For most couples, it’s important that special loved ones, friends, and family are all present for their wedding days. However, many people are often divided on the childcare situation at weddings. Do you have a child-free wedding, offer childcare, provide accommodations for certain age groups? Or some combination of those options?
We’ve put together some ideas for keeping kids entertained or occupied on your big day, as well as ways to share that information to parents or guardians who plan to attend.
During the Ceremony
Nobody wants a baby to cry through the “I Dos”! Offering a Nursing/Changing Room near, but separate from, the area in which the ceremony takes place can help alleviate this concern. With your wedding planner or day-of event coordinator, discuss making an announcement about where this Nursing/Changing area is prior to the ceremony, so that guests know the option is available if their children become uncomfortable or upset.
For the Reception
Consider setting up a different area or activities for children and/or teenagers, depending on how young some of your guests may be. Teenage guests may enjoy a small café area that can easily be manned by a member of your wait-staff. For younger children, consider having a separate room in which they can do arts and crafts, play games, nap, or otherwise be entertained.
You may even consider asking a teenage family member or close friend (or a few, depending on the number or children) to babysit during the reception so that the children will be looked after while the adults celebrate your special day.
If You’re Having a Child-Free Wedding
Choosing to have a child-free wedding can be a hot-button issue, so it’s important to consider the more appropriate way to let your guests know. For an easy solution, address your invitations specifically to each invitee, as some guests with children may assume the whole family is invited.
You can also consider writing invitees’ exact names on the response card, asking them to check “will attend” or “will not attend” beside each name, so it will be clear that “Mr. and Mrs. Peter Brown” are the ones invited. It’s completely fair for you to have a child-free wedding; it’s your day, and you get to decide exact who’s invited.
With the tips above, there’s no need to put “adults only” on invitations, but invited guests will still be made aware that your wedding will not include children.