Few wedding planning dilemmas can divide a family like the question of having kids or no kids at the ceremony and reception. If family and friends have lots of young children, there may be conflicting feelings about whether children should be included in the festivities. “It depends on who you are as people,” says Sarah Kudlack of Events by Sarah Elizabeth in Wilmington.
• Do you want children at the ceremony and the reception? The bride and groom should include anyone who is helping pay for the event in the decision making, such as their parents, Kudlack says.
• Who will take care of the children at the reception? Do you expect the parents to mind the kids or will you hire or designate a babysitter to watch them, either at the venue or elsewhere, such as a nearby hotel?
• How will the children be entertained? Some brides choose to have a kids’ table at the reception stocked with goodie bags, crayons and coloring books, for example, Kudlack says. Others opt for a separate room or hotel room with a sitter, DVDs, snacks, and games.
Consider the venue, too. An evening event in a ballroom at a swanky hotel may be less child-friendly than a more casual daytime beach wedding.
Brides who decide not to have children at the reception should state on the invitation: “Adult reception to follow,” says Kudlack. Keep in mind that exceptions can be made, such as for guests with breastfeeding infants.
Finally, choose someone to handle guests who question your decision. Whether this is the bride and groom, the bride’s parents, or someone else, the issue should be handled directly and preferably before the big day.