Weddings are family occasions and symbolic of the moment when a new family is created, and most couples love and want children, so it seems only fitting that children should be included in the celebrations. While the men have fun organising the stag night, it is mostly the women who plan and supervise the wedding so it is up to them to decide if they want children to attend or not.
When I looked back at weddings I have photographed, I noticed that weddings without children present seem empty somehow. You get a profound sense that something is missing. Little kids love to run round, chase the disco lights and generally have fun at weddings but they are also learning something about life and the meaning of family. Small children giggle if you ask them about having a girlfriend or boyfriend, yet they are beginning to understand what love means.
As a wedding photographer, I know I will be kept constantly occupied if there are children at the event. They are excellent models but also they are high maintenance, asking a barrage of questions and continually wanting to pull faces at the camera and lark about, but they do like to be helpful too, especially when it comes to carrying a long bridal train down the aisle. It makes them feel special to have an important role to play in the proceedings.
Naturally there are advantages to not having children at your wedding. All the guests can enjoy the day, have plenty to drink and dance till late without children getting under their feet or into mischief. There won’t be any unwanted noises in the church when you are saying ‘I do’ either. The wedding breakfast will proceed without interruptions and being entirely in adult company means everyone can let their hair down and relax.
To have children at your wedding or not is your choice but, personally, I think they need to see what weddings are all about, and what responsibilities will be expected of them when they become adults themselves. If you believe in the institution of marriage, you will want the next generation to carry on the tradition.