Making the decision to include kids in your wedding day can be a tough choice to make.
When you’re thinking about the decision to include kids in your wedding day and whether or not to include them in your wedding ceremony as well, there are a few important things to consider. As a professional Maine Wedding Officiant, my experience in helping couples coordinate and rehearse for a wedding ceremony that includes kids, affords them the peace of mind that they won’t be totally stressed out about how their wedding ceremony will play out because we plan accordingly and with realistic expectations in mind. In an effort to help you do the same, I’ve gathered a few important thoughts here to help you make a well-informed decision based on what YOU feel is best for your special day…
If you’re feeling some pressure around this decision, you’re not alone. You might be worried about what your friends will say if you decide it’s better that their kids sit this one out or you might already have kids of your own to think about… It’s important to remember that this day is about YOU and that you can respond from a place of confidence when you keep the bigger picture in mind. You have a variety of options as to how the day can play out with kids in mind. And, if you want to include some really special kids in your wedding ceremony, that does not mean you have to invite other kids to the wedding ceremony or invite any of them to the reception. You have the freedom to decide what you feel is best for each part of your wedding day. Many couples come to me asking these two questions and I encourage them to consider the following:
Should you invite kids to your wedding
- Do you have kids of your own? If so, is it important to you to have your own kids celebrate your wedding day with you and would it be helpful for them to have other kids to entertain them?
- Do a lot of your friends and family have kids?
- Do you enjoy your friends and family’s kids? Be honest with yourselves here. If you don’t have kids of your own, it’s worth asking if you even want little ones running around on your special day.
- Is the overall vibe you’re creating for your wedding day, including your reception appropriate for kids?
- Are you capable of keeping kids entertained without taking away from your ability to truly enjoy your wedding day?
- Do you have a support system on board to help? Hiring a babysitter to sweep your little ones away when it becomes “too much” or starts getting late can be a huge help!
Should you include kids in your wedding ceremony
- If you have kids of your own, would it feel really meaningful to create a lasting memory as a family by having them play a part in your wedding ceremony? Or maybe they walk with you in the processional and take a front row seat after.
- If you don’t already have kids of your own, would it feel really special to include any children who are an important part of your life in your wedding ceremony? Think flower girls and ring bearers but remember that they aren’t required.
- Are the kids you want to include in your wedding ceremony genuinely interested and excited in being part of this experience?
- Are the kids you want to include in your wedding ceremony capable of keeping their attention focused long enough to participate in their role? My average wedding ceremony (from processional to recessional) is approximately 20-30 minutes long.
- Are you able to set realistic expectations of their level of participation and let go of the things you cannot control? If you have a relaxed and easy-going personality, you know this will come more easily for you.
- Have you hired a professional wedding Officiant or coordinator who will also coordinate your wedding rehearsal? Knowing they will take the lead and execute your plans with grace will provide you with the ultimate peace of mind.
I encourage you and your partner to ask yourselves these questions and discuss the various hypotheticals together. Keeping your individual personality types in mind, as well as your ultimate vision for your special day, will allow you to make decisions that you feel good about. Whether you decide to include kids in just one part of your day or not at all, the decision is up to you and it’s not something you should feel guilty about.
Stand firm in your decision and communicate your wishes clearly with plenty of advance notice. In the event that you decide not to welcome kids on your wedding day, this is a great opportunity for everyone to fully immerse themselves in this momentous occasion without having to be responsible for little ones. Presenting your decision as an added bonus to parents can really help when it comes to dealing with the pressure you might expect from some of your guests.
Most importantly, do what YOU feel good about so that when you look back on your wedding day, you have NO regrets.
PS: That’s my niece on the cover! Isn’t she so freaking adorable? She was in the processional of my brother and sister in law’s wedding ceremony but sat with her grandparents in the front row. They hired a babysitter to care for her and her sister during the reception so that they could kick back and enjoy themselves. These ended up being great choices for them.
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Featured photos by Genuine Exposures.