Kids at weddings is always a hot button issue when it comes to wedding debates. The children are the future, but do they belong front and center on your big day? To get to the bottom of this highly contested argument, we gathered some of our rowdy friends for our first ever panel discussion.
Many couples opt for a kid-free wedding day to help maintain the sophisticated ambiance. Others let children play a major role in the day’s festivities. Where do you stand on kids being in attendance: cool or controversial?
BRIAN LEAHY (Founder, The Groom Says)
Unpredictability is definitely IN right now, and what’s less predictable than a six-year-old at a wedding? Look — what’s the worse that can happen? He/she consumes the entire dessert table and blows chunks on the bride’s shoes … and is that so bad? Most kids will either be intrigued (i.e. listening) or utterly bored (i.e. asleep) during the ceremony. As for the reception, their inexplicable bursts of energy on the dance floor make up for all of the old folks and anti-socials who refuse to boogie. My opinion is — if you’re gonna exclude anyone from the wedding, make it the non-dancers.
HUNTER STIEBEL (President, Broke Ass Media)
Like the song says, “It’s a family afaaaaair. It’s a family afaaaaair.” So shouldn’t the whole family be there? If you don’t want certain people (or the entire wedding) to be weighed down by the kids, then arrange for someone to assist in caring/distracting the children. Now, I’m not saying everyone who has a kid should be invited to bring them, but this celebration is about welcoming one another into each others family. It seems only right that the cutest members be able to represent. If for some reason capacity doesn’t allow for kids, that’s understandable… but they are half the size of a normal guest and you don’t know the meaning of sophistication until you’ve seen a 4 year old in a tuxedo (For extra sophistication add a mustache).
MARTA BLOCK (Editorial Director, GigMasters.com)
As with most wedding questions, there’s no one answer that works for all couples. If you are having kids at the wedding make sure to consider your youngest guests when hiring entertainment. Talk to your band or DJ about ways to make sure the kids are occupied and having fun and consider hiring additional entertainment that will appeal to kids and adults alike (magician, face painter, balloon twister, photo booth). It’s perfectly alright to not include kids in your guest list, but if you don’t want kids, don’t be surprised or offended if some out of town guests don’t attend. You can offer to help out-of-town guests find childcare, but depending on the age of the kids, many parents won’t be comfortable leaving their children with sitters they don’t know.
EARL ANDERSON (Certified Cake Pimp, Fantasy Frostings)
I understand the reasoning behind a “Kid-Free” wedding. I also understand vegetarians, but I wouldn’t want to be one. A wedding is a celebration of family. The founding of a new family. To me, family means kids. Lots of kids running wild at the reception. If you want to have a quiet, solemn moment during the ceremony, I suggest an Event Sitter. Our friend Tish at Elegant Event Sitters does a great job entertaining the kids during the quiet times. You can have it both ways.
DAVE SOLDINGER (Founder, Temple of Groom)
My wedding was “no kids allowed”. Look, I love kids, one day I want one or two of em, but right now, I say leave them at home with the sitter. Children are just a giant X factor. Do you really want the most important day of your life interrupted by a screaming child having a tantrum? The last wedding I was at a child wondered onto the dance floor during the couple’s first dance. It was cute, and the wedding couple rolled with it, but come on do you want a kid upstaging you on your day? We adore our puppy and wanted him to take part in our wedding, but even we had to draw the line. No puppies, no children. That being said, look, if the kid is YOURS, fine, he/she is allowed to come – there are exceptions I guess. I just don’t want hate mail from angry parents about to get married!
Now we want to hear your take. How do you feel about kids at weddings? Which answer above do you agree/disagree most with? Chime in by leaving a comment below.