Photo: Jess + Nate Studios
Whether or not to include children on your wedding guest list is a personal decision that has to be made by each couple individually. Many couples love to have the little ones involved, and look forward to the pictures of chaos on the dance floor when the flower girls get twirling. But for some brides and grooms, it's purely a matter of dollars and cents, and the size of their families makes it impossible for them to include all the generations.
There are also couples that just don't want to have any small children at their wedding. Some brides and grooms don't want to share the spotlight, and they shouldn't have to do so. It's their wedding and it can be adults-only if they want to keep it that way. After all, there are no rules about whether or not you have to invite children to a wedding. But, regardless of this fact, the issue of kids can be a high-drama matter for some couples, especially if there are family members whose feelings mist be hurt by the lack of inclusion of children. My professional advice? It's best to share that information as early as possible in the planning process &so way everyone who needs to make childcare arrangements can take care of it well in advance.
But some couples simply must invite kids, whether they want to or not. So what should you do if you really don't want to have children at your wedding, but it would be a political family disaster if you threw down the gauntlet and left all the kids off the list? Easy. Just implement these three easy tricks to lessen (not exclude) the presence of children.
1. Make it clear to everyone that your wedding venue isn't "child-friendly."
Moreover, explain that you would be making special arrangements onsite for their care and feeding on the night of the wedding. If parents realize they won't be watching their little darlings take over your dance floor, they may opt to leave them at home with babysitters so they can have a night off themselves.
2. Set up a "Just for Kids" room at the wedding reception venue, adjacent to the actual party, but in a totally different space.
Provide babysitters onsite to supervise the room, and let your friends with children know ahead of time that the kids will be spending the evening in a separate space with childcare you've provided. Be sure to let them know they're welcome to bring their own nannies and caregivers if they're not comfortable trusting yours.
3. Make it clear to your wedding vendors that you don't want the wedding's focus to be on the children at any point.
Tell the photographer and videographer that you're not interested in footage of the little ones trying to learn the "Wobble." Let the DJ know that you don't want any kiddo-focused music. This will make your wedding day, and the photos and video following it, feel adults only — even if it actually wasn't.
Sandy Malone is the owner of Sandy Malone Weddings & Events, a full-service traditional and destination wedding planning company and Do-It-Yourself wedding planning consulting service for DIY brides and grooms based in the Washington, DC area. Sandy is the star of TLC's reality show "Wedding Island," about her destination wedding planning company, Weddings in Vieques. Sandy's book "How to Plan Your Own Destination Wedding: Do-It-Yourself Tips from an Experienced Professional," will be released on March 1st, but is available online for pre-orders now where books are sold.