It was a warm December night back in 2019 when I made my way to the Kampala Serena Hotel for my cousin’s wedding. I love weddings, what’s not to love? The food, the music, the vibe, your family, the happy couple, and …what am I forgetting? Oh yes, the free alcohol!
I made my way up the stairs towards the reception hall where there was a line for the online registry. Once I had checked in and turned towards the flashy entrance, something else caught my eye. By the side of the entrance stood a mother stylishly dressed with her young twin sons in matching dark pastel blue suits. She sounded stressed as she talked into her phone. I was able to hear what she was saying from where I stood. “Can you come to pick the kids up? They don’t allow kids into the reception hall,” she sighed. I remembered the invite clearly had the written on it, “No children.” I tore my eyes from the scene and made my way into the reception hall beautifully decorated.
When I looked at the more prominent seats reserved for important guests, however, I observed that they had their children with them. Some of the children were playing with their special invitations to the special occasion. That night left me with a lot to think about and of course, write about.
Chances are that you, the current reader, are most probably making a couple of plans for your wedding. Right now the current question on your mind may be, should it be kid-friendly or not?
Let’s get to my favorite part of this article, the information that will help you make your final decision.
There are two types of weddings – kid-friendly and non-kid-friendly weddings.
A kid-friendly wedding allows your guests to come with their children as long as they RSVP and inform you about the number of children that they will be bringing along. A non- kid-friendly wedding prohibits the bringing of any children to a wedding.
Why would one have a kid-friendly wedding?
Here is a pros and cons list.
- Absolutely fun to have the whole family around for your big
- It helps parents who have nowhere to take their kids that day
- Prevents misunderstandings with family members who may not see your reasons for not wanting them
- Creates an entertaining vibe
- It’s a good way to implant the idea of marriage into kids at an earlier age. Growing up, we all had dreams of a happily ever after fairytale because we had experienced our elder siblings walk down the aisle.
- Constantly need to be looked at
- Extra work and cost
- Can be quite messy
- May distract the ceremony with their crying and intolerable behavior or playing
Why would one have a non – kid-friendly wedding?
- In case there are mature circumstances that are meant to take place. It could be some sort of games
- Alcohol drinks are going to be served and you do not feel comfortable knowing that children will be observing elders drunk galloping alcohol and getting drunk
- You want guests to enjoy the wedding without distractions
- You would literally be reducing the budget. Kids also have to eat and if you are hosting guests at a reception like Serena where a plate of food is UGX140,000, inviting kids can increase your budget real quick.
- May cause misunderstandings with guests who might feel their children are being sidelined
- Some guests may not be able to attend if they can’t come with their kids. They may have no one to leave them with back home.
Choosing which type of wedding you will have is absolutely up to you and your partner. Remember to factor in things such as your budget, location space, and seating chart.
Anyway, here it doesn’t really matter which of the two you decide to have because I will be sharing with you a few factors to consider whichever wedding you decide to have.
Let’s start with a kid-friendly one
1. A kids’ space
As much as kids are a great part of a wedding, no kid wants to sit still during a mountain of speeches. This leads to distraction of your wedding, which you do not want. It’s advisable to get a ‘kids’ space’ which could be a separate room within the venue. You may have to hire extra help to make sure they watch the children while their parents are not around.
2. Kids’ entertainment
You’re going to tell me you put a couple of kids in a room with absolutely nothing to do? Hell no! Bad idea. This leads to boredom, which leads to the search for their parents, which leads to the distraction of their parents while the festivities are ongoing. You have to put something in place to entertain them. I once attended a wedding where the room was reserved for the kids including a ball pit, video games, dolls, a mini bouncing castle, an ice cream stand, a T. V playing cartoons, a face painting station, and attendants dressed in “Barney” costumes. The kids had so much fun they didn’t want to leave. And better, the parents were left to have as much adult fun on their own.
3. Kids’ menu
What are you going to feed these children? I know you aren’t going to stuff their faces with expensive fancy dishes they may not even like or play around with. This is where cheap and simple come into play. A couple of pizza boxes, hamburgers, fries, chocolate, and other pieces of junk food is quite advisable. After all, when are their parents going to allow them to enjoy that much junk food anyway? A child’s mind is simple. So, simple is always going to be better for them. Organize takeaway as well to prevent overeating. Another important menu issue to consider is that some children are allergic to foods you may view as general. So you may have to discuss with each parent their children’s individual food restrictions.
4. Child Care
Different kids have different issues you may not even know about. It’s better to have professionals look after the children. It is also advisable that the parents send a list of essentials about their kids such as diseases they may have and treatment they may or may not need in case any situation arises. This way the parents can feel better about their children’s safety.
These are the 4 essentials you need when you have decided to have a kid-friendly wedding.
What about a non-kid-friendly wedding?
1. Informing your guests
You have to tell your guests about your decision to not have kids over at your wedding. Sometimes you may need further explanations for those family members who do not understand why you have made this decision. But remember, this is your wedding and no one has the right to deter or make you feel bad about the decisions you have made. If they can’t respect that, then maybe they do not deserve to be part of your special day.
2. Strict security
Remember the story I told you about in the intro? Well, that’s another price for your non-kid-friendly wedding. Had there not been proper security, that lady would have entered with her twin sons and disrupted your wedding. The last thing any bride or groom needs to see on such a day is disruption of their wedding and someone going against their wishes.
As much as it may be a non-kid-friendly wedding, you may have some kids that are very special to you and you wish to attend the event. This is called an exception. State the exceptions clearly in your plans and issue them proper invitation cards to avoid misunderstandings at the entrance or with your other guests.
Whichever wedding you decide on having, the decision is absolutely up to you. As always I wish you happy planning and a wonderful wedding day.
And if you need a professional wedding planner, we are here for you. Simply call +256779118148