‘My sister won’t allow children at her wedding. Should I insist?’
15th May 2022
The should-I-have-kids etiquette when it comes to the Big Day can be divisive. Amanda Cassidy speaks to brides on both sides of the debate.
Let’s face it, having children at your wedding can be a blessing or a curse. There’s the wails inside the church, the racing around the floral arrangements, the grubby hands and sometimes inappropriately late nights to consider. On the other hand can you really imagine celebrating one of the biggest days of your life without those adorable cuties?
If you want to have a low-key, late-night wedding, it may be best to keep the guest list adults-only. In fact, many guests with children might thank you for excluding their offspring so they get an excuse for a baby-free day out. But be prepared for blow-back if you decide to blanket ban all kids.
“I didn’t think it would end up being such a huge deal”
Ciara is getting married for a second time in October. Both her and her partners children are older (the youngest is 14) and they have decided to include ‘adults only’ on the invitation.
And it’s caused problems within the family.
“I didn’t think it would end up being such a huge deal” she admits. “We just wanted our own children and didn’t want to have the day diluted by kids who can be a lot of work especially when they are young. In fact, we thought it might be a nice break for people. Maybe the problem is that the wedding is abroad.”
Emily who got married in February after cancelling it twice during the pandemic knew if she decided to ‘ban kids’ at the wedding there would be problems. “I’d seen it with my cousin who mentioned it after she got engaged. There was a huge contingent in our family that would have taken it really badly. I don’t see what the big deal is myself. I’m sure it would have been less chaotic, but when it comes to family those big days out are usually nicely hectic.”
But Ciara says the main issue is her sister who is also her bridesmaid. “I put it on the invitations but she rang me with a lot to say. They’d have to get a childminder for the entire weekend, she said, and her youngest is 10 months old which she felt was too young to leave him. I don’t have kids myself but I will hopefully only get this day once. I want it to be perfect and for me, that means no kids.”
But wedding planner Loan Hartley says there are ways around an outright ban that can ensure all parties get to well, party!
“Set aside some seats in the front row for little members of your bridal party who may need a break from standing at the altar” she suggests.