• Michelle Norwood

Do I Have to Invite Kids to My Wedding?

You want your wedding to be an unforgettable affair for all of your guests, but in the mad dash to RSVP, some of your attendees may attempt to include a few persona non grata. Oh no...

Even if you see children in your future, an adults-only wedding is no place for little ones. So what's a couple to do when a wedding guest ask...Can we bring our kids?

The child guest list decision is a difficult one. Some couples think it's more practical and budget-friendly to just say "no" to all children, but not letting your friends bring their babies may mean that your friends won't be able to come.

When you're starting to iron out your guest list and are deciding on take-offs the list, there are a few things you and your partner will have to make a decision on — one being are children allowed at your wedding. With this decision comes a few questions:

Do you have friends who are expecting a child right around your wedding that will need childcare?

Do you want to invite just babies to the wedding (and no small children who are mobile)?

Do you want to invite children, regardless of their ages?

Just say NO..To Kids That Is.

If your set on NO KIDS...Make a golden rule that you're having a kid-free wedding. If you feel bad doing this, you can have them bring their kids to the rehearsal dinner the night before or even schedule to have a babysitter at the hotel for their kids so they can attend your wedding without having to find a babysitter for the night. Or you can chose to have a child care company on site during the reception with activities for the little ones.

Deciding whether or not to invite young children to your wedding is a personal decision, and one which shouldn't be unduly influenced by the preferences of your wedding guests. If you've expressly stated that your wedding is for the 21-and-up crowd weather on your invitation, wedding website or save-the-date card, you're well within your rights to kindly tell your guest that her little ones, while much adored, don't have a place at your nuptials. However, take care to highlight that the wedding is an adult occasion designed with grown-up revelry in mind, one that you sincerely hope they will attend. If your guest feels that they and her children have been singled out, they may feel slighted.

In addition, explain to the guest that you have not included a designated childcare professional in your wedding plans. Be prepared to give your friend the names of several babysitters or caregivers in the area if she does not have one already. While it is too late to transform your wedding into a kid-friendly celebration, your guest should have adequate time to secure a baby sitter for their children and will appreciate your offer to help find a solution to her conundrum.

If you really don't want any children at your wedding, you can make that decision and pass it along to your friends in advance (who then will make the decision about whether or not they'd like to come or leave their baby at home). Either way you decide, as the couple — it's ultimately your decision, so just make sure that you tell your friends beforehand so there is no confusion.

Just remember it's your wedding and guests have to respect your decision to kid or not to kid.