Ok this might be for some a little bit of a controversial topic so I’m going to start this blog post off by clarifying a few things about me.
I don’t hate children! This is a common misnomer about women who have don’t have or don’t want children. I have a niece and nephew who I adore and I have several friends who have children and we often invite whole families down to Devon for an annual BBQ party – and all of the children are invited – it wouldn’t be the same without them. I miss my niece and nephew when I haven’t spent time with them for a while – they live about 4 hours away so it’s difficult to know I will only see them a 5 or 6 times a year and that I will inevitably miss some of their growing up.
However I’m not a maternal person. I have no intention of ever having children of my own. My other half is fine with this. ( His mother isn’t but that’s a different story! ). I fully admit that, no matter how much I adore my niece and nephew and my friend’s children and would never not want to spend the time with them, after about an hour I’ve often had enough of the raised voices and squealing, of the constant pestering. The kids often then spend the rest of the time with my other half whilst I have a cup of tea and a chat with the adults in the room … he is amazing with kids!
I don’t like babies. There I’ve said it … I will never want to hold your newborn, I’m sorry. I will start to like them when they become toddlers and have something of a personality, but until then they freak me out a bit. Most women I understand will read this and think I’m weird and unnatural but I have learnt to accept that.
So what I’m saying is that I can fully understand both sides of the argument when it comes to whether or not to invite children to your wedding. I personally would put up with small annoyances because I can’t imagine not having my friends children at my wedding – but I can also fully understand why these small annoyances would ruin your day.
I can see that for some people the idea of screaming children interrupting their ceremony or running around whilst they are saying their vows is just not acceptable for their idea of their perfect day.
I can also fully understand that for some people not inviting the children of their family and friends would be akin to cutting off their right leg!
So, how to say no to children at your wedding! If you don’t want children at your wedding how do you go about dealing with this without causing massive family rifts!?
Well for starters I think you need to properly sit down and assess your family and your feelings on the children issue and decide whether not having children at your wedding is a more overriding issue to you than the possible upset it might cause – and whether your friends and family are the type of people to get incredibly upset over this type of thing.
Have you considered possibly having some sort of ‘creche’ available during the ceremony. This may be a compromise where by you can have the quiet elegant ceremony you dream of and yet still allow children to be there for the rest of the day. This may also alleviate any issues with parents who won’t or can’t leave their children with babysitters for the whole day and evening.
If money allows you could also have some sort of child’s entertainment or separate room to keep kids occupied during the rest of the day and evening, and hopefully this might stop some of the parents leaving early to get their kids to bed which can happen. Perhaps you could also consider a separate kids table if you are having a sit down meal.
If this isn’t for you then you should definitely make sure that the fact that your guest’s children are not invited is very clear on your wedding invitations when you send them out.
Of course ‘No Children’ plastered across the bottom of your information card probably isn’t the best way forward. I would generally advise being clear when you address your invitations that they are addressed specifically to the adult’s names only. You can then also include a line at the bottom of the invitation or information card saying…
“We hope you can appreciate that due to various constraints our wedding will be adults only. We hope you will enjoy the opportunity to have a night off and let your hair down!”
“Unfortunately due to number restrictions we have been unable to extend our invitations to include any children.
For those of you with children, we hope you understand and will still be able to attend and share our day with us”
I’d also definitely suggest giving those people that you think might have issues a quick ring to say that you are really sorry we couldn’t invite ‘x and y’ but you are limited on numbers, have venue constraints etc.
You can also of course just decide to invite certain children. In which case something along the lines of “Unfortunately due to number restrictions we are only able to invite the children of immediate family only”.
I really hope that this blog post strikes a chord with some of you who may be having issues with this whilst planning your own wedding and helps with some ideas .