“Woah…” – you might be thinking – “…no kids at my wedding? Are you crazy?”

Now, before you gasp in horror at this admittedly controversial idea, or before you start doing your victory dance – each to their own – let’s have a heart-to-heart on this one, okay?

Is inviting kids to your wedding the right choice for you?
Or would it be better for you if you banned children from your wedding altogether?

As a wedding photographer, I’ve been to weddings with kids invited. And I’ve been to weddings with no kids. With or without kids, I’ve always enjoyed my time and had a blast with my couples.

So, I definitely won’t judge you whether you allow kids at your wedding or not. It’s your own personal decision and everyone who wants to be there for you on your big day should respect that.

With that being said, I’ll try to chime in with my unique perspective as a wedding photographer to help you make the right choice for YOU. Because while there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer, it is a choice that you – and only you – can make for yourselves.

Imagine having kids amongst your wedding guests…

Now, weddings are the perfect blend of love, joy, and celebrating the lifelong adventure you’ll be embarking on with your soulmate. They’re about the three ‘F’s’: Family, Friends, and – let’s not forget – Fun.

But sometimes, there’s a fourth ‘F’. That one little ‘F’ that might as well stand for ‘Frenzy’ when it threatens to turn your carefully planned soiree into a kids’ birthday bash. Yep, I’m talking about our pint-sized party guests – the CHILDREN.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Kids are the cutest little beings ever. I should know – I adore kids, and my daughter means the world to me.

So, I know how children can drop the funniest one-liners or how they have dance moves that could put us all to shame. They always look incredible on wedding photos – and besides: is it really a family photo without little Theo grinning at the camera? Like, really?

But let’s be real – they’re also the masters of mayhem. From competing with your officiant to see who can be louder to playing ‘Godzilla’ with your champagne tower, kids have a certain… je ne sais quoi when it comes to unpredictability.

And it’s not that they’re doing it on purpose (at least not always). It’s just that, as cute & loveable as they are, kids might not get the significance of your special day. They might not grasp how important this day is, and how much it means to you – and all of your guests, too.

So, they might think the ceremony is boring – and start talking, giggling, or crying during your most heartfelt moments. Just imagine being moved to tears – just to have them dry up as you hear ‘Mommy, is he crying?’ from the rows of your guests. Or imagine some kids knocking over your wedding cake – if you’re lucky, there just might be a nearby place that sells donuts, but still…

And trust me, kids WILL make you – or at least some of your guests – miss the most important parts of your wedding.

Whether they’re tired, hungry, thirsty, or cold, kids ALWAYS need something, and they always need to be kept an eye on to make sure they stay out of trouble. So, some of your guests might not be able to loosen up and be completely present on your big day – in fact, some of them might end up leaving early because their children got tired.

So, if you dream of a wedding where the only meltdowns involve your Aunt Marge’s mascara running after she forgot it wasn’t waterproof (bless her), or Uncle Bob after having one too many gin & tonics, then maybe – just maybe – saying “no kids allowed” is your path to bliss.

On the other hand, if you want to include all the innocent fun, joy, and laughter that kids can bring to your wedding – then by all means, invite the kids too. As a bonus, knowing that their kids are there (and they don’t need to have grandma or a babysitter look after them) WILL make the logistics of attending your wedding easier for some of your guests too.

But if you do decide to ban kids – how do you break the news without becoming the villain in a Disney movie?

How to communicate your ‘No kids allowed’ rule to your wedding guests?

Okay, so you’ve decided not to allow kids to your wedding. While this may have been a difficult choice – and it might even result in a few difficult conversations with some of your guests – it was YOUR choice about YOUR big day, and everybody has to respect that. But you still gotta play nice.

And this means you have to be smoother than your now fiancé when they first asked you out. The key? Focus on the benefits of your ‘no kids’ policy from an adult’s perspective, rather than playing on your fear of getting some Kool-Aid spilled on your wedding dress.

Communication is key here, so instead of saying: “we don’t want kids at our wedding, because they’d just ruin it”…
…imagine saying: “To allow all guests – including parents – an evening of relaxation, we have chosen for our wedding day to be an adult-only occasion. We hope this advance notice means you are still able to share our joy and will enjoy having the evening off!”

Sounds so much better – and less hurtful – doesn’t it?

But if you make this decision, you have to be consistent. Going child-free? Stick to your guns across the board – no picking favorites, unless you want drama that could rival a soap opera. And trust me, nobody needs that kind of plot twist…

Now, if these types of conversations stress you out, know that there is some middle ground. I mean, there’s no point in making a rule that just ends up putting even more pressure on you during your wedding planning process.

Enjoy the benefits of a child-free wedding without banning kids

So, maybe you aren’t ready to ban children from your wedding altogether…

…maybe you do have favorites – and it would totally suck not to have them there.
…maybe some of your guests are unwilling – or unable – to come to your wedding without their children.
…or maybe you just don’t want to face those uncomfortable conversations on why you’d prefer your wedding to be child-free.

Well, whatever your reason, know that there are actually a few ways you can metaphorically have your (wedding) cake, and eat it too.

First of all, you can choose to have a ‘no kids’ policy for only certain parts of your wedding. For example, if you don’t want to risk someone getting restless and interrupting your vows – then just say kids aren’t allowed at your ceremony, but they’re totally welcome to attend your reception.

Next, you might want to consider some on-site childcare. It’s kind of the best of both worlds, since parents get to relax knowing their kids are safely having fun somewhere (without needing to look for a babysitter). And you’ll still get your adult-oriented celebration without unwanted interruptions or unpleasant surprises.

Ultimately, the decision on whether or not to invite kids is between you and your partner. Sure, you might ruffle some feathers – but hey, it’s your party, your choice! As long as love is taking center stage at your wedding, everything else is just sprinkles on the cake. And yes, that includes making the tough call on whether the under-10 VIPs make the guestlist.

So what’ll it be? Are you going for a full-on family fest or an adults-only escapade? Remember, whatever you choose, as long as there’s love (and maybe a slice of cake for me), it’s going to be perfect!

Oh, and why am I there having a slice of your cake?

Well, in case you’re still looking for a wedding photographer to capture all the best moments of your wedding, know that I’m here for you – even without getting my slice. Get in touch to check if I’m still available for your date – and let’s make your wedding day a truly unforgettable, beautiful experience.

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