Should You Include Children in Your Wedding?
Your wedding is meant to be the happiest day of your life, but the event itself looks different for everyone. Some people want a ceremony and reception that are formal and upscale. Others opt for a more laid-back, relaxed environment.
No matter your venue or theme, however, there’s one question you might find yourself struggling with if you or your partner have kids – should they be involved?
Whether you have children together or from previous relationships, including children in your wedding can be a debate you have with your partner – or yourself! Furthermore, even if you have your kids, does that mean you should invite other little ones, too?
If you’re struggling to decide whether you should include children in your wedding, it’s important to know some of the benefits and how to make it work for your big day.
Remember It’s Your Day – Not Anyone Else’s
Wedding planning is stressful.
It’s even more stressful when you let other people try to take over.
While getting help and support from the people in your life is excellent, far too often, certain people might try to influence you with their suggestions or ideas. A good rule of thumb is to stick to your preferences and “go with your gut” about your wedding ideas. That could include everything from the colours you choose to the meal you serve.
It can also include whether to include children in your big day.
If you want to include kids but you’re worried it might not be appropriate for a formal event, consider having a non-traditional wedding. Find a unique venue, such as:
- A classroom
- An ice rink
- Your favourite coffee shop
- A skating rink
You can even throw your wedding in your backyard to make it feel more like a family affair. Whether you include your kids or not is up to you. But, make sure it’s your choice, not anyone else’s.
The Benefits of Having Children Involved
If you’re still on the fence about having children involved, consider the benefits. First, whether you, your partner or both of you have kids, including them in the day can be incredibly meaningful.
If the children are from previous relationships, including them is a way to officially and ceremoniously join your families. If you have a child together, getting married is a beautiful way to show them your dedication to each other.
Having your children involved also ensures they will be included in your wedding photos. If either of you has children, imagine how empty it would feel to look back on your wedding day pictures and not have your entire family there. Family photos matter when it comes to your emotional journey. They allow you to look back on the special moments in your life in a way that brings memories back to life in the form of a beautiful wedding album. Having your children present for those photos will accurately represent your new life as a family.
There are additional benefits to consider when it comes to allowing other people’s children to join in on your special day. Kids might be a bit of extra “work,” but they can also bring youthful joy and energy to any event. Plus, they’ll undoubtedly provide “free entertainment” to you and your guests throughout the day – you never know what they might say or do!
Having a Child-Friendly Wedding
If you decide to include children in your wedding – either your own, others or both, consider making the day more child-friendly. There are plenty of ways to do that, including:
- Providing age-appropriate seating
- Having the event earlier in the day
- Offering child-friendly foods
- Playing kid-friendly music
- Creating an activity pack to keep them busy
Including child-friendly activities and games is another fantastic way to make the day just as fun for the kids involved as the adults. You can set up board games, outdoor games, or even a video game area for the kids in attendance. If you do go that route, make sure you understand ESRB ratings. If most of the children will be younger, avoid games explicitly rated for teens or mature audiences.
You can also consider giving your children (or others) jobs or roles for the day. Every wedding needs a flower girl and ring bearer, after all! Other children could serve as “junior ushers” or take care of other small tasks. Most kids love having a job to do, especially during significant events, as it gives them a sense of pride.
Yes, weddings are meant to be intimate and unique. But, there isn’t one set of rules that dictates how your big day should go. If you or your partner have children and you want the day to feel more familial and casual, include them. A marriage ceremony isn’t always about just two people. Whether from previous relationships or together, those individuals have children, it’s about coming together as a family unit.
Keep these suggestions in mind as you decide whether to have children at your wedding. The benefits are greater than you might think.