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Should you invite kids to your wedding? This has been a long battled debate for years. Most times we see a difference of opinion between you and older generations of your family. While compelling arguments can be made on both sides, it’s ultimately about making a decision that makes both parties happy and feels like the right fit for your wedding.

If you’re debating whether or not you should invite kids to your wedding, here are few questions you can ask yourself to make the decision easier.

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How many kids are we talking about? Go through your guest list and add up the total number of children your guests have. It’s also a good idea to note their ages. Knowing the total number will help you better answer the below questions.

Do I have the room in my budget? As you should know by now, more people = more money. Do you have the additional room in your budget to accommodate for extra tables, chairs, linens, centerpieces, catering, plates, silverware, favors, cake… you get the picture. When trying to figure that out keep in mind that when it comes to catering, most only consider those aged 10 and younger to be kids. Anyone over the age of 11 is considered a full adult.

Do I have the space at my venue? Children, while small, are still counted as a single head by venues. You’ll have to consider your venue’s capacity when making the decision. If you’ve found a venue that you love that is conducive to or have the space for children, then you shouldn’t include them on your invite list.

Is the wedding too formal or too late? Formal, Black Tie, or weddings with late evening ceremonies should always leave children off the invite list. To start, most kids don’t stay up that late. Additionally, formal or black tie weddings typically have full china and glassware – two things that are not very kid friendly.

How many of my guests with children are traveling from out of town? If a lot of your out of town guests have children, they are more likely to decline if their children are not invited. Even if you offer to provide onsite or local childcare, some parents are not comfortable leaving their children with a babysitter they don’t know.

Do I feel strongly one way or another? Obviously if you feel very strongly one way or another, that’s the decision you should make. However, if you don’t and you have the room at your venue and in your budget, I always suggest inviting them and letting it be the parent’s decision if they bring them or not.

Are you inviting kids to your wedding? What things did you consider when making the decision?

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