So in this series, I am taking a brief look at the burning questions surrounding the decisions you need to make about you wedding – hopefully offering some advice and guidance based on my experience as a photographer (and even occasionally as a guest!).
In choosing whether to have children at your wedding, you are heading into potentially contentious waters. There are pros & cons to having children present; pros such as being able to extend your hospitality to a whole family, helping parents whom might find that getting the right childcare for such an event is problematic, and the sheer fun of having these mad tiny people running around enjoying themselves to the MAX.
The cons involve the added expense, finding fun things for the children to do, potential disruption in the ceremony, distracted friends who might not be able to relax, a less adult (and therefore possibly a little restricted) atmosphere, and the ever-present danger of a hot & grumpy child who has been asked to hold it together during very formal proceedings finally having The Meltdown.
As a photographer, I love having children there. I love photographing them in their unguarded reveries (like little Florence above), and in their exuberance (like these gorgeous trampolining girls below), and I love photographing the quiet interactions between them & their parents.
As a parent, I am torn. I love being able to go to weddings as guest and to not have to worry what havoc my children are creating (the now quite common sweetie table at weddings are basically a table of hand grenades packed with lunacy-inducing sugar, ready to explode where my children are concerned!), but I also love being able to share these events with them, to make them feel included, and to see the joy on their faces when the DJ turns on the light show. Parents whose children are not able or willing to go & stay with Grannie & Grandpa may feel excluded by a ‘no kids’ policy, meaning they might feel they are unable to come. They might also interpret it as a rejection of their child. Maybe the prudent thing to do is gauge your guest’s situations & feelings about it before you start making decisions.
As with all wedding planning, you need to do what is best for you & your guests, and not do anything which will cause stress on the day. If you are worried about someone’s reactions, talk to them before the invitation lands on the mat. And if you are choosing to have children as part of your day then give them something to do! At Becky & Dom’s wedding at Cripps Barn they had a room set aside full of costumes and hats and games – it kept the children entertained all day, and a fair few adults, too!
Please leave a comment – I’d love to hear your thoughts.