small child walking down aisle at wedding at Firestone Country Club

Allowing Children at Your Wedding // A Photographers Checklist

In my blog post about allowing children at your wedding, I briefly covered the pros and cons of allowing children to attend your wedding. Having kids at your wedding brings benefits as well as challenges. If you have decided that you will, indeed, have small children at your wedding, I want to provide a checklist of things that you can do to help make your wedding day less stressful and allow the children to have a great time, as well.

My Checklist

1 –  First, be sure to indicate whether your wedding will allow children. Don’t assume that your family and guests will know your wishes. Whether you are allowing children or not, be sure to indicate this on your invitations. Also, if you are having children, provide any specific instructions or provisions that you have so that everything is crystal clear to the parents.

2 – If a parent is in the bridal party, make sure that the child/children have someone to look after them during the day, especially if both parents are in the wedding party. Being a bridesmaid and groomsmen has specific requirements depending on the bride and groom. One of those should not be worrying about their children. Having someone that they trust to look after their children will make their day, and yours, much more enjoyable.

3 – If the kids are in the wedding party, make them feel extra special.  Make a special “Welcome Bag” or goody bag especially for them. This sounds a little hokey but, to the child,  this will increase their participation and make them feel special.

4 – At your wedding ceremony, it’s important that parents have a special place to take small children in the event they get restless during the proceedings. Many churches have a “cry room” for this purpose.  Be prepared for anything and allow it to happen. Children will be children and they aren’t always in a happy mood.

5 -A children’s table at your reception is always a good option but it will require supervision. Setting it up next to the parents is a good choice if opt for a children’s table at your wedding reception. Better yet, a completely separate section just for the kids. This will make it safer for them (no big, dancing feet to worry about) and make it more convenient of the adult guests. Again, strict supervision is required for a separate area.

6 -Be sure to have menu items that are kid friendly. Grilled Salmon or Filet may not be best for a little one, so accommodate their little tastes. Surveying parents that will be attending with children is a good idea to get a consensus of what is best to serve.

7 – Let your wedding reception DJ/MC know that there will be children in attendance. This will enable them to be mindful of what they play until later in the evening. Which brings me to my next point.

8 – Save the more explicit music for later in the evening. Most of the children will be gone by then so adults can then cut loose a little more.

As I’ve previously mentioned in my blog post, having children at your wedding is a great opportunity.  A well thought out and organized wedding day will ensure that you will have a great day. Doing the extra things to include children will not only make them feel special but make you feel special as well. And that is exactly HOW you should feel on your wedding day, right?