Should kids and pets be welcome at weddings?

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Should kids and pets be welcome at weddings?

Actors say ‘never work with children and animals’. Presumably that’s because both kids and pets can be noisy, unpredictable and inclined to make a mess. They can also steal the show – maybe that’s what actors hate most of all.

What about weddings? Where do our little monsters and furry creatures fit in?

When it comes to kids, there are inevitably two schools of thought. Many couples prefer to give their wedding an adults-only rating. They wouldn’t invite children to an evening party at home and feel the same way about a wedding celebration. (It’s probably a good idea to let guests know this early.)

Others are much more family-friendly and adore the idea of having children involved. They lay on kids’ activities, order appropriate food and encourage them to bring their own brand of excitement to the occasion.

It’s a tricky situation. And it can even cause family feuds. Years ago (many years ago!) my mother-in-law stopped contact with close relations when her three children were barred from attending a family wedding.

Of course, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution but with couples getting married a little later in life than ever before, there’s a fair chance their friends will have a smattering of little ones by then. Do they want to offend them forever by banning children?

Thankfully, there’s a middle way. Many couples welcome kids to the ceremony but exclude them from the reception later on.

This seems a reasonable compromise to me and I have to say that a cute flower-girl or pageboy are often the stars of the show. Most parents seem happy with the halfway-house solution and find babysitters to look after them in the evening. Indeed, some are delighted to have a “night off” from parental duties and the freedom to let their hair down.

Now, what about animals at weddings? With more and more ceremonies taking place outdoors, family pets often ‘tail’ along. Not so much cats as dogs – well, you’ve heard about trying to herd cats?

Some dog-lovers see their pooch as very much their best friend and wouldn’t dream of not having Rover play a part as ring bearer or flower dog. Or, in some cases, Best Man.

Pets at weddings need careful consideration: for example, how they are “dressed”, hygiene, food, water and, em, toilet needs. You also need to figure out how they will interact with other guests. It wouldn’t be a good look if Rover bit one of the bridesmaids!

All in all, kids and pets can play a big part in weddings today. But you just need to “paws” and think carefully how best to involve them and what safeguards (for both them and other guests) need to be put in place.

What do you think?

2017-04-17T15:49:19+00:00 December 13th, 2013|

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