Children at the Reception?

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CelebrationThe question of whether or not to have children at the reception can be a difficult one for most couples to answer. In the modern age, the couple might have children themselves, in which case the question is even more vexed – you want your children to have a part in your wedding celebrations, but you don’t necessarily want to have to deal with them at the end of the night, when they will be tired, possibly hyped-up on wedding cake and sweets, and more likely to misbehave than usual. While it would be nice to have children at the reception, there are circumstances when it might be difficult to accommodate them.

Perhaps the biggest reason why most couples avoid inviting children to the reception is the length of the event. Most wedding events go on until after midnight, which means that children are likely to get tired. They could fall asleep under the tables, which is not unusual, but they could also start crying, throwing tantrums, or generally behaving badly. This can put a damper on the evening, particularly if people start to leave due to the children. If you plan to have an event which lasts until the small hours, then you should ask parents to leave children at home.

Another common problem is what to do with children who have been invited to the wedding, perhaps as ring-bearers or flower girls. You might have been happy to have them there, but are still not keen for them to be invited to the reception. It is not easy to talk to parents about bringing their children to the ceremony, but then sending them home. In fact, most couples decide that it would be unkind to ask children to perform the boring part (to them) and then leave them out of the reception. A solution is to ask the children to attend for a short period, perhaps until the cutting of the cake, and then have them sent home before the evening ends.

Couples may also want to avoid inviting children to the reception because they are having a set menu. In cases where meals are being provided at a lower rate because they are pre-determined, then a children’s menu might be an expensive addition. If you have some children who are teenagers, then these could be invited to eat the adult menu, but smaller kids might have to go home before that part of the reception is held.

An alternative which might suit both the children and the parents is to set up a separate children’s room, where the youngsters can be dropped off and allowed to sleep, play or eat without interrupting the main event. Babysitters can be hired to ensure that the children are well-looked after, and for those with a bigger budget, magicians, clowns and puppeteers might be invited in order to fill in the time. This is a happy compromise between having bored and tired children at a wedding, and having to leave them out completely.

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