or saying a prayer and their voice can add a super dimension to those of adults.
And if you don't live near to a company you would like to book give them a call as many travel across the UK for weddings.
Thank you to Scarborough wedding photographers Richard Wood Photography for the photos on this page.