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Weddings + Wee Ones

(Photo by Tara McMullen Photography)

"An Adult Only Celebration", "A Night Out for Mom & Dad", "19+ Event", "No Children Allowed".

Whatever way you phrase it, these little words are being seen more often than not on the bottom of wedding invitations being sent out all around the world! Brides and Grooms who are wanting to keep their event more adult friendly and keep those little ones from running around the ballroom or stepping on long trains and sipping Shirley Temples. But what about those sweet endearing moments when a little girl walks up to the bride asking if “she’s a princess?”. Or the little ring bearer who simply adores his uncle who is getting married and can’t bear but to run up to him and hug his legs during the vows. Ruining a moment, or simply shedding new young eyes on a rather antiquated tradition?

Whatever way you slice it, there are always pros and cons to having children at those big beautiful celebrations! And it’s a seriously personal decision for the couple-to-be. There is no way that I can make that decision for my clients. Each situation is totally different, and each relationship is different. Maybe you’re godparents to little nieces or nephews and you couldn’t image them not being a part of your wedding celebration, but you’re not super keen on the wild-wonder that is your second cousin’s toddler. Can you invite just one? Can you limit who is invited and who is not? What about bridal party flower girls and ring boys?

So, let’s shed some light on how to do the children’s celebration properly- for both the bride and groom, as well as those parents toting along little guests.

(Photo by Tara McMullen Photography)

For the Mommies & Daddies

-Plan ahead! Is the ceremony interfering with nap time or feeding time? Perhaps one parent attends the ceremony and the other tap out to take care of the babe. It’s all about compromise.

-Little snacks and toys for little hands. Bringing little snacks and toys are always welcomed at the weddings to keep occupied! Sometimes those thoughtful brides & groom’s will actually provide little activity books and crayons for them at dinner. Saving graces!

-Sit near the back of the church for quick exit- remember, those churches are full of beautiful acoustics which love to echo crying voices.

-Don’t be afraid to ask the venue or the wedding planner for a spot that the child could lie down to sleep or take a break. We are always more than happy to help!

(Photo by Tara McMullen Photography)

For the Brides & Grooms

-Inviting one child means inviting them all. With one exception! Little flower girls or ring bearers who are only present for the ceremony are the way to incorporate a bit of that sweet tradition without completely opening up the wedding day to minors.

-If you are inviting children, work with your wedding planner to come up with fun entertaining ideas to keep the kiddos occupied during dinner. Think kids table, colouring books, little toy packages, kid friendly meals, or even higher a nanny service to sit with the kids in a designated area and keep them occupied! This can be an absolutely lifesaver!

-Let parents know the flow of the wedding day before hand. Knowing when there will be breaks, cocktail hours, etc. will allow those parents to decide when they can maybe step out to feed, nap, or change the little ones.

-Be open to those cute and unplanned moments. When the kids run around you during your first dance, see it with new eyes! See how endearing and whimsical it is rather than how it’s ruining your photo op.

In short, it is totally up to you! It's your wedding, after all. Every single guest that joins you to celebrate should be someone you absolutely want there. And sometimes in order to have those close adult friends attend, it means having their brooding squad tote along. And that's okay! With these tips and tricks and a lot of communication, everyone can enjoy and have a blast celebrating a whole lotta' love.

xo Shea


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