Author Bio: Cristin Howard runs Smart Parent Advice, a site that provides parenting advice for moms and dads. Cristin writes about all of the different ups and downs of parenting, provides solutions to common challenges, and reviews products that parents need to purchase for babies and toddlers.
When it comes to wedding etiquette, there’s no shortage of rules. However, when it comes to bringing kids, some brides can be very particular. If you don’t see your child’s name on the wedding invitation, it may raise some questions about whether they’re allowed or not.
Brides should be very explicit when clarifying whether or not children are invited, but if you’re not sure, there are some things you can do to help you decide if you should bring your kids to the wedding.
1. Look at the invitation.
Typically, the outer envelope of the invitation will only address the parents in the family, even if the children are allowed to come, so it can be tough to tell. Look at the inner envelope or the invitation itself for clues as to whether or not you should bring them.
Their names could be written somewhere else on the invitation. If they’re not, see if there are menu items from which to choose. If there are, and there’s a kids meal option, it’s safe to assume they’re allowed.
2. Check out the details.
Sometimes the venue or time of day will give you a clue as to whether you should bring your kids or not. If the wedding is at a swanky location later in the evening, it’s likely more formal, and you may want to think twice about bringing them.
If it’s at a church in the middle of the afternoon, you’re probably good to go. It can be dangerous to make assumptions, so it may be depend on how well you know the couple and their personalities.
3. Ask around.
If you still can’t tell, ask some other guests if they’re bringing their kids. They may know something you don’t. They may have talked to the couple directly or asked for themselves. If all else fails, call the family and ask yourself.
4. Decide not to bring them anyway.
Even if you’re almost positive that kids are allowed, you can always decide not to bring them anyway. It’s not rude to leave them at home with a sitter and go enjoy your evening as a couple.
Unless it’s a very close friend or family member who you know will be disappointed if your kids aren’t there to share the day, you can always decide to attend on your own without them.
5. Bring something to do.
If you do confirm that kids are allowed, or even encouraged to attend, make sure you address behavior concerns early on so they know what’s expected of them. Prepare for the big day by ensuring you bring something for your kids to do.
There may be kid-friendly activities planned, but even so, a set of crayons for coloring or a music player can keep them entertained during the most boring times so they don’t disrupt the ceremony.
6. Don’t take offense.
Some brides dedicate a lot of resources to a more elaborate wedding. They want to enjoy their special day with all of their favorite adults without having to worry about catering to children who may get bored easily.
Some brides are worried about behavior issues. They simply want you to be able to enjoy your evening without having to take care of your kids. This is an important consideration, especially if the reception is going to run late.
The decision is rarely ever personal. The best thing you can do is respect the bride and groom’s decision and honor their special day. You wouldn’t want someone to disrupt your special day, so don’t do it to them.