It’s a controversial topic – whether to have children at your wedding or not. As Confetti’s wedding expert I have answered thousands of your letters over the years, and now I’m sharing my advice to help others with the same dilemmas.
Q. Is it okay to have a ‘no children’ rule at our wedding?
A close friend, who I dearly want at my wedding, has a baby who will be 18 months when we get married. It’s only a small wedding and I don’t really want to have any children there. Is it okay to have a ‘no children’ rule and if so, how do I tell my friend to leave her child at home without offending her?
A: It can help to keep an open mind before saying no to all children at weddings.
While most people won’t be offended if you don’t invite their children, it is worth bearing in mind that friends or family with babies may not be able to come unless they bring their baby, particularly if they are still breastfeeding or don’t have trusted family close enough by to babysit.
It could be prudent therefore to discuss your feelings with your friend before sending out your invitations. Explain to her that after a lot of agonising you have decided to have no children at your wedding. It was a hard decision to make and you hope she understands. You really feel that your wedding is an ‘adult only’ occasion. If she then suggests that she will not be able to come to your wedding without her baby, you might want to consider allowing babies but not older children.
One way of having children at your wedding and ensuring they are seen and not heard is by hiring a professional mobile wedding creche or other children’s entertainment for weddings. Another way to keep the little darlings quiet is to keep them entertained with silent toys at the ceremony and activity packs at the reception.
Kate Thompson is Confetti's features editor and wedding expert, and has worked in the wedding industry for 15 years. A widely published lifestyle writer, she has made BBC television and radio appearances discussing wedding trends in the UK.