Helping you to decide whether to include children in your wedding party, or not.

Some couples don’t even have to consider whether or not to have children be included in their wedding party. However, for others, this can sometimes be a stressful decision to make so we’ve comprised a guide to help you make your choice.

Having children included in the wedding party: what to consider?

Waiting outside the ceremony room doors will be one of the most emotional, exciting, once-in-a-lifetime moments, which could possibly be made stressful by a frustrated two-year-old who is refusing to walk down the aisle. Having said that, this shouldn’t mean you have to rule out having children in your wedding party.

Depending on your family circumstances, it may be a given that you should invite children to be included in your wedding party. Even if you both don’t feel the same about having children involved in your wedding, this decision should be discussed between you both, well in advance of making any plans or actually asking anyone to be part of your wedding party.

The style of your day will run slightly differently if you do have children involved in your wedding party, purely because they will be around all day long. This is something to keep in mind when it comes to choosing your wedding venue, budgeting for entertainment, planning your reception tables and keeping the parents of the children in mind too! Plus, if your little flower girl(s) needs their hair styling, then this will be an added cost to the bridal beauty portion of your wedding budget.

Top tip:

Make it clear from the beginning, who is going to be paying for the wedding attire for the flower girl(s) and/or page boy(s). If you are offering from the beginning, then be sure to make this clear. If you expect the parents to pay for the wedding attire then this should be communicated early.

Flower girls and page boys: on the day

It is traditional for the flower girl to walk down the aisle first, but this can be pretty daunting even for adult bridesmaids, let alone for a child who is faced with a sea of faces that they might not recognise. Bear in mind the child’s age and personality, it may be a better idea for an older bridesmaid to hold their hand as they walk down the aisle. This will also mean they are walking at the correct speed. If the flower girl is scared and walking slower this could put all the timings off meaning you miss the part of the song you wanted to enter on. Allocate an aisle seat to the child’s parent so the child sees someone they recognise and then can sit with them for the rest of the service.

If you’re not getting married in a church, then you may not have a wedding rehearsal at the venue. Depending on the timings of your day, a rehearsal could be arranged at the wedding venue when you first arrive, before you start getting ready. This may help the children understand exactly what is going to happen. However, be prepared that not all children will act as they’ve rehearsed when it comes to the big moment.

If you have children of your own it is lovely to include them as much as possible during the day. However, make sure you arrange for someone to take care of them during the ceremony, reception and in to the evening whether that is a grandparent or babysitter. You’ll have so much to think about and will be so busy during the day, you’ll want someone on hand to take care of your little one as this will be a day where they won’t have your undivided attention. Communication throughout any wedding planning process is key – especially when children are involved.

Keeping children entertained during the wedding

Children can change the atmosphere at a wedding and can make it much more relaxed and fun, but weddings are long days and children may get bored. Depending on the number of children you are planning on inviting you may wish to organise a children’s entertainer for the day. Childcare companies such as Tinies can supply babysitters or a set up a mobile playroom with toys and games to keep the children entertained. It also means the parents can enjoy themselves a little more, knowing their children are safe and having a great time. Check out our article on keeping the little ones busy for further ideas and inspiration.

Whether to include children in your wedding party is completely up to you and your partner.  Children can create some of the funniest memories of your day. However, if you are a perfectionist, remember that children can be unpredictable and things may not go to plan. Some people choose not to have children at their wedding to avoid the possibility of a mishap and make the day run smoother.

Top tip:

If you do choose to have children included in your wedding party, don’t forget to reserve some time for your wedding photographer to capture some images of you with them either before or after the ceremony.

Flower girls and page boys: who to ask?

If you decide that you definitely do want to have children in your wedding party but aren’t sure who to ask, then be sure to check out our list of suitable suggestions below…

  • Your own children, if you have them
  • Nieces and/or nephews
  • The children of your cousins
  • Your godchildren
  • Children of close friends
  • The children of your adult bridesmaids or grooms party

Top tip:

Always ask the parents of the children you plan on inviting to be in your wedding party first, so that there are no awkward conversations, surprises or mis-understandings.

Thank you gift ideas for flower girls and page boys

You’ll no doubt set aside a small section of your wedding budget to buy thank you gifts for your wedding party, so don’t forget to include your flower girls and page boys when creating your list. Here are some present ideas for the little ones:

A trinket box
A personalised doll
A remote control car with their name on
A personalised thank you decoration for the bedroom
A personalised china plate
A personalised flower girl mug
A money box
An engraved yo-yo
A personalised book
A selection of sweets
A personalised page boy mug
A soft toy
An engraved photo frame
A watch