Today we talk children at weddings with a discussion and thoughts of parents all over the UK on whether your Winter Wedding could be snow queen frosty with meltdowns and stress or a warm, happy, fun and inviting Winter Wonderland.
MummyPages’ Wedding survey 2015 surveyed over 1,200 mums across the UK and have announced the findings of their Wedding Survey to explore the controversial issue of whether children should be invited and indeed attend the celebrations.
Interestingly, when it comes to the invitation list, 7 in 10 mums feel it is up to the discretion of the bride and groom as to whether children should be invited. However the majority of mums (86%) believe that young babies under six months should always be invited to attend a wedding.
With an increasing number of brides planning to have their wedding during the winter months in the UK, the logistics of having children attend become more difficult.
Owing to the cold temperatures, the ability to let the children run around and let off steam outside is off the table, with no where to run (or hide), and everything around them breakable, parents have fewer options on where to take their little ones in the event of a meltdown.
However, Mummypages have a list of tips which should help your winter wonderland wedding be remembered for the candlelit magic rather than the icy reception the children received.
Amanda Mcknight, spokesperson for Mummypages.co.uk explains: “Our mums are quite divided as to whether children should be invited to weddings, with many of them changing their mind once they’ve had their own children to be more inclusive.”
“They do agree on one thing though, and that is that mums with young babies should always have their wedding invitation extended to include their new arrival. Whether bottle or breastfeeding, our mums agree that the option to bring your baby should be allowed by the bride and groom regardless of whether they are related.”
A large number of our mums actually opt to leave their children with a relative rather than to bring them to a wedding to which they are invited, simply because they view it as a rare night out with their partner to relax and enjoy themselves. This is particularly true when an overnight stay is involved at the wedding venue.”
“Overall though, our MummyPages mums believe it is better to be inclusive especially where family is concerned. This way, nobody is offended and the parents can make a judgement call as to whether to bring their children or not.”
“Our mums are also united in their belief that children’s food and entertainment should be provided by the bride and groom if children are attending a wedding’s post ceremony celebrations. Hungry, bored and tired children can quickly escalate into a tantrum which of course would not be welcomed by the wedding party.”
Mummypages tips in catering for children at your winter wedding:
1. In the church or venue where the service takes place. Try and get the ushers to sit parents with young children at the end of the rows, so that is they can exit quickly and quietly if needs be. Have a child friendly program with a picture of the bride and groom for them to colour in.
2. Have a children’s table at the wedding which is covered with a paper table cloth. Have crayons and stickers for them to decorate it with. If not for the meal time have a long tressle table set up for them after the meal. Have kid friendly themed placemats to keep them entertained during the speeches. Serve them milk and a cookie for the toasting or pink lemonade.
3. Have kid friendly food for the children. If they eat then they are less likely to have a melt down. Check with parents that children do not have any allergies.
4. When you are choosing your venue, see if there is a room you could use for somewhere parents can take their children for some down time. Earlier in the day it can be a place to run around but later on in the evening play some relaxing music in the room- keep it a calm place. Set up crafts in the room(maybe cards they can make the bride and groom), have a lego box, have some board games and books. For the slightly older children perhaps a TV and Wii console.
5. Set up a pack’n play or two in the room for the little ones to have some down time if needed.
6. Have favors for the kids that are age appropriate. Perhaps a favor bag filled with small toys, a coloring book, crayons, glow sticks, travel games and some sweeties.
7. Have a children’s dance competition for 1 song and ask the DJ to play ‘Let it go’- obviously!
8. If you can -hire a baby sitter/s/creche to keep them entertained, happy and safe.
Here are the main insights from MummyPages wedding survey:
In general, most MummyPages mums believe children should not automatically be invited to attend a wedding celebration:
72% think it’s entirely up to the discretion of the bride and groom as it’s their day.
25% said that only children directly related to the bride or groom should be automatically invited to a wedding celebration
However 86% believe that young babies under six months should always be invited to attend a wedding.
Upon receiving a family invite:
56% of MummyPages mums said they would not bring their children, saying it’s a chance for them to relax and enjoy themselves
30% said they would bring their children but make childcare arrangements for the evening time
8% said they would bring their children and it would not affect their enjoyment of the day
6% said they would bring my children but leave early
When children are invited to a wedding just over half (57%) of the MummyPages mums surveyed believe they should be allowed to stay for most of the day’s celebrations:
36% ceremony, photos and evening meal
26% ceremony, photos, evening meal and dancing until late
26% ceremony and photos only
15% should not attend at all
65% of the married MummyPages mums surveyed did invite children to their own wedding:
39% only invited those children that played a role in their wedding ceremony
30% because they wanted the children there to share in their special day
19% felt it was better to be inclusive and leave it up to the parents to decide if they wanted to bring them or not
12% felt under pressure or obliged to invite children of their guests to their wedding
Of the 35% of married MummyPages mums who did not invite children to their own wedding:
53% said it was because their parents cannot relax and enjoy the wedding day if their children are there
31% said it was because wedding celebrations are not a place for children
16% said it was because a wedding day is too long for children
When it comes down to it the day is the couples and they have to make the choice that reflects their celebration and what makes them happy.
So whats your thoughts on children at weddings?
Would love your comments and thoughts whether a parent or not…
Unhappy Flowergirl ~ Andrew Billington Photography
Superhero Kids ~ Peacock Obscura
Creche ~ Ciccionas Nannies