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Having Kids at the Wedding

Updated: Jan 11

This is a polarizing topic and many have strong opinions. Here are some things to keep in mind as well as some advice on how to handle it either way.


Inviting Children

Kids can bring such a fun energy to a wedding day. If you have kids of your own or have close family and friends with littles you may vision your day dancing with them in it. Think back to a time you attended an event geared towards adults and how did you enjoy yourself?

Keeping in mind children's attention spans and energy a few things can be implemented to make both the experience as a family and yours enjoyable.

  • Keep their hands busy - It can be hard to sit still through a ceremony, speeches and formal dances. Giving kids a quiet toy to play with will help them put that energy into something and keep them entertained when it's needed they be quiet.

  • Sit them with a parent/guardian - A kids table is nice in theory, but in reality kids need help cutting up their food and they may not know the other kids in attendance. Unless you are going to pay a babysitter to sit with them both the kids and guardians would feel more comfortable sitting together.

  • Give them activities - Most kids will run around and dance, enjoy cake and hangout with family and friends like most social gatherings. If you want to set up special games and activities for them it can make the event a better experience for the children and the adults. This could include bubbles, coloring, dolls & action figures, chalk and beanie bag toss.

  • BONUS - A kids centre. If you have the budget and the space to have a day care centre with hired adults to watch over the kids it can give them a more dedicated play zone with toys like lego and doll houses that may not be suitable for the dance floor. It can also give the adults some time away to enjoy the event without watching over their littles.

Some things you may need to be okay with if you decide to invite kids:

  • Noise and crying during the ceremony & speeches - this may mean important friends and family need to step away

  • Children on the dance floor during your formal dances - this can be mitigated by having a conversation with the adults beforehand to ensure they are secured during important moments.

  • Check with the venue - if your wedding is at a typically adults only venue such as a winery they may have policies that don't allow children on the premise at all or after a certain time.

  • The Cost of kids - While the caterer may offer a kids meal that is cheaper than the adults, and they're drinking juice not alcohol, all of the other costs associated with the a guest are the same. The chair, plate, cutlery, table etc. This can total around $50-75 per Kid.

Not Inviting Children

While not inviting kids can save on costs or the seats can go towards adult guests, excluding children doesn't come without it's own drawbacks.

  • Adults not attending - whether it's because they have a newborn, are unable to find childcare or are offended their kids are invited, there will likely be some guests who will not attend your wedding

  • Drama and Questions - Some guests may be upset their littles aren't invited or may become upset if they find out other littles are invited but not theirs. Have your answered prepared and remember, if they really don't like it they don't have to come.

Potential responses:

"The venue policy doesn't allow children/minors."

"We want everyone to be able to relax and not have to worry about keeping an eye on any children"

"We don't have the budget to invite the kids of all our friends and family"

"Just our families immediate children will be in attendance"

  • Children in the wedding ceremony - if you want the children to leave after the ceremony make that clear when inviting the adults of the children. This may result in the adults also leaving the wedding following the ceremony.

"We would love if (Child's Name) was part of our wedding ceremony and in pictures to capture the day. However we are having a child free reception and ask that they are picked up or taken home before dinner."


Sit down with your partner before invites go out and decide where you stand on inviting kids to the wedding. Will you allow children over a certain age? Will you allow those with newborns to bring their baby? Are immediate family members that are minors invited?

Total the cost of inviting kids (table, centrepiece, chair, plate & cutlery, drinks, meal & dessert) and decide if that fits within your budget and priorities for the day.

Get firm on your decision now and prepare the responses for when questions inevitably come.

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