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Wedding Etiquette - Children at Weddings


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This can be a touchy subject with some people. From asking that your guests with children don’t bring their children to your wedding, to having children at your wedding it is a fine line. Whichever way you go, children at your wedding or not, the decision is yours and your guests will respect that.

Now, if you are happy to have children at your wedding you will assume that the parents will have their child’s behaviour under control. From your side you can ensure that the children are catered for, and that there are activities set up at the table for them, such as chalk board mats, noodle boxes filled with little trinkets and treats, or even little colouring in books with crayons for the younger ones. For me personally at a wedding earlier in the year, our children were able to attend the ceremony and a babysitter came in to look after them for the reception. During the ceremony my five year old daughter was only too happy to sit with her grandparents and she enjoyed it. However, my three year old son was getting restless and instead of having him climb the walls and carry on during the wedding ceremony, I was quick to take him outside the church and I spent the whole ceremony outside walking around with him. I missed the ceremony, but there was no way I would let him potentially ruin the church service.

Many parents will be on the ball in managing their child’s behaviour at a wedding. I have only heard of one story where unfortunately at a wedding the children carried on whilst the parents sat by, leaving other guests to entertain and distract their children for them. If you want to enjoy a night out, please book a sitter – don’t take your children along if you know they are not up for the wedding. Just like you, the other guests are there to celebrate and enjoy the event and it is rude to have other guests step in and watch your children. Like I said, this is only one incident I have heard of. It is fair to assume that if you are having children at your wedding, that their parents will have things under control. They know their children and can read the situation. They may leave the reception earlier if their kids are over tired, and as much as you would like all your guests to stay right up to closing time, by them leaving early they are avoiding a meltdown of nuclear proportions, keeping your reception happy. The last thing any parent would want in a room full of people is to have their child throwing a temper tantrum.

As a mum, I try to take my kids with me everywhere I go. It gives them an opportunity to learn how to behave and what is expected of them in different situations and it also gives me a bit of awareness as to when to call time – like removing my son from the church when he started fidgeting. I knew he would escalate if I sat there trying to restrain him. If we are ever invited to a wedding where children are also included my hubby and I would work as tag team with the kids and we know when to call it a day and leave the reception. For older children, in the lead up to the wedding, start teaching them appropriate manners for them to use during the ceremony and at the reception. Get them used it beforehand so they know what is coming on the day. Start talking about weddings, the ceremony etc…to get them excited about it, tell them how important these events are and how they will be sitting at the table with grownups. For the older children, this will make them feel very important, being involved to enjoy the reception with the grownups.

However, if you feel that it would be better to organise a babysitter for your children, the bride and groom won’t argue with that either.

P.S. To the bride and groom – please don’t assume that parents will let their children run amok at your wedding too! To keep children occupied at your reception, have a look at Australia’s #1 Wedding and Party Shop for treats and tricks to help keep the little ones happy.

Image: Samm Blake



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