Good for you for wanting children at your wedding! Having kids at a wedding emphasizes the importance of family and togetherness on your most important day. Even rambunctious kids liven up ceremonies and wedding receptions to lift spirits and make your wedding more fun.
Some people worry about bringing children to weddings because they’re unsure whether they’re invited. However, by wording your invitations correctly, you can eliminate confusion around bringing kids. You can do this by explicitly saying kids are welcome, addressing the invitation properly, or listing the wording in your response cards.
Having young children at weddings isn’t for everyone. Young kids, for example, may struggle with the formality of a black-tie wedding. However, relaxed wedding ceremonies and receptions are great events for kids to dance, run around, and celebrate joining two families.
Here are nine wording tips to help you tell people that children are welcome when you invite them to your wedding.
Include Child Names on the Invite
The easiest way to make children feel welcome at your wedding is to send them an invitation! Include all the children’s names on the invite, so there’s no confusion about who should come.
This may be challenging because you might not know everyone’s kids’ names, but you may get the kids you like at your wedding that way. Most people know they should only bring the people listed on an invite. Single people sometimes get a plus one, but that’s about it.
Make it clear by inviting the whole family.
Explicitly Write that Kids Are Welcome
Not everyone gets married in City Hall and has a catered white tablecloth reception. These days, plenty of folks have open receptions in their backyard or book food trucks to cater a reception in a park.
Relaxed weddings are much more conducive to having kids running around screaming, so you may want children there with everyone.
Make it easy for guests to decide by explicitly writing, “Children are welcome” on the invitation.
List a Child Age Restriction
Sometimes you want kids there but want to avoid disruptive young children. In these cases, it’s best to list some age restrictions on the invitation. For example, tell them that only children above eight, 12, or 16 are invited.
This will let families bring more kids but won’t detract from the vows or the special moments when you’re dancing in front of everyone at your reception. Being clear about age will prevent anyone from bringing infants or toddlers who may not love being at a reception in the late evening.
List Children Options in the RSVP
You may not want to write anything about kids on the invitation, so putting the option to bring kids on your RSVP card is another choice. You can do this either by putting a box for any children coming on the RSVP card included with the invitation or by explaining things in better detail on your wedding’s website, where people RSVP digitally.
This option keeps your invitation clear of any mention of children.
Invite the Whole Family
When you don’t know the entire family, you should just say that everyone is invited! Then, address the invite to Mr. or Mrs. so-and-so and family. That invitation gives blanket coverage to everyone in the family, so they could all show up at your wedding.
If your reception is buffet-style on a beach somewhere, then you typically won’t care who shows up and who they bring as long as they stay positive. Kids provide a good energy boost to family weddings so you may want a lot of them there with you.
Tell Guests About Accommodations for Children
You should remember that some parents won’t want to bring their kids even if children are invited. They want to enjoy your wedding rather than spend hours chasing their toddler around.
Make accommodations for children like games, a chocolate fountain, or by hiring entertainers to keep kids busy. Tell them about what you’ve done on the invitation, so parents feel excited about bringing the whole family.
List Children Catering Options on the Menu
One way to welcome children to your wedding is by providing child-friendly meals at your reception.
Having mac and cheese, hot dogs, nuggets, etc., is a great way to communicate that you want kids there. Your food options will also help parents understand whether their kid is old enough to come.
Paying for babysitters will be a godsend for parents who need to bring their kids but are stressed about how they’ll behave. Depending on your wedding venue, you can provide childcare somewhere on the premises in a way that won’t detract from the ceremony.
There could be a children’s play area or a conference room where you can set up movies and games with professional babysitters. You could also ask any teenage kids in your family to help watch the kids while you’re having the wedding.
Not everyone will feel comfortable leaving their children in someone else’s hands, but you should get plenty of parents who bring their kids and are grateful for the care provider.
Ask Children to Be Involved in the Wedding
Another great way to express that children are welcome at your wedding is to give them the option to get involved.
Send your invites early enough to give parents time to plan for bringing their children. This could involve buying plane tickets and booking a bigger hotel room.
Obvious roles at a wedding include ring bearers and flower girls. However, other kids can act as ushers, take care of the guest book, and walk people to their dinner tables at the reception. As a result, children can make a formal wedding feel more relaxed and playful, which can be a nice touch depending on the feeling you’re going for at your reception.
Wedding receptions with children aren’t for everyone, but they’re a ton of fun when kids are there! Make sure you give parents plenty of time to plan and let them know you’re doing what you can to make the day easier.