MummyPages.ie, Ireland’s largest parenting community launches the country’s first Wedding Survey to explore the controversial issue of whether children should be invited and indeed attend the celebrations.
Interestingly, when it comes to the invitation list, 7 in 10 mums feel it is up to the discretion of the bride and groom as to whether children should be invited. However the majority of mums (82%) believe that young babies under six months should always be invited to attend a wedding.
Here are the main insights from MummyPages wedding survey:
In general, most MummyPages mums believe children should not automatically be invited to attend a wedding celebration:
o 69% think it’s entirely up to the discretion of the bride and groom as it’s their day.
o 29% said that only children directly related to the bride or groom should be automatically invited to a wedding celebration
o However 82% believe that young babies under six months should always be invited to attend a wedding
Upon receiving a family invite:
o 52% of MummyPages mums said they would not bring their children, saying it’s a chance for them to relax and enjoy themselves
o 36% said they would bring their children but make childcare arrangements for the evening time
o 7% said they would bring their children and it would not affect their enjoyment of the day
o 5% said they would bring my children but leave early
When children are invited to a wedding, most (61%) of the MummyPages mums surveyed believe they should be allowed to stay for most of the day’s celebrations:
o 36% ceremony, photos and evening meal
o 25% ceremony, photos, evening meal and dancing until late
o 23% ceremony and photos only
o 16% should not attend at all
61% of the married MummyPages mums surveyed did invite children to their own wedding:
o 37% only invited those children that played a role in their wedding ceremony
o 32% because they wanted the children there to share in their special day
o 21% felt it was better to be inclusive and leave it up to the parents to decide if they wanted to bring them or not
o 10% felt under pressure or obliged to invite children of their guests to their wedding
Of the 39% of married MummyPages mums who did not invite children to their own wedding:
o 52% said it was because their parents cannot relax and enjoy the wedding day if their children are there
o 33% said it was because wedding celebrations are not a place for children
o 15% said it was because a wedding day is too long for children
In order, to make the big day enjoyable for all the family, the MummyPages mums’ think the bride and groom should provide separate entertainment for the kiddies (34%), a child-friendly menu (67%) and childcare facilities (13%) in order to cater to the needs of their little guests.
According to Laura Haugh, Mum-in-Residence for MummyPages.ie, Ireland’s largest online parenting community:
“Our mums are quite divided as to whether children should be invited to weddings, with many of them changing their mind once they’ve had their own children to be more inclusive.”
“They do agree on one thing though, and that is that mums with young babies should always have their wedding invitation extended to include their new arrival. Whether bottle or breastfeeding, our mums agree that the option to bring your baby should be allowed by the bride and groom regardless of whether they are related.”
“A large number of our mums actually opt to leave their children with a relative rather than to bring them to a wedding to which they are invited, simply because they view it as a rare night out with their partner to relax and enjoy themselves. This is particularly true when an overnight stay is involved at the wedding venue.”
“Overall though, our MummyPages mum believe it is better to be inclusive especially where family is concerned. This way, nobody is offended and the parents can make a judgement call as to whether to bring their children or not.”
“Our mums are also united in their belief that children’s food and entertainment should be provided by the bride and groom if children are attending a wedding’s post ceremony celebrations. Hungry, bored and tired children can quickly escalate into a tantrum which of course would not be welcomed by the wedding party.”