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Children at a Wedding
Children at a Wedding
Children at a Wedding

Children at Destination Weddings

Is it acceptable for guests to bring children to destination weddings?

With weddings trending toward extravagant affairs, children at destination weddings can be a topic of differing opinions. Some couples prefer an adults-only celebration while others think “the more the merrier.” It is the wedding couple’s decision on whether children are invited, but is it okay to bring the entire family to the destination for the pre-and-post activities? This topic can be even stickier when it involves a destination wedding.

Invitations need to be clear

The best way to eliminate guesswork for your guests is to clearly state who is invited on the invitation for the ceremony and reception. Including “and family” or the individual children’s names is the best way to make it clear that they are invited.

If the couple does not want children to attend, many opt for adding “adult-only” wording added to the save-the-date or invitation.

The more information, the better

The weekend itinerary is very important for all guests. If the guests’ schedule is packed with a pre-wedding spa day, bachelor/bachelorette party, and post-wedding brunch; they may be more inclined to see this as a wedding weekend, not just being away for the actual ceremony. Likewise, if the guests are only invited for the ceremony and reception, they may be inclined to work out a sitter for a few hours.

The Audubon Zoo is a great activity for the family.

Be prepared

Leaving the children at home may not be an option for some guests. If you know that some of your close friends cannot make the arrangements without missing the wedding, having some resources available will help the parents navigate the festivities.

Putting together a list baby sitters or sitting services for the parents would be a very beneficial resource. If budget allows, a nice touch would be to have a sitter available at a nearby location for guests to utilize.

If leaving the child is not an option, an alternative may be available for guests. Destinations such as New Orleans have a great appeal. There may be a parent or family member who would not mind being a permanent babysitter for the weekend. Additionally, there are many family-friendly activities.

Monet Hambrick, The Traveling Child

Incorporating children into the weekend celebrations

Families come in all shapes and sizes. Many soon-to-be-newlyweds are embracing children in their wedding celebrations. Destination weddings can incorporate kid-friendly activities throughout the weekend. Many New Orleans attractions are family friendly and can be a great addition to the wedding weekend.

Destination weddings follow the same rules of etiquette as a “local” wedding. Many couples realize that having a destination wedding is asking more of a group of guests. Ultimately the choice of the couple should be honored if possible. Who knows, many parents may see your wedding as a chance to reconnect and will want to keep the kids at home.