NO NO NO NO NO!
They make a mess, they lick the wedding cake and they take all the attention. It would be an absolute disaster! Never ever ever ever invite little children to a wedding! EVER!!!
Ok, that is an exaggeration and honestly not true, though it is a question we get asked quite frequently. My dramatic introduction to this blog is the worst case scenario and even though I have seen kids do all of the above over the years, it's not always a bad thing. Kids are amazing and to have them as part of your special day is a blessing in many instances. However, there are some things to consider!
Remember when you were 6? Remember when you had to go to Aunt Julie and Uncle Kevins wedding in that social club in Bootle? Not being able to wear your Power Rangers t-shirt and matching shorts, but some random thing called a suit? Sitting down in silence to watch people talk for an hour in a smelly church, then not being allowed to play because you had to be on your best behaviour? It doesn't have to be like this and there are things you can do to make the experience a lot better for both parties.
I wouldn't not want to invite kids just because you are worried they may cause ‘issues’, as there are plenty of things you can do to keep them entertained.
At a wedding we covered last year at Oaklea Barns, the kids were central to the couple's lives and it was lovely to see the way they embraced this as part of their day. All the adults at the wedding shared the responsibility of keeping a watchful eye on the kids and it was a truly special day to be a part of.
I have also seen professional childminders brought in by the couples in order to take the little rascals off to a separate part of the venue and entertain them whilst the adults get drunk.....I mean experience the wedding!
This is a great idea because the children can experience the ceremony and be there for the photographs, whilst afterwards the parents get to relax a little, safe in the knowledge their children are fine and well and having a good time.
Although I have never worked with this particular company, you can click here to view a company called Blueyandbaloo that offer a service similar to what I have described.
There are also some venues that lend themselves to having children at weddings, such as the Hard Days Night Hotel in Liverpool. There is a room with a television in, which in the past I have seen set up for children. Films can be shown, video games set up and without any professional coordination, entertainment is provided for hours upon hours!
From a wedding photographers point of view, kids at weddings provide incredible moments to capture. Between both parent and child you can capture some magical moments as well as just in general adorableness throughout the day. Kids bring a great flavour to the day, providing interactions that are beautiful to capture.
From a wedding videography point of view though, they pose a massive risk! If a child screams during the vows or key point in the speeches the audio will pick this up and there is nothing that can be done to remove the scream.
When me and wife got married at Carden Park, we did invite children and we were fully aware of the risks. We put a 7ft protective screen around the wedding cake so no-one could lick it. We had extra cleaning staff on hand to pick up the trail of Maltesers and Monster Munch being tread into the carpets and the best man even had cable ties and gaffer tape in his pocket in case any children lost control and had a tantrum ( none of these measures were required of course! )
We understood and accepted the fact that if there was a moment, it is what it is. For us personally, having the family at the wedding meant more than a few seconds of ruined audio. I am grateful and honoured that the family we invited attended and we all got to experience the day together.
Most importantly do what you want! Do you and your partner want children to be a part of your day? If you answer that question you have your response. Its your day and you do it how you like! have a day without the kids, get very drunk and live without a care in the world for 8 hours! Is that so bad? I think all parents deserve this!
So my advice would be, having kids at your wedding can be super special. Why not have a chat with the parents, explain your concerns, position the families close to the exits and explain before the wedding if the kids need some space away from everything you can take them outside for some fresh air or a change of scenery. Think ahead, order some garden games, colouring books, 15 Playstations, Ice cream Tricycle, whatever it takes!
Most importantly do what you want! Do you and your partner want children to be apart of your day? If you answer that question you have your response. Its your day and you do it how you like!
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