With the long school holidays upon us, children across the UK are looking forward to weeks of summer fun. Yet fewer than ever will be dressing up and going to a wedding as a new survey by the award winning wedding blog Love My Dress reveals that one in three weddings are a child-free event.
So, is the need for a perfect day cutting children out or do adults just want to party in peace?
“The issue of whether or not to invite children is often an incredibly complicated one,” says Annabel Beeforth, founder of Love My Dress. “Brides often feel under pressure to provide entertainment or activities for children to keep them amused, lots of couples already have their own children so feel it’s impossible not to invite others while for some, the added cost of having to cater for lots of little people is just too much. We have heard stories from our readers of children being charged the same as adults for food and drink even if they’re eating smaller portions and drinking juice.”
And of course, the ever-present prospect of screaming children or bad behaviour puts some people off too.
“We heard from one reader who found little bite marks in their cake before dinner and another told us of a child announcing to everyone during the ceremony that they’d just done a poo!” Annabel adds.
Couples are also concerned that friends with children won’t attend if their children aren’t invited along but similar numbers also think that parents would jump at the chance to enjoy some adult-only time.
“It’s such an incredibly tough decision.” Says Annabel “But it’s a feature of weddings now that couples can absolutely choose what they want so we should celebrate this flexibility. Weddings are a great opportunity for children to spend time with family members they might not often see and to learn valuable social skills but they need to adults to set an example. Maybe if you’re planning a wild party, a no-children policy might be a good idea. Or make sure they’re tucked up in bed before you go crazy on the dancefloor!”