The Barn at High Point Farms

flower girl
Andria Powers Photography

When a couple begins to create their invite guest list, one of those early decisions will be whether they will allow kids or not. This blog is not designed to give you an answer, but to give you information to ponder as you decide.

farmhouse porch bridal gown
Honeyroot Photo

There are many pros and cons to this decision. Let me take the approach of categories versus labeling it as pros and cons. This way, I can deal with both the logistics as well as the pros and cons all within the topic.

COST: Children do add “count” to your final totals. The more people added to the list just has a dominoe effect. Some of this is a limitatioan issue like when a venue has a capacity of “x” and adding the children may require a couple to decide whether to invite more friends versus allowing children to attend. Some of this issue about the count is purely costs; i.e. the higher your guest total then the more cost to the food and drink category. Cost also will increase over the need for more tables, chairs, linens, and table decor for any of those extras. Obviously, if you are talking about 8 kids versus 25 kids, then the additional cost is minimal.

reception tables candlesticks amber
Kenney Photography

VISION: Weddings are celebration events. Each wedding creates their own desired vibe in dozens of ways (i.e. bridial party attire, venue location, table decorations, etc.) depending on their vision of that day. If your wedding is in your parents backyard with guests sitting on haybales and the groomsmen are all in jeans and suspenders, they this atmosphere certainly lends itself more to a casual mood for wedding day. Many weddings are at venues with expensive table decor, candles, breakables, glassware, etc. with an air of elegance with fancy bridal party gowns and guests dressed to suit. There is just a different mood between a “relaxed family affair” event versus an “elegant adult party.” Reality is that having children often does change the vibe. Again, even in this category, I think it also depends on “how many kids” we are talking about. A key decisions a couple must make is “what exactly do we want” from this day. You debate it with food, with timeline, with bridal party, and in all aspects of a wedding. The overall vision of the day too is one to ponder. Remember, this is not a good decision or a bad decision but a reality decision.

goats at farm wedding

UNATTENDED CHILDREN: Unattended children at any location is not a good thing whether we are talking about a park, a playground, a pool, a restaurant, and yes, a venue. Unattended children can certainly get into mischief by wandering off, by getting into foods or drinks that they shouldn’t, by breaking or damaging property, etc. Children are children and supervision is just part of having them. Even here at the farm where in many aspects one would say that it was “child friendly,” it is still a place that needs supervision of children to prevent them from carrying off the cornhole bean bags and throwing them over into the horse pastures; or to climb over the horse fence into the pasture; or to pick flower blossoms from our gardens; or to break off our tree limbs and leaves to feed to the goats; or to meander into the houses; or to wander down to the animal barns or creek. Most weddings are geared around adults; listening to the ceremony, sitting still and quiet during the ceremony, waiting for dinnertime while photos are being taken, waiting for your table number to be called, listening through speeches and toasts, etc. All things that are challenging for children.

goat flower girl children

REALITY: Some weddings are full of families with children so it may just be obvious that children will need to come and even that all will enjoy the children to come and attend. Obviously any wedding where you restrict children, it will be some level of burden on those parents to find alternatives to bringing them. This may result in not only a challenge for them but altogether prevent the adults from coming altogether. Families often make these decisions on their own without any mandage from the bride and groom.

vintage blue couch

CHOICES: As usual, you get choices.

  1. If having no children at your wedding is important enough to establish a “no-children please” policy, then make sure that you give your guests ample notice.
  2. You can almost make it a “recommendation” instead of a mandate.
  3. You can work with several of your invitees to hire a babysittter (or two actually work best). This only works if most of thte children are the same general age.
  4. Another option that is related to #3 is to hire a babysitter then move the children off-site (but close) to a house-rental so kids can be plucked away from the event after dinner and plugged into TV and games.

Good luck. Hope the info helps.

~ Margie

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