I had four flower girls and a ring bearer at my wedding. Our guest list included over fifty small children (though of course fifty didn’t come- you never get 100% RSVP rate). There were so many people who asked me in my two-year engagement if we would allow children at our wedding I lost count. My answer was always the same, “we wouldn’t have it any other way.” Our engagement was long enough that in that time, one of our friends conceived and gave birth to our youngest guest, her 11 month old daughter.
I know why they asked and it’s because I’m not the only one to notice the controversial “no children” rule as a growing trend. I’ve heard the desire to not hear kids crying or tantrumming during your special day. Kids come with complications and interruptions and noise and rude bodily functions. I’m not saying I don’t understand it, but I felt so strongly that having children there would be awesome, and I’d like to make a case for why I was right!
Arguably the most adorable part of the wedding is the unpredictable nature of what the little flower girls and ring bearers will do. Indeed my nearly 2-year-old niece went rogue and walked down the wrong aisle. Good for her! Who’s idea was this anyway?
Our sweet two-year-old ring bearer Lex, did an amazing job. He was so precious and really excited for his duties. He was a little bit shy and nervous and needed to also carry his monster truck down the aisle. I insisted he be allowed to do exactly that and it was one of the most precious moments of the wedding. When his grandma saw the photos she instantly noticed her grand baby with his signature companion, “Gravedigger.” It was also a great way to include Lex’s mom and dad, two of my husband’s closest friends.
In the same vein, we were able to include his other bestie’s 3-year-old daughter, his 6-year-old niece, my 2-year-old niece and my 7-year-old daughter. It brought family and friends together and gave a lot of parents a milestone memory of their sweet cute children.
As if that wasn’t enough, as we exited the ceremony, the kids were the most excited to blow the bubbles as we left the church. It’s hard to raise that level of enthusiasm for bubbles in the hot June sun from a bunch of adults over 30.
At our reception, our dance floor was literally never empty, not even once, because for every song there were a group of twirling, dancing, joyful little kids smiling, blowing bubbles, giggling and making everyone smile.
My daughter, an only child, had playmates all day, and lived her dreams of getting to spend a whole day in a frilly dress with her best friend.
The coolest thing for me about being a bride was that as the center of attention, the only one in white and by virtue of having like, met-gala level hair and makeup, you are something of a celebrity to the kids at your wedding. They are actually really excited to talk to you, dance with you and hug you. It’s a little bit like being dressed as Cinderella in Disney World. They’re interested. They’re picking up the big idea. This is a freaking dream come true for me since 1. I love children, and 2. Sometimes kids are scared of even the nicest people. Being the bride kinda broke down their fear and I felt we all had an awesome connection.
Finally, after the wedding was over and we got our photos back from the photographer, my absolute favorites were of the children. They make our lives look full and happy, sweet and rich. I love the ones where they’re smiling, where they aren’t, where they have no idea what’s going on, where they are barefoot on the dance floor, completely over dress shoes, where they’re being naughty or sweet or where they look sleepy after skipping nap time. They are SO DAMN CUTE.
If any of this sounds like something you don’t want to miss out on, consider inviting kids to your wedding. If you have guests with small children, and you don’t allow them, some of your loved ones may not be able to attend, or it may put a big burden on them to find a sitter. It might be worth it to you to try and accommodate kids. It may also be difficult for you to exclude all children except for the one or two family member’s children who are in the wedding party, and it will probably be more fun for those one or two children to have some friends to play with.
And for all the people nervous about them crying during your vows…Dude, one of them totally cried during my vows. It’s true! The riskiest scariest thing about a kid at a wedding happened to me, and guess what?! It didn’t matter at all. It did not phase me. I didn’t even know which kid it was. It could’ve been mine for all I know. I was so focused on being present with my future husband. I’ve been looking forward to this day for years and when our pastor wrapped her stole around our hands, I felt the Holy Spirit. That’s the only thing that mattered.
If you think you want kids at your wedding, be prepared to give them some extra consideration and try to host them the same way you would an adult guest. In my next blog, I’m going to offer some tips on how to make a kid-friendly wedding a huge success.
Leslie – The Way at Home Mom.
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