Kids. CLD loves kids. Kids attending and being a part of a wedding can be so truly special (and oh-so-adorable). But, kids and weddings don't always mix, especially very, very young ones. That's just the truth.
So, what do you do?
Sit down with your fiancée while working on your guest list and launch right into the question: "Should we allow kids at our wedding?" We have a feeling that you'll both have a gut reaction, but take a really good look at the guest list to prepare for any potential issues. Are there any people traveling to your wedding with small children? Is there anyone in the bridal party or immediate family with children? Do we have children and how do we want to incorporate them into our day?
Once you have that initial feeling expressed, collaborate to make a uniform policy. You have so many decisions to already make for this big day, so do yourself a favor here and stick with consistency. Here are some options:
1) Adopt a "adults-only" policy. This is a popular policy for destination weddings, super formal weddings, or the very alcohol-friendly receptions where having people under the age of 21 is going to be hard. You might feel guilty going this route, but if it's feasible, it really is OK! Seriously, it's OK.
2) The more kids, the merrier! If you know that kids are a must-have, go for it in full-force. If you know they are going to be a significant amount of kids (such as 10-15% of the guest list), make sure you have some kid-friendly extras included. These might include good non-alcoholic beverages, a table just for the kids, an activity room or corner, etc.
3) Immediate family and bridal party can bring their kids--they are your family! This is a good policy if there are a few special little ones that need to be there for your day as a flower girl, junior bridesmaid or ring bearer, but you don't want to have a ton of kids for the reception. Or, let's say you have a long
engagement (over a year): during that time, the child situation in your family or with your bridal party can change pretty fast, so you might need to be accommodating to those closest to you. But again, be consistent in your application of this--once you make an exception, be prepared to make more.
4) Our new favorite solution (that can be applied to any of these policies): hire child care. Yes, this is an extra expense and you'll need to provide a good space for children, but this really makes a wedding run smoothly. Ask your wedding planner for referrals or start researching babysitting agencies in your area--having those few extra hands during the day can make all the difference!
Whatever policy you do decide to go with, kids can make a lovely (and adorable!) addition to any wedding, as seen here: