The Question: How do I handle the issue of kids as guests or making sure kids don’t show up on our big day?


Oh snap, son! This post was a doozie for me to write (and let me tell you I’ve been anxiously waiting for let’s say oh, months, to finally use the word ‘doozie’ in the appropriate context and I’m not sure if this occasion is acceptable but whatevs). The whole guest list issue I addressed on Tuesday – with the most fabulous comments ever so go read this if you haven’t already, I adore you guys – allowed me to think up the topic for today’s post which is all about having kids at your wedding. While I could write far too much about said topic, I split the content down into two sections to make it easier for you; Kids and Weddings for the Bride and Kids and Weddings for the Guest. Yeah! Read on blogettes and take note. Photo above, adorable flower girl not included, by Orchard Grove Photography.
Kids and Weddings for the Bride

{It’s Black or White} people. Meaning pick if you want kids at the wedding (or in the wedding) or if you don’t want kids at the wedding. For example, perhaps you have an adorable little chicky poo in mind as a suitable flower girl candidate aka your childhood friend’s little girl. But when it comes to your sister’s kids, your neighbors’ teenage son, or your boss’s brood of four you really want to avoid having to invite them (or have them show up uninvited) to the wedding. Here’s the good news; you can do all that. Have your flower girl, consider giving your sister a free pass to bring her kiddos since she is after all your sister, and make it clear to all others, definitely on the invitation and verbally if necessary, that sorry sir but no kids allowed. Here’s the bad news though. You will look like a total hypocrite if you invite select kids but don’t allow others. And you’re walking a fine line between doing what you want and being rude slash hurting feelings. Tread lightly. No one wants to see a humiliated girl in a pretty white dress. Nobody I tell ya.

{Make It Work} If you do end up having kids as guests, prepare accordingly. Depending on your planner or coordinator (if you have one) and how rad she is, she may bring snacks, games, activities and so forth to keep the kids busy and out of your hair during the reception (and ceremony if said kids are spectators and not part of the wedding party). If it’s in the budget, look into hiring some sort of separate entertainment for the kids like a babysitter, a clown, a fairy princess, or some sort of person who can make sure the kids don’t get bored, restless, or out of hand on their own. Check with our venue to see if there’s a room this can be done in, preferably close to the main event so parents are within a close enough distance should a problemo arise. Ask the caterer for for options kids will eat and get some juice boxes. Lot’s of juice boxes. Or sparkling pop for the older kids for the champagne toast. Moving on.
Kids and Weddings for the Guest

{Don’t Be Stupid} Grr. You know what fires me up? When peeps, like grown ups, don’t follow le directions (yeah, I threw in a petite amount of French there). Just like we can assume that the sky is going to be blue tomorrow morning, if an invitation says to Mr and Mrs Joe Schmoe, that does not mean Mr and Mrs Joe Schmoe and Sally, Suzy and Sam. We should assume (rather, we should know) that kids probably aren’t invited to this wedding since their names are not specifically address on the invite. Similarly, If you, your significant other and your son are addressed and invited to attend a wedding as guests, that does not mean your son’s girlfriend is granted a free ride to the party. Pour quoi? Well let’s see. Weddings aren’t a throw together high school bash but instead the result of months and sometimes years of planning and need I point out the obvious, they cost lots of mulla. The bride and groom may have loved having your son and his fling there, and hey maybe would have loved to have your son there too but he wasn’t invited. True be told perhaps money was tight, or the guest list was already over capacity and the groom had to invite his step sister’s husband. Whatever the reason, respect the bride and groom’s wishes and don’t try to smuggle in your kids like it’s no biggie. Once they get there, they are guests and will need somewhere to sit and something to eat. And people. will. notice. Remember being a guest at a wedding is not a right but instead a privilege. Would it be rude to include that thought on your invites? 

{Be Respectful} Ah ha! There is always another side to my little discussions. Here’s the scene; you, as a 20 year old single mother are invited to your college roommates wedding. You have a six year old son who Grandma and Grandpa retiring in Florida, can’t possibly babysit and really you don’t see any other alternative to the situation. What to do? Call.the.bride. Like pick up the tele and explain your situation and ask her if there are any exceptions she’d be willing to make for you. Some people don’t want kids at their wedding because kids can be sticky, and disruptive, and loud and yata yata (I work with kids, I love em but what I just said is true). However, and this is a big however, most brides don’t want kids at their wedding simply because they said so. They’re the bride, that’s what they want, and there doesn’t have to be a reason. If I had of had a guest phone me, express the same situation from above and kindly ask me if I’d be willing to change my kids-free wedding dreams for them, then I most likely would have because a phone call to ask instead of just doing, is a form of respect and at the end of the day, I’m a nice person.  Whatever the issue do it with class and dignity and if all else falls, I’m sure Grandpa from Florida would love to spend the weekend with little Bobby.
Alright. Lay it on my friends. I know some of you have to get some things off your chest :)