Children at Weddings: The burning question

May 26, 2013

child at wedding

So in this series, I am taking a brief look at the burning questions surrounding the decisions you need to make about you wedding – hopefully offering some advice and guidance based on my experience as a photographer (and even  occasionally as a guest!).

In choosing whether to have children at your wedding, you are heading into potentially contentious waters. There are pros & cons to having children present; pros such as being able to extend your hospitality to a whole family, helping parents whom might find that getting the right childcare for such an event is problematic, and the sheer fun of having these mad tiny people running around enjoying themselves to the MAX.

cool pageboys

The cons involve the added expense, finding fun things for the children to do, potential disruption in the ceremony, distracted friends who might not be able to relax, a less adult (and therefore possibly a little restricted) atmosphere, and the ever-present danger of a hot & grumpy child who has been asked to hold it together during very formal proceedings finally having The Meltdown.

As a photographer, I love having children there.  I love photographing them in their unguarded reveries (like little Florence above), and in their exuberance (like these gorgeous trampolining girls below), and I love photographing the quiet interactions between them & their parents.

As a parent, I am torn.  I love being able to go to weddings as guest and to not have to worry what havoc my children are creating (the now quite common sweetie table at weddings are basically a table of hand grenades packed with lunacy-inducing sugar, ready to explode where my children are concerned!), but I also love being able to share these events with them, to make them feel included, and to see the joy on their faces when the DJ turns on the light show.  Parents whose children are not able or willing to go & stay with Grannie & Grandpa may feel excluded by a ‘no kids’ policy, meaning they might feel they are unable to come.  They might also interpret it as a rejection of their child. Maybe the prudent thing to do is gauge your guest’s situations & feelings about it before you start making decisions.

As with all wedding planning, you need to do what is best for you & your guests, and not do anything which will cause stress on the day.  If you are worried about someone’s reactions, talk to them before the invitation lands on the mat. And if you are choosing to have children as part of your day then give them something to do!  At Becky & Dom’s wedding at Cripps Barn they had a room set aside full of costumes and hats and games – it kept the children entertained all day, and a fair few adults, too!

Please leave a comment – I’d love to hear your thoughts.

If you are getting married at Cripps Barn or anywhere else, please get in touch.


  1. Ross Chapman

    Good discussion topic Angela!

    Having had children at my wedding and having been at weddings, either filming or as a guest – I’ve found that it depends on the couple. For example, I went to one wedding as a guest, where there was a “children are allowed as long as they are well behaved.” This from a couple who don’t have kids, so know that getting children to “behave” is not possible.

    Do you remember Jack and Emma’s wedding? They had a room for children to play, including massive jenga – great idea!

    I also know, especially for all-day-long weddings, that children will get tired mid-afternoon, have their “episodes” and the like.

    From my point of view though, weddings are family + friends occasions. It’s with the people you love and want to share your day with. If you don’t invite children, what does that say?

  2. niddler

    / /applauds from the back benches


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I shoot creative, modern wedding photography in Winchester, Hampshire, and throughout the UK. Wherever you are planning to say 'I do', and to whom, please get in touch.