My fiance (well, I guess I'm getting used to calling him that) and I are old. We are 37 and 43, pretty far along to be getting married for the first time. You could say we were waiting for the perfect person to come along. I have other thoughts on the validity of that, but maybe I'll save them for a blog when I'm grumpy about romance :-).
Since we are old, many of our friends are already married, and many of them have children, even more than one. When we worked up the preliminary guest list, we counted something like 25-30 children under the age of 10. And my fiance loves kids, being something of a big kid himself. Whenever we get together with his extended family, he can usually be counted on at some point to have disappeared under a pile of kids. He flirts shamelessly with small children in restaurants (a few weeks ago in a Tibetan restaurant, a small girl pointed at him, and then at the picture of the Dalai Lama behind him. We all agreed there was a striking resemblance: he may never hear the end of it).
So, I assumed he would want kids at our wedding, but he surprised me. He said he wasn't likely to play with kids at his wedding, all dressed up in his monkey suit, and instead he wanted an evening party with an open bar and great music.
Fast forward a month and a half and a large deposit later, and now he is starting to rethink it. As I make plans for a fairly formal evening affair, he's starting to realize he wants something more relaxed and casual, and that may include kids. I actually think it would be nice to have kids; they lighten the atmosphere. Our venue can certainly accommodate them, space-wise, so that's not a problem.
It does create some logistical problems, though, particularly with childcare. And, to be honest, I can't remember a wedding I've been to that had kids, since all of my friends got married young, before anyone had them. So I don't even know that parents would want to have to think of their children at a wedding. So, I guess I will ask you parents out there:
Would you expect or even want to bring your children to a wedding that runs from 4:00 to 10:00 pm?
Would age make the difference; for example, should we invite only children over 5?
Would you be comfortable leaving your children with an onsite babysitter, who could entertain the kids in a separate room? Would you expect there to be a babysitter?
Instead of a separate room, should we instead set up kids' tables in the main reception room? If we did this, would a babysitter even be necessary/workable? I would think being in the main reception room would make it much more difficult for a babysitter to keep an eye on the kids, who would naturally gravitate to their parents. Maybe I'm wrong about this?
Any other thoughts?
We haven't made the decision yet, and probably won't have to for many months, but it would be good to start thinking about it now.