It can be a touchy subject: do you or do you not choose to have kids at your wedding?

Some brides and grooms feel they have to in order to satisfy their guests’ needs. Other couples say “absolutely not.” And then there are those who are open to hosting children and welcome them whole heartedly. There’s no right or wrong answer. It just depends on your venue, your guests and your personal vision for your wedding.

But still, the subject may come up and you might find yourself in an awkward situation, asking your best friend to get a sitter for her wee ones. Many couples believe that weddings are too formal and should be kept an adults-only occasion. If a guest asks to bring her children, you can simply state that you don’t believe it’s appropriate for them to be there. You don’t have to defend yourself or keep yourself up at night worrying about pleasing people against what’s best for you on your wedding day. Hopefully, your adult guests will understand and respect your wishes. Some guests may indicate that either the kids come, too, or the whole family doesn’t come at all. Well, that’s unfortunate, but everyone has their priorities. So, this would be one of those cases you agree to disagree and continue to enjoy your bridal experience.

To avoid these conversations, you can cover your bases by indicating that your wedding day is an adults-only event on your wedding web site or save the date. You can spread the word via your friends and family, too. Being proactive will help limit these kinds of discussions with guests. It’s always important to let them know that it’s nothing personal; you love their children and you’re not intending to exclude only them. There really shouldn’t be any arguing but, if there is, just apologize and be as graceful as possible.

If you are completely happy to have kids at your wedding then you might want to consider keeping them occupied. Some parents who know their kids might get too wired or conk out early will (hopefully) (usually) leave the kids at home anyway. However, for those who still bring them per their invitation, it might be helpful to spend a few extra bucks at the dollar store to supply a “safe” kids area. Coloring books and crayons, some picture books, and maybe even disposable cameras will help to keep the children happy and occupied while their parents enjoy a nice night out at your wedding. This also helps the kids stay busy with appropriate activities. As much as you may not mind them dancing their tushies off on the dance floor, you don’t want to discover that they’ve made mummies of themselves with toilet paper in the restroom or that they’ve experimented with cocktail napkins inside lit votive candles.

You may also consider providing a kid’s menu for their meals. This should be at a lower cost than your regular adult dinners, and satisfy the kids’ bellies. Win-win! No kid would say no to pasta or chicken fingers. Actually, there are probably some adults who would enjoy that meal, too!

It’s your wedding day and it’s up to you to make these decisions. Never feel obligated to change your rules because of resistance from guests. Those who love you and respect you will understand and attend your wedding with smiles plastered on their faces like kids in a candy store.

The Wedding YentasTM , A Guide for the Jewish BrideTM, is a wedding planning site that offers tips, explanations of traditions, a vendor directory, and Real Weddings showcasing authentic and professional images for couples planning Jewish weddings. To read more articles and features by The Wedding YentasTM click here!
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