It is always nice to include the children of your guests, if you can. But how do you entertain them in the time that they are there? How should they come dressed? Should you bring the stroller for them? Should they look like the wedding party? Does the bride provide kiddy meals? Here are some helpful advice tips to help you through it so that everyone is comfortable including the child. Notice, our responses are “Advice” and not necessary the “Answer”. Use this as a guide, not the rules. In weddings, there are no hard and fast rules- its what works best for everyone!


I’m having my reception in the church hall and have arranged to have them open and staff the nursery (at my expense). I want all children under 12 to go to the nursery where I will have food and age appropriate activities. I want everyone to have fun, but, at the last reception I went to, the little kids wandered, unsupervised, getting into mischief. Please, advise me.

QHow do I let people know about that I am planning daycare during the wedding?

AThere are two ways to let people know… first is a phone call after you get back the RSVP stating that they are going to bring their young one. Secondly, at the church make sure to have information available to the parents about the service.

QShould I make a call and check with the parents about allergies or diet restrictions?

AYes. Those that do have allergies will either carry food with them that the child can eat or let you know implicitly what they are. You can ask this of the parents when you call. Make sure that the staff knows that there are foods that are not appropriate for all ages like honey, nuts and strawberries, etc. NO SUGAR! And ask someone who may know the children to sit for them during your ceremony so that they are comfortable with that person. Maybe ask one of your parents for a name.

Q Should I suggest they bring a set of play clothes or just provide smocks to keep the kids clothes clean?

A We all think it’s a great idea for you to do this… but want to stress that you should only have activities that will not require smocks or play clothes ie: no finger paints. Remember, this is still a wedding and you don’t want to turn back over children who need a bath! Those that need bibs will probably have them in the diaper bags.

Q Do I still include the kids names on the invitations?

 A This is tricky- if you do want them to attend, then yes, or simply make a call to see if they will be coming with their parents. This depends on the formality of the event. If you choose not to have guests children at your wedding, you need to state this on your invitations and have your wedding party spread the “nice word”. You may elect to use “Adult Event” or “Adult Event Only” on the bottom of the invitation or RSVP card in a smaller font size.

**Remember, guests who have children NEED to be informed so they can make prior arrangements, its only fair to everyone. Don’t assume that the children will not come, because not everyone has the same thinking. You are asking for wedding trouble if you let this go!

QWhat do I do if the parents ignore my request to not have young children at my reception?

AYou cannot make or force them to turn over their child, as some may be uncomfortable not knowing who is watching them. Just rest assured that those types of parents rarely let the child out of their site anyway. That’s why the bride (or better yet, maid of honor or bridesmaids) need to talk to the parents prior to that day so that the child can get excited about the wedding and want to go and see more kids to “play”. You take the pressure off of the parents and the child- everyone is HAPPY!


We recently attended an event where it was stated “Adult Event” on the bottom of the RSVP card, and when we got there, we could see the reasoning why it was asked upon us. It was on top of a roof building in downtown Los Angeles where there could have possibly been immediate danger to a young child. As the bride and groom, use your good judgment, if it is not safe or appropriate for children to attend, then don’t invite them. As we found out from our friend, who had to purchase special liability insurance to use this building, that it was not recommended to have young children there. The building was deemed historical, so it had no updated safety guard rails and lots of stairs in the back that spelled danger. Remember, in all events you are ultimately responsible morally and financially for the safety of your guests. Be smart.

QWhat is the the proper etiquette for carrying a 5-month old to the reception. Should I bring him in via his carrier, a lightweight stroller, or hold him? The reception is being held at a winery/vineyard.

AWe’re not sure there is “etiquette ” that covers this – but would just go with the mode the baby is least likely to cry in. Do what works best for you – but take our advice – don’t bring EVERYTHING “just in case”, because you may just end up holding him/her the whole time! You should travel with all of the items that are necessary to soothe the baby when at home. If you normally rock the baby, bring the carrier so you can rock it. If you carry the baby in a sling, bring that. But if your baby needs everything but the kitchen sink to make them happy, you might consider hiring a sitter for the few hours you are away. Remember, this is someone else’s big day!

QWe (my children included) are invited to a formal night wedding- what is appropriate for my son and daughter to wear? I don’t want to upstage the children in the wedding.

AIf it is a black tie event (usually stated on the invitation), then it is appropriate for your son to wear a tuxedo or black suit (not any other color) and a black tie or bow tie. See our affordable selection of tuxedos varying in sizes from 6 months to boys size 20. Your girl should be dressed in a formal dress, but not white to compete with the flower girl. If you know that you will be asked to be in wedding photos, then you should check with the bride for suggestions ahead of time and do not disturb her right before the wedding with this, see the maid of honor. Usually dresses in complimentary wedding colors are recommended and look best.

If the event is not black tie, then regular dress-up clothes are recommended. Boys should be dressed in little suits and/or vests are a good way to get a formal look with comfort. Girls should be dressed in her best church dress or party dress. Shoes should be clean with no scuffs and comfortable dress-up style. No matter what, you should not put your children in tennis shoes or flip flops- they look really bad in photos. The only time we’ve seen flip flops look good is in a wedding on a beach in Maui. So if you’re not in the sand, put on your formals!

NOTE: How often does this happen? Your whole family is dressed up? Just think, you may want to take the opportunity to have the photographer shoot some great formals while you have the chance. These pictures turn into great gift ideas for the holidays and birthdays. You will very surprised at how less expensive they are bought as a “copies” from the wedding photographer as opposed to the sitting fees and portrait costs from the outside studios.

QMy caterer is charging $200.00 per head and I have 10 children as guests, should I have to pay $2000.00 for 10 children who would love a $1.99 McDonalds happy meal?

AWhen planning the wedding, you should address this before you sign a contract. If you talk to a caterer who will not give you a discount for children—RUN. Run like the wind to one who will- $2000.00 for 10 kids- no way! It is common to negotiate the meal price with caterers, but cake cutting, drink costs and other applicable charges are the usually the same. If there is a head count charge for alcohol, then have them cut out that charge for kids. Most children love hamburgers and french fries and serving them a special meal would ensure that everyone is well fed and happy. But check with the parents and caterer for ideas for food before putting your plan into action. And hey, if everyone agrees on McDonalds, the drive thrus are always open!

NOTE: One of our customers wrote in and said was charged $1500.00 extra by the caterer for the children who were guests. She stated that she had “counted” them as guests but had forgotten they would not be at the ceremony because she had pre- arranged for a sitter to take them to the movies and dinner after the ceremony. She was stuck paying the bill due to her giving the caterer the wrong number. Remember, caterers always buy enough food (plus some) for the head that you give them and will stick to their contract when you try to get a discount AFTER the wedding.

And this is true in reverse…caterers will, and can charge you an additional bill after the wedding if you had extra people over the head count given. Yes, you can bet you will be charged- this holds true for extra guests that may arrive and take a plate even on a buffet dinner. Caterers know all the tricks and do their counts with the plates and when your guests are seated and served. Read your contracts, we know it will be there and if it is not, address it before you sign-Be smart, not sorry! Its not the first bill you want see as you return from home your honeymoon.