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I think it’s pretty safe to say that all grown-ups involved in the wedding day see it as a truly special event. It’s one of the biggest (if not THE biggest) day in couples lives. So if adults view the day that way, then just imagine how it is for kids of all ages involved.

I remember giving one of my older sisters away at the tender age of just 14 and the mixture of apprehension & excitement made for one very nervous but proud young man.

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At most of the weddings I document, there are kids a darn sight younger than 14 who are involved in highly important roles on the day as bridesmaids, flower girls, page boys and ushers. At one particular wedding I covered many years ago – the best man was a young lad of about 11 whose father was the groom – and yes, his speech was brilliant and had the guests in tears.

With regards to whether or not you should have kids at your wedding, I sit firmly on the fence on this issue. But I do find having kids at weddings offers me a creative outlet with my photography as you’ll see in the pictures posted here. I’ll offer some advice for couples in the stages of planning their weddings on how to accommodate & entertain these little guests. In turn, you’ll free up some important ‘grown-up’ time for the parents if you allow them to bring their children.

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Stick some colouring books and crayons on their table for use during the wedding breakfast. This was and still is a winner for my two daughters and keeps them happily occupied during meal times out.

If you’ve a load of kids at your wedding and you’re in a large venue or a marquee consider having a separate table at one end of the room. The kids can sit together and eat. Parents can take turns in supervising the little ones or you could hire some childminders to help.

If the dining room isn’t large enough, ask your venue if they have a separate room for the kids to eat in – this would definitely need to be supervised by childminders.

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Make sure that the menu includes kid-friendly foods like chicken nuggets, mini-pizzas and pasta.

Have a separate room that could be used during the day for colouring, playing with toys or board games, watching kids movies or playing video games.

Hire a kid’s entertainer to keep them amused during the meal or after the meal during that lull before the dancing starts.

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Finally… if you decide you want no children at your wedding, do not print “no children” or “adults only” on an invitation. The way an invitation is addressed, whether on the inner or outer envelope, indicates who is invited, and, by omission, who is not invited to the wedding.

If the envelope is addressed to “Mr. and Mrs. Smith,” then Mr. and Mrs. Smith should not assume that their children are included. If the envelope is addressed to “The Smith Family” or “Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Jack and Abigail Smith” then it can be assumed that all mentioned are invited.

Additionally you can talk to close friends and relatives and ask them to help spread the word about your preference to keep the wedding adult only.

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