Wedding ceremony or service?

Wedding guests outside church

There are several options when it comes to considering what type of wedding you’d like and there are often misunderstandings about them. So we’re going to try and guide you through the differences and similarities.

First off, you’ll need to decide whether you want a civil or religious wedding ceremony. It needs to be right for both of you. If you can’t agree, perhaps consider a civil ceremony followed by a religious blessing as a compromise.

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Planning a child-free wedding

Weddings bring families, friends and colleagues together – and many of them will have kids. Many couples will love having children with them for their special day, but sometimes the idea of a perfect wedding doesn’t involve kids running amok at the reception! So some couples opt for an adult only wedding. It’s not an unreasonable request – it’s your day and you can invite who you want.

It may appear offensive if you’re not careful with how you deliver the news, so don’t rush into scrawling “NO CHILDREN” on your invitations! Consider how many angry and upset guests you would have! You might find yourself discussing your decision with your guests, so think about how you want to explain it. This will help them understand your reasoning without feeling like a personal attack on their little ones.

One of the biggest factors for you might be cost. Venues require you to have a seat for every child, which will carry a “per head” cost and you may need to pay a little more for extra distractions to keep their attention. You may also need employ the services of a babysitter to help keep the children occupied during certain parts of the day, which again comes at a cost.

Another consideration could be the amount of time children will be sitting around through the ceremony or other elements of the day. We’ve all been at weddings where kids have been running up and down the aisle, crying and being a distraction to other guests. It may also not sound great on the wedding video when you watch it back!

Once your ceremony is over the parents will need their children with them throughout the reception for at least a few hours and this often means that those guests may not be able to let their hair down and enjoy the atmosphere of the day. There’s also the added factor of when other guests have had a few drinks, things may get a little too much for them!

You may have now decided you would like to have an adult only wedding, but how do you tell your guests without seeming like the worst person in the world? We’re glad you asked…

Think about the wedding you want to have. If your guests are local and you’re having an evening wedding it will be easier for your guests to find a babysitter for the night. If on the other hand you’re planning a destination wedding, excluding kids may be more difficult.

Make a list of guests you are inviting who have kids and give them a call before you send out invitations. We promise it’s much easier to have a phone conversation and you can ensure they won’t show up with the entire family and tell you they didn’t know!

You may get some guests questioning your reasoning, so keep this handy and no backing down. If you don’t want children at your wedding – your guests need to respect that. Don’t feel intimidated and keep a firm but fair stance whilst you’re chatting about it.

Whatever you decide, its important you both have who you want at your wedding and many guests will quickly understand your reasons. It also gives them the perfect excuse to enjoy themselves without the kids being around – hopefully they’ll think of it as a night off, which many parents would love!