Children often take part in weddings, serving as the ring bearer or flower girl. However, couples might not know how to handle children at their weddings beyond these basic roles. From how you extend invitations to children to how you keep them occupied at your reception, there are a number of considerations to make when including children at your wedding. Follow basic etiquette guidelines when inviting even the youngest of guests.
- If you are inviting children to your wedding, include their names on the invitation. On the outer envelope, list the children's names underneath the parents' names. Use first names only, such as "Jack, Jill and Jane." Include those names on the inner envelope as well, again under the parents' names.
- If you expect to have a number of kids at your reception, consider offering a special kids' meal. This is especially important if you are having a plated reception, as you won't want to serve---or pay for---filet mignon for a six-year-old. Most venues and caterers can offer a kid-friendly meal that will please your younger guests and be light on your wallet.
- Consider seating children together at a special kids' table. You can include coloring books and small toys at the table to keep kids occupied as they wait for dinner.
- If you want to give parents a break and keep the kids entertained, consider hiring a babysitter for the reception. After the kids eat, they can relocate to a private room where they can watch movies or play with toys. This creates a more adult atmosphere for your reception and allows guests to let loose without worrying about their kids.
- If you do not want children at your reception, clearly indicate this on your invitation. Super Weddings.com suggests including "Adults-Only Reception" or "Adult Reception" on the bottom of your invitation. Include this stipulation on all invitations, so that you do not single out parents.
Etiquette for Guests
- If you receive a wedding invitation that states that the reception is for adults only, do not bring your children or ask for an exception. According to The Emily Post Institute, unless your children receive a separate invitation or have their names listed on your invitation, you can assume that they are not invited to the wedding.
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