Can we have a child free wedding is a more common question than you might think. It falls under the wedding etiquette worries that brides and grooms to be, often have. This is a very common scenario:

By the time we get married a number of family members who are currently pregnant will have young children. I’m not sure if we should allow children at our wedding? Can we have a child free wedding? I’m concerned about noise during the ceremony as it will be held outdoors and the wedding breakfast barn is a bit of a walk away. I don’t want our vows to be drowned out by crying babies, but my family members might be offended if I don’t invite them; what do I do?

First things first, you need to think about how they might feel if you don’t invite them. If they are very close family members it’s likely they will expect to come. People with relatively newborns may also not want to leave them with a baby sitter all day and into the evening. So with this in mind, you may risk them not coming at all if you suggest they leave the babies at home.

can we have a child free wedding
Image credit: Shane Webber Photography –

How would you feel if close friends chose not to attend?

You also need to consider how you or your other half would feel if they were not there at all. When you’re considering if you should allow children at your wedding, and you decide you would prefer not to; you run the risk of their parents not coming either.

If you’re thinking can we have a child free wedding, think about the different parts of the day.

You could consider not asking them to the ceremony, so you can have the quiet to say your vows. But you need to talk to them. They may understand your reasons – or it may create a rift. So there are lots of other options you could consider first.

Options for a child friendly wedding

Hire a nanny or baby sitter. This could cover the period of time for the formal wedding ceremony or extend to the wedding breakfast too. If parents can see the children are being well looked after by a registered child minder, in a nearby area, they should feel OK about this. This means they’ll get to enjoy the day too.

If you’re not comfortable hiring a stranger, could a family member help out? Could one of the mums or another relative take care of all the children during the ceremony? If you explain the situation, someone may volunteer to come to your rescue. This could mean everyone may feel more comfortable knowing the children are with someone they know too.

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Have dedicated space for kids

can we have a child free wedding
Image credit: Shane Webber Photography –

If you decide to allow children at your wedding plan to have a dedicated place ready nearby. If a baby or child starts to cry and they need somewhere to go more private, make sure there’s an option on hand. In a normal venue, this could be a side room.

But if your wedding is outside, have a mini kids teepee nearby. This can be beautifully decorated to delight and enthral little ones. Why not include some bean bags and soft play or quiet games to keep them occupied. It’s a perfect refuge for princesses!

Think about the different parts of your wedding day

Another option could be to have a child free ceremony followed by a family orientated wedding breakfast. You could suggest your relatives attend later on so you can say your vows knowing the atmosphere will be disruption free. Then everyone can come and celebrate later on.

If you put the effort in to making your younger guests feel welcome, hopefully everyone will understand you’re not anti-kids; you just want to say your vows in a more serious or adult only environment.

When it comes to your wedding breakfast, you could have a kids table with mini tables and chairs. Or the kids could eat a special menu from their themed teepee or styled den. If the kids have to be seated with their parents, hire a magician or kid’s entertainer. And don’t forget to have an activity bag or games at the child’s table setting to help them pass the time.

So rather than than thinking; can we have a child free wedding; get creative with family friendly ideas!

The benefits of a kid-friendly side room

can we have a child free wedding
Image credit: Shane Webber Photography –

Having a side room for kids and their parents is a great idea at any wedding. Mums who would like to breast feed in private (and not in the toilets) will really appreciate a private, quiet place with comfy chairs. Have a DVD player and kids games area. This is great for children who want to be entertained or let off steam. It’s also a great plan for unpredictable weather. Even in summer it’s not always possible for kids at weddings to be sent outside to play and let off steam.

Can we have a child free wedding?

Is you’re thinking can we have a child free wedding, think about all the possibilities. Planning your wedding can be stressful; but it doesn’t need to be! I can really help your planning – and the day itself – go smoothly, so if you need some ideas and expertise, get in touch.

I’ve always got time for a free, no obligation chat and am full of ideas to help your big day go smoothly.

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