How to Easily Decide On Kid Free Wedding

A friend shared a terrible wedding story with me the other day. She and her extended family traveled out of town with three small children, all under the age of four, to a relative’s wedding. Since kids were invited to the wedding, they were very excited to be traveling all together for this special occasion. While at the reception, waiting for dinner to be served, her four year old niece decided to start dancing, as little girls often do, to the music near their table, away from most of the other guests. Within minutes, the bride had took notice and instructed others to remove her niece from the area and had demanded that she stop dancing. Obviously this did not make her family or her niece feel very welcome or that they were ok with kids just being kids at the wedding. They were clearly given mixed signals. Should the bride have had a kid free wedding after all?

When planning a wedding, it can be so hard to not feel the pressure from family and friends on who to invite or not invite to your wedding. Deciding on inviting kids is usually the first hard decision to tackle. I can remember when planning my wedding, I clearly decided I did not want kids at my wedding because I thought they would spoil the mood of our wedding. So many of our friends were just starting their families and had kids under the age of three. I did, however, want to include my two youngest nieces as flower girls in the wedding because they were adorable and they were very well-mannered and I knew they could handle it. But for many couples, the decision is not always that easy. How do you know if you want to invite kids or not? And if you do, will you regret it? Should you only invite kids to the reception?

Here are some easy questions to ask yourself:

  • Do I have young children in my immediate family? Everyone’s family is different. I have seen some really close-knit families that do everything together. They live near one another and nieces and nephews are always included in family events. I have seen the exact opposite and everything in between. But if your family includes some young nieces and nephews and you enjoy being around them most of the time, then you’re closer to a yes when it comes to your decision on inviting them to the wedding.
  • Do I like the idea of a flower girl or young ring bearer? When you’re scrolling Pinterest, do you say, “awww” when you see an adorable picture of a flower girl or ring bearer? Precious flower girls and handsome ring bears do make for cute photos and of course the delight of the guests as they watch them come down the aisle. It’s even more special if they are part of the family or are the children of close friends. It will always be something that binds you together.
  • Does being around loud or crying kids in public make me unnerved? Ok let’s face it, not everyone is a fan of kids. At especially if you don’t have any or are not used to being around young children. This is when you must look deep inside yourself and have the courage to know that it would not be a positive thing at your wedding and be ok with your choice. No one wants you to be unglued at your wedding.
  • Will not including kids at my wedding damage important relationships I have? As we know relationships with family and friends can be hard. Do you have a long lost friend or family member that has been estranged? If you have a situation where excluding a child from the guest list might ruffle some feathers and you can tolerate a select few kids at your wedding, then you might want to go ahead and do so.
  • Will it be a hardship for some family or friends to attend without their kids? For some of your guests, hiring a sitter would be an added expense that they do not have. This can especially be true if they need to set up child care for a day or two if they are traveling from out of town. It might even be very stressful for parents to leave their young kids with someone if they have never done so prior to your wedding.
  • Are the times of my wedding reception unfavorable for small children? If you’re wedding reception is an evening affair and you anticipate it lasting late into the night, then you might consider not including kids at your reception at all, or if possible, only for the dinner. There are many options here and you’ll just want to make sure your invitations clearly spell out your wishes. In the end, you want what’s best for everyone.

Whichever way you decide to go, one thing is true for either decision. Be flexible. In my case, although we had wanted a kid free wedding aside from my flower girls, at the last minute a good friend was left without childcare for his three year old son. We made an exception because we wanted him to be there at our wedding. He found a cute little tuxedo for his son and he ended up being very well behaved and brought a lot of joy to all of us.

flower girl not allowed at kid free wedding


kid free wedding decisions made easy

If you loved the children pictures for this kid free wedding post and you want to see more of my family and children photography, click here.