I think you really need to think through why you want to have children in your wedding party. It may be because you have tons of nieces and nephews and you want all your family involved. This is great!
But, you might just think, “oh children are so cute,” but how cute will child be after sitting through a long church service? Children have a very short attention span, and they may lose their patience in the middle of the wedding ceremony or begin to cry. And this may not be the atmosphere you want to create for your wedding ceremony.
You may decide to have children in your wedding party because of what I call: the cuteness factor. A little boy walking down the aisle in a miniature tuxedo is sure to get smiles and “awwwws” from the guests. That is, if he does what he’s told to do. Personally, I wouldn’t include children under the age of four in your wedding because they can be very unpredictable.
Children are going to be children, and if they’re not comfortable doing something, then they shouldn’t have to do it. For some children, walking down a long aisle with hundreds of strange faces looking at them might be the most terrifying thing to happen to them in their young lives, and we need to keep this in mind. If you choose to include a child in your wedding, do try to include at least one of the child’s parents as well. It will make it less frightening for the child, and if he or she needs to be comforted, mom and dad are right there.
I believe that if you decide to have children in your wedding you need to be flexible. For example, if the flower girl decides not to scatter the rose petals as instructed, let it go. Likewise, you have to keep calm if the ringbearer decides that he wants to sit with mommy and daddy during the service. You don’t want to feel as if a three-year-old ruined your wedding. Also, do have an back-up plan if a child decides not to do what you want him or her to do.
A great way to guarantee that children don’t run wild at your reception and ceremony is to plan ahead so that way they feel as if they belong. For example, you’ll probably want to offer some kind of appropriate entertainment, such as coloring pagesfor the kids to work on and kid friendly dance music. When it comes to food, offer the kinds that kids love, like macaroni and cheese or chicken fingers. Think about it this way: if the kids like the food you offer and spend time eating it, it will keep them busy for awhile. Plus, with food in their tummies, they will probably be a lot less cranky.
If you think of all the contingencies ahead of time you should be able to have kids at your wedding without worry or disruption.