Do you need to invite children to your wedding?

© David Scholes
© David Scholes

Your wedding guest list should be a mixture of friends, family and the people you care about. For a lot of couples, this means people of all ages attending your wedding and having a good time.

But what if you want your wedding to be a purely grown up affair?

This might mean that you decide not to invite children to your wedding. Choosing to do this can be a bit of a tricky subject to talk about with some of your guests. We’ve put together some tips to help with planning if you decide children won’t be attending your wedding.

Why would you not invite children?

When you’re planning your wedding, you’ll want to make sure your guests are able to relax, enjoy themselves and have fun.

Some friends and family might have smaller children. This often means spending a lot of time making sure they’re having fun, they aren’t bored or trying to get them to sleep.

This can detract from the fun the parents (your friends) might have because they spend a lot of their time distracted from the day due to having to watch their children.

Smaller children also have a habit of being noisy at inopportune moments. This can be a big problem during a wedding ceremony if a child is crying or being fussy, especially if you’re paying to have it filmed.

You also might want your wedding to be a more sophisticated and grown-up event, but it can be really hard to maintain that atmosphere with kids running around.

© Project Valentine
© Lesley Meredith
© Project Valentine
© Lesley Meredith

How do you approach not inviting children?

Firstly, you should decide on a cut-off point, age-wise, for your invitations. Think about the ages of children your guests have. For example, if you say you aren’t inviting anyone under the age of 10, and you have relatives with children that are nine and 11, things might get awkward. It’s better to set your cut-off point so that it makes sense, such as not inviting anyone below the UK legal drinking age, to make sure you aren’t causing anyone to make difficult decisions.

Asking friends and family to not bring their children to a wedding can feel awkward. However, you need to keep in mind that it is your wedding and the final choice on who attends rests with you. Just give your guests plenty of notice that you aren’t including children in the wedding, so they can arrange childcare.

Some people might be upset with your decision, but don’t panic. Again, keep in mind that the decision was yours to make and explain your reasoning to them. You should stick to your decision too. Keep in mind that if you change your mind for one person you could cause more problems by upsetting guests.

Having the wedding you want

While deciding not to invite children to your wedding can be a shock to some people, it’s important you make sure your day goes how you want it to.

If children don’t fit into the image of your dream wedding, then they don’t have to be there. A lot of people have a very traditional image of a wedding ceremony in mind when they think of their big day. This can include page boys, flower girls and young bridesmaids. If these don’t factor into your wedding, you aren’t obliged to have children attend, just keep in mind that this is something you need to approach delicately with some of your guests.

If you’ve not started planning your wedding yet and don’t know where to start, our Dream Makers could help – from helping you to make the right decision about your venue, to smaller details and bigger decisions like if you should invite children or not.