While there is an argument to be had for not making a wedding a child-free zone (read this bride-to-be's account), there are also plenty of reasons to involve the little ones in your celebrations. Here are three accounts of why kids at weddings are wonderful:
The bride says: Tatler Editor Kate Reardon, married Charlie Gordon-Watson in May 2013. She says: "I'm frequently irritated by children at weddings. Just as I'm concentrating on the meaning of the moment, there's always some hideous screech or burp to drag me back to my less Christian self. So when I got married I toyed with the idea of making it a child-free zone- neurotic that at the moment critique I'd be distracted by some self-absorbed under-five. However, my husband and I are of an age where we've accrued scores of godchildren- and some of their mothers greeted our engagement by wondering who the bridesmaids were going to be. Things escalated and we ended up with 10 of them. To my astonishment, the kids were favourite guests. Not only did they happily wear absurd animal costumes but none emitted a single squeak during the service. And throughout the day, I exchanged with each a series of mute excited and comforting stares. I was lucky to have them."
The wedding photographer says: "I always make time to photograph children, as these usually become a couple's most cherished images. It can be difficult taking group shots, but you just have to go with the flow and put aside the idea that every child will look perfect. Sometimes the best image is full of imperfection, and I love the unpredictability - I'll get kids to run around or jump up and down so they have a smile on their face and I can capture their personality. At designer Kate Halfpenny's wedding there were 11 children in the bridal party- a personal record! It was chaos, but made for fun photos." -Victoria Dawe (www.elegantandwild.co.uk)
The vicar says: "As a Presbyterian minister for more than 35 years, I've officiated at more than 350 weddings, and I'd never dream of thinking kids should be kept away. To me, weddings would be the poorer for a lack of children. I do think that there should be a serious atmosphere in church, so parents should ensure younger ones stay in their seats and don't go walking about. But even if they do, it usually brings a smile to most of the congregation- it makes things real. As for the reception afterwards, it should be a lovely intergenerational party, and that involves children. It's where new babies get passed around and cousins meet cousins for the first time; weddings are about family." -The Reverend Ian Hart
As featured in the January/February 2014 issue of Brides.