Nicola Down, Brides acting deputy editor is mum to a cute, but very noisy, 4-year-old. She says:

Victoria Dawe

Children can bring joy and spontaneity to your wedding day (think twirling on the dance floor and some seriously cute photo opportunities) but they can also scream 'I need a wee!' at the worst moments in the church and be a major tripping hazard at cocktail hour.

GORGEOUS FLOWER GIRL DRESSES

You could compromise by inviting children to the ceremony and drinks, then ask that they depart before the dinner and dancing. But if that's not practical - and it won't be for many - the secret is to keep them entertained.  

During the ceremony, why not get your ushers to dole out treats for parents with small kids and seat these families in the back row so they can make a quick exit if need be?

GAMES FOR YOUR GUESTS

You could consider having a children's table with crayons and washable markers, stickers and board games, but it's smart to have some adult supervision.

And don't forget to ensure there are things for them to eat. While adults can (almost) wait hours for food, children won't, so having kid-friendly munchies on standby could help to prevent meltdowns - on both sides.  

DIY DETAILS FOR YOUR BIG DAY

Your other option is to splurge on a sitter. Research and choose a childminding service then set up a playroom close to your reception site or, if you have a friend willing, in a nearby (and child-proofed) home. If you've got a bigger budget, there are even some firms that will organise elaborate kiddie bashes at your venue - thinks arts and crafts, mini discos and treasure hunts.