When Can I Bring a Child to a Wedding?

People at a wedding reception.
A couple getting married.
Article Details
  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 07 April 2014
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One can bring a child to a wedding under a few circumstances. The first is if the wedding invitation is directed to the entire family. Especially on the inner envelope of an invitation, there may be the names of all people invited. If the invitation includes one’s children, it is perfectly fine to include them in the celebration.

However, when considering whether to bring a child to a wedding, one should consider the particular child. If a child is not mature enough to sit through a wedding ceremony, or the reception will be too great a temptation to misbehave, it may be better to call a babysitter. If, on the other hand, the child is relatively mature and takes directions easily, then the child can enjoy the ceremony and learn a little bit about what a wedding is like.

Some couples specify that they wish to have no children attending the wedding. This is the preference of the couple, and one really cannot ask for an exception. If one guest brings a child, other guests may feel annoyed that their children were not invited.


The only possible exception may apply to nursing mothers, particularly if they are participating in the wedding as part of the bridal party. A breastfeeding mother, who must travel several hours to get to a wedding, may be given a pass. However, participation in the wedding may be limited if the baby begins to cry. If the wedding requires extensive travel, this request is considered even more acceptable.

The bride and groom may still elect that no children be present. If one is expected to participate in the wedding but meets with this resistance, then it is fine to refuse, as nicely as possibly, to attend. The bride and groom should graciously understand a woman in these circumstances being unable to attend or participate in their wedding.

In a newer trend, some couples now provide an alternate celebration for children. They may provide babysitting, entertainment and a kid friendly meal. This is a lovely gesture that may allow one to fully enjoy a friend or family member’s wedding, and yet still know the children are having fun.


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