Before we dive in on this subject, I think it’s important to note that I adore children. I was a babysitter and later a nanny, for the better part of a decade. I also think it’s important to note that everyone is different, and is going to approach the subject with a list of reasons why my pros and cons list doesn’t apply to them. My goal is not to convert you to one side or another, but merely to bring up facts you possibly hadn’t considered before.
Cool? Cool. So with that being said, I give you my kiddos Pro/Con list:
Pro: They’re adorable.
Guys. I don’t know who remembers the show “Kids Say The Darndest Things”, but I’m convinced that they could totally make an entire television show around kids at weddings and it would be just as popular.
We always tell parents, couples, and the bridal party that they should be prepared for literally anything on the wedding day when kids are involved in the ceremony. Were they perfect at the rehearsal? Let’s not hold our breath for them to be awesome two days in a row. Did they cry all morning? The promise of a new toy after the ceremony if they’re good can work wonders.
But at the end of the day, they’re memorable and adorable, and they add a personal flair to an already special occasion.
Con: They get grouchy.
They’re moody little kids, y'all. This should not come as a surprise! Often they’re being asked to walk down the aisle in the middle of nap time, or took a few too many trips to the candy bar and now they’re crashing from the sugar high.
When we know there will be kids at the wedding, we often recommend having a babysitter on site or another exit strategy for them, so they don’t have the expectation of staying through the end of the evening.
Pro: They leave a lasting impression and funny material.
90% of the time, even when something goes wrong, the kids are what people will continue talking about long after the wedding has ended.
One of our ring bearers goes down in history as taking his little sister’s flower girl petals and vowing to do her job for her because she wasn’t feeling well-- and then proceeded to throw them back over his shoulder the entire way down.
Con: They are a distraction.
We try to be very intentional about when and where the kids will be needed on a wedding day, because we understand that inevitably, they’re going to be a distraction to all that needs to get done in a short period of time.
If mom and dad are also in the bridal party, we will often recommend the kids being brought later by a babysitter or grandparent, so they don’t have to be entertained all day but rather, can show up, be adorable, and then be done with their responsibilities.
Pro: It’s a memory for when they get married one day.
This is BIG PRO you guys. If you were ever a little kid in a wedding, you know what I mean! It is quite literally, a memory that you will always have and a wonderful piece of nostalgia for the kids when they’re older.
I love it when the photographer is able to capture photos of the flower girl with the brides shoes on, or something else of sentiment, that can be re-created on her wedding day.
Con: The parents don’t get to enjoy the day in the same way.
If parents are in Mommy/Daddy mode on the wedding day, they’re not able to truly let their hair down and enjoy being guests at your wedding. This con obviously carries more weight if the parents of the child are your best man/ maid of honor, because you will obviously want the opportunity to celebrate with them on the day, without the distraction of crying babies, bedtimes, and the possible meltdown.
Pro: It’s your wedding and you can literally do whatever you want!
I don’t really feel like this needs much explanation-- it’s pretty self-explanatory.
Con: People are going to have an opinion about whatever you decide, and will want to go to great lengths to share that opinion with you.
At the end of the day, people will give their two cents about every decision you make throughout the planning process, so it’s really up to you in terms of deciding what battles you want to fight and what is most important to you.
For self-preservation purposes, you will want to set up a sort of a buffering system or chain of command within the family, so that it’s not your phone ringing off the hook with everyone’s opinions about how your day should go.
Give yourself some grace in terms of the planning process, and know that whatever you and your fiance agree on is the right decision for you.