Should children be invited to weddings?

Children Jigsaw Photography

The decision as to whether or not to invite children to your wedding is a difficult one -
drop this issue into any conversation and you may be inundated with opinions about the pros and cons of having youngsters at a day or night ‘do’.

Some people just don’t like children and the thought of having them at a wedding is enough to bring them out in a cold sweat, but for others, children make the occasion much more fun.

Here are a couple of our customers’ views on the debate:

Simon says: “My wife Jane and I requested no children (under 12s) at the church or wedding breakfast but they were welcome at the evening reception. We didn't want youngsters crying, vomiting, running around and generally spoiling the meal which we felt was more formal than the party afterwards. You would have thought we were advocating something very outlandish indeed! Two relatives point blank refused to come unless their off-spring were catered for but everyone else was delighted to get rid of their kids for the day with sitters and enjoy an adults' outing.”
Parenting author Fi Star-Stone says: “We had children at mine because we have so many nieces and nephews and I work with children.

“I think it's a bit sad when there's a child ban (my two love a wedding!) but I can totally understand why. My tip if you have children at a wedding is to invest in a kids’ entertainer for when the speeches are on and buy a few art activity sets to go on tables where children will be sitting. I paid two local nursery nurses to come and do games at tables with the children and to keep things in order a little. I loved it! It was well worth the extra cost and everyone was happy and had an awesome time.”

Meanwhile Alison urges people to think carefully about the type of event planned, favouring children’s presence at a family party.

She says: “I guess it depends on how you see your wedding. Endlessly elegant, with perfectly poised moments? Probably no kids. An opportunity for a big drinks - no kids. Family celebration - why on earth would you leave them out? We had lots of kids at ours, including our own, and it was a delightfully chaotic day with lots of running about, tickling and eating cake.“

Rachel adds: “We had kids and wouldn't dream of not having them to be honest. I think it's important for them to be included as a wedding is supposed to be bringing people together, not separating. On the food front though, don't assume that all kids eat is chicken nuggets and chips. My sister in law did and my two-year old had half my dinner instead. I was starving which is not a good way to be with champagne!”

Luckily, At Moor Hall Hotel & Spa, we are experts in helping your reception go smoothly, whatever the age of your guests.

Here are some of our tips from our wedding team to keep the little ones (and the adults!) happy during the celebrations.

•    Choose child-friendly meal options to make for happier kids. At Moor Hall we serve children’s main meals at the same time as the adults’ intermediate courses - generally children are slower eaters so adults and children are ready for their desserts at the same time!
•    If possible seat all parents who have with children together or at tables close to one another.
•    At civil ceremonies where children are present the Registrar will sometimes ask parents to take children out of the room if they cry – worth checking beforehand that they are going to do this.
•    Wedding favours with children in mind can help make them feel special – make sure you don’t choose noisy toys though!
•    If guests are going to provide phones or ipads for the children to play or watch films on, make sure they have earphones – the noise can be distracting and annoying for other guests!
•    Consider setting up a play table at the reception with colouring books, jigsaws and lego so children can get up during speeches or the meal.
•    Involve children more by handing out tasks on the day – can they be in charge of something,  like handing out slices of cake or the confetti for example?
•    Why not go further and have a children’s entertainer? Activity packs or a photo booth can also be fun.

So what do you think? Children or no children? What tips do you have for a happy day with little ones in attendance?

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