Alright friends, this topic is a controversial one, and one that we see discussed constantly on our wedding groups and boards. While it used to be considered taboo, more and more couples are planning "kid-free" weddings - meaning guests younger than a certain age aren't invited. Sounds harsh, right? However, there are actually quite a few upsides to hosting a kid-free wedding. That being said, it's not always that easy to just pull the trigger on it - and today, we want to explore the pros and cons of removing the kiddos from your guest list.
Why Hosting A Kid-Free Wedding Is Tricky:
1. Guests With Kids Must Find Childcare It sounds so simple: no one under "X" years old will be invited to the wedding. Great! However, for many parents, passing off their kids for a day (or even, a weekend) isn't an easy thing to do. When you host a no-kid wedding, you're now requiring any of your guests with children to accommodate, meaning they have to find, and often pay for, childcare.
2. Someone Will Be Offended It doesn't matter how nicely you think you've worded it on your invitation, or how thoroughly you explain it, someone will be upset that you've essentially crossed-out their kiddos. Some parents may take it personally and assume that if their kids aren't wanted, they as parents aren't really wanted, either.
3. You Might End Up Picking Favorites If you're contemplating having a ring bearer or flower girl, keep this in mind: parents who were told to leave their kids at home will notice. While many are understanding of the fact that your bridal party kids have particular roles in your day, some might not feel the same.
Why Hosting A Kid-Free Wedding Is Beneficial:
1. No Kid-Related Drama As photographers, we have to be honest: we've seen it all. And unfortunately, a large handful of the "disasters" we see, are caused at least in-part by the youngest guests. We've seen dessert tables tipped over, broken dishes, first dances that are photo-bombed by kids running across the dance floor, screaming and pouting during family photos... the list is endless. While we would all hope that parents are on-top of their kids 100%, the reality, especially at weddings, is that this is NOT the case. Kids can't help it: weddings aren't exactly thrilling for little ones. Crying during your ceremony, throwing up after too much cake.... it happens, more often than we want to admit.
2. Guests Can Be Fully Focused - And Have A Real Date Night
While there is some work on the forefront for your guests to accommodate childcare, there are perks once they've accomplished this goal. For many parents, this means a true date night, where they can relax and enjoy themselves. It also means that instead of having to constantly tend to their children, they can actually pay attention to your wedding, and be fully-engaged in the day.
3. You'll Save Money While it doesn't seem like a lot, every dinner plate you pay for costs money - and by eliminating kids from your guest count, you're likely to save a lot. You'll also avoid the pressure to add to your reception, like having a kids table or coloring books available for young guests.
So.... Should You Go Kid-Friendly or Kid-Free?
When you get right down to it, your wedding should be YOUR wedding - which means every choice you make, should be one you make because of your wants and needs. You'll need to follow your heart when it comes to what you and your partner truly prefer. Once you've made a decision, stick to it. It is easy to be pressured and influenced in all aspects of your wedding planning, but your day needs to be yours - and you don't want to regret a decision down the road, because it was a decision made without your best interest in mind.
If you do opt to leave kids off of your guest list, the more proactive and straightforward you can be, the better. Send your invites early, and give parents ample time to find childcare. Include a little note explaining that you want them to have a great time, and a night away from the littles (**hint - there are TONS of great, creatively worded suggestions on Pinterest). The more black and white you make your message, the better.
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