Children at Weddings

July 25th, 2016
Kids are always the first (and last) ones on the dance floor. Photo by Magical Moments Photography.

Kids are always the first (and last) ones on the dance floor. Photo by Magical Moments Photography.

I read an article in Salon recently about inviting kids to weddings, and it sparked a long, divisive conversation in a group of wedding professionals.  Half the people in the conversation (or more) were of the opinion that children don’t belong at weddings.  The rest of us thought the opposite.

The arguments against children at weddings were that they are disruptive to the proceedings and that parents get drunk and don’t supervise their children.  As several people pointed out in the discussion, there are some underlying assumptions to these arguments that ought to be considered.

For example, what is your wedding all about?  Is it an expensive performance that is expected to go flawlessly, like a stage show?  Is the reception a boozy party for adults to let their hair down and get drunk?  Or is it an inclusive family celebration?

I would argue that if you are putting on a performance, then you might want to avoid having small kids there.  They can be unpredictable and spoil the illusion.  If your reception is all about everyone getting drunk, then definitely leave the kids off the guest list.  It’s not appropriate to have unsupervised children at a bar.

But if your goal is to have a party where your families and friends can come together to enjoy the company and celebrate your wedding day with you, then it would be very sad to leave the kids out.  Sure, one of them is likely to do something unexpected, and some poor parent may be stuck in the church lobby with a wailing baby.  But that’s what happens with children, and is no cause to leave them out.