It's a biggie! And a question that can sometimes divide family and friends right down the middle. But after stumbling across this dilemma when planning my own wedding in 2018, I found that there are quite a few ways of approaching whether you invite the little ones to your big day.
Here are my thoughts...
1. No kids allowed!
Let's get this one out of the way first! There are reasons that you might choose not to invite children to your celebrations. The more people you invite to your wedding day, the more expensive it can get - and that includes when it comes to kids. Family politics might also make it impossible to decide whose children should attend and who shouldn't. If you decide not to invite children to your wedding, just make sure that you stick to it - maybe stick to an age limit - to make sure you're fair. If any of your guests are in need of childcare for the day, there are options available (read on for more!).
2. Setting a compromise...
This is what my husband and I settled on, and where most couples will find themselves landing. We ended up inviting children who were our cousins, but not our second cousins and third cousins, or our friend's children as there would have been so many!
As long as you set a clear rule and don't deviate, your guests should be okay with your decision, and quite often parents are looking forward to a night of letting their hair down without their little ones.
3. Inviting all the children!
This is my favourite of course! Don't forget that if you're inviting quite a few little ones to your wedding, you might want a plan in place to get them through boring grown up stuff like speeches and ceremonies...
No matter what you decide, I have the solution for you! NannyTap is a wonderful local Liverpool based childcare service, created and managed by Annette - who has 18 years of experience within the childcare industry.
Annette and the team at NannyTap offer a flexible childcare and babysitting service that will fit around you and your wedding celebrations - whether you would like your children to be with you, or whether you would like somebody to care for them whilst you get married! NannyTap also offer babysitting services for wedding guests. I had the pleasure of learning a little more about the business from Annette herself....
Hi Annette! I've outlined my tips on inviting children to weddings - but as someone with 18 years of experience within the childcare industry, what are your own thoughts?
Weddings and civil ceremonies are special and meaningful days, that see two families come together for a beautiful and memorable celebration. Inviting children along to a wedding opens up opportunities for wedding couples, creating special roles, as ring bearer, flower girls and bridesmaids. With that; children bring so much fun laughter and sparkle to the day with their cheeky smiles and funny moments.
Many of the bridal party appreciate and value their children being invited, it helps guests with attending the day, to which in turn solves their child care arrangements, as its possible their chosen choice of babysitter may be attending the wedding too.
I love it when couples get the kids involved in their weddings too! What kind of services do you offer for couples who may be in need of childcare on their wedding day?
Nannytap offers bespoke wedding nanny services, this is a great service and ideal for bride/s and groom/s or guests that are looking for help & support throughout the wedding day or for evening babysitting. My trustworthy professional experienced child carers will look after the little VIPS, helping with anything from nappy changes, toileting, playtime, nap time, meal times and entertaining.
Alternatively if there is a larger group of children, Nannytap provides beautifully set up play creches within the wedding venue, offering a fun and comfy space to play and relax with wide range of toys, games arts & crafts. This is perfect for those times when speeches are taken place. All creche’s are supervised by highly qualified and experienced childcarers, holding DBS checks, and first aid training.
Amazing! Can you tell me a little bit more about the Nannytap team and childcarers that you have built?
I began adhoc babysitting at weddings for children I cared for at previous and current job positions. I attended and supported a wedding in Spain as part of my half term travel nanny position. The feedback from the parents was overwhelming in its praise for the role I had performed. They’d never enjoyed a wedding so much, and the children had loved it. I’d heard that more and more people in the UK were looking for children’s entertainers and child minders for weddings. I began to wonder - why didn’t I offer my experience and services as a ‘wedding nanny’ or gather my own Nanny team?
With working in the childcare sector for many years I knew lots of outstanding and highly experienced child carers that would create a wonderful team, that’s when Nannytap Wedding Nannies and pop up crèche services was created!
Do you have any memories of a special moment between a little one you were looking after and their mum or dad on their wedding day?
Children are so innocent and spontaneously say the sweetest things. I hear lots of lovely compliments children say to their parents. “my mummy is a beautiful princess”
“My daddy is a handsome prince”. Depending on the booking arrangements, we do get the privilege to see some beautiful moments during the photography shots.
When entertaining little ones - what is your favourite fun wedding day game to play?
Our pop up creche’s are filled to the brim with fantastic toys and games all selected specifically for the age group were looking after. We have lovely wedding related resources such as a Sylvian Families wedding car and figures, bride ragdolls, and brides & grooms colouring in sheets.
It’s hard to pick a favourite, but I would say classic games are always a huge hit with both the nannies and the children! Snakes and Ladders, Monopoly, Connect 4, and Guess Who are always popular and give hours of fun!
Can you offer any advice for keeping older kids happy during speeches and all of the other 'grown up' stuff?
Older children and teenagers tend to stay at the wedding breakfast and evening reception, which means listening to lengthy speeches. A great way to keep them engaged and less bored, is creating a busy bag that is left out on the table for them. Some fun ideas are things like a wedding I-spy card and wordsearch sheets.
Throw away cameras are also cool and something different that some children may have never used or experienced before! "Showing our age here!!!" - Gem
Giving older children a job or task is a creative way of keeping them on their toes and involved; acting as ‘toastmaster’ for example. If they have a special talent or memory to share, you could let them preform or give a speech maybe.
Thank you so much for your time Annette! If readers would like more info, or to get in touch - where should they go?
Nannytap can be found on various platforms and wedding directories such as Instagram, Facebook, Bridebook, Wedding business awards directory and not forgetting the Nannytap website that’s also linked below.
When so much money is invested in getting weddings to be just right, to be as perfect as they are imagined in our dreams and wishes, it seems that Nannytap Weddings has a great part to play in making those dreams come true. And it feels great to be able to offer this service and to be putting all those years of training and expertise to such a happy and memorable use.
You can visit my website: NannyTap.com
Check out my Instagram page: @nannytap1
Or catch us on Facebook: @nannytapweddings