It is a tricky element of wedding planning: Children or no children?
As a wedding photographer in Essex and I’ve noticed that some couples prefer to have no children across the board while others want children to be front and centre of their special day. It is entirely down to preference and can be one of the biggest ‘guest list swayers’.
Here we have pulled together some tips and ideas for children at weddings – from invitations to the big day itself!
Guest list, budget and ratios
The guest list is one of the logistics that many plan first. The size of a guest list has a knock-on effect on most other aspects of a wedding. It will dictate the budget and big-ticket items such as venue and catering options.
50 guests or 300?
Chelmsford or Chile?
Gourmet silver service or DIY buffet?
Tipi or beach?
Wedding photographers, videographers, or both?
Thankfully because there are no wrong decisions. If the day reflects the bride and groom, and they are happy, everything else falls into place – believe me, as wedding photographers we have witnessed many weddings, and even with the odd setback, they always turn out perfectly in the end!
Consider the adult:child ratio. A wedding with 50 adults and 100 children will have entirely different requirements to a wedding with 100 adults and 10 children. Guest list and budget management are important because they will help to establish where to spend and where to save.
Break the day into two to three blocks:
1 – Ceremony
2 – Wedding breakfast
2/3 – Evening party
Some couples want a more peaceful ceremony and/or breakfast, but are more than happy to have the little ones join the celebrations in the late afternoon.
Others want children to add life and soul to the ceremony and breakfast but have an adult-only evening.
Whatever the decision, adopting a ‘one size fits all’ rule helps to articulate your decision without bias, and will avoid disappointment or confusion. Another option for a ‘one size fits all’ rule is to only invite family (or immediate family’s) children.
People are generally getting married later than they did 20 years ago, so many couples’ friends will have multiple children, which can get expensive. In my experience, friends tend to prefer to leave little ones at home so they can let their hair down! (I would most definitely rather have a fun filled day without having to look after my three kids, we all need a day off now and again!)
A wedding day is long when you’re tiny. Children often don’t understand the standing and speeches and other formalities! Therefore it’s handy to have lots of fun things for them to do.
Personalised activity boxes can work a treat. Dolls, yoyos, lights, colouring books. They all do a great job at distracting and entertaining. Possibly avoid noisy toys!
Space and weather permitting, outdoor lawn games are a fun way of helping kids making new wedding friends, and as a wedding photographer I have to say they make lovely wedding photo moments! Double points if the best man can set up a treasure hunt…
Another idea is to have a children’s entertainer booked in a separate area of the wedding in parallel to the speeches. I’ve seen this many times and it is a fab way of allowing the adults to enjoy the speeches whilst the kids enjoy themselves too. After all, speeches aren’t really every five-year-old’s bag!
Not every child makes friends quickly or is comfortable in large groups. In these instances, consider a book corner because It also is great for parents with toddlers or babies in need of a pre-nap, maybe a post-lunch story! Extra nostalgia points if it is filled with books from the bride and groom’s childhood.
The answer to ‘children or no children’ therefore doesn’t have to be quite so black and white. We hope we have provided some useful options that help you approach the subject of children at your wedding.
If we can help with ANY aspect of your wedding day, at Visions of View Essex wedding photographers we are here to help if we can. Contact us here