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The Wedding Planner in Ireland advises that when planning a wedding where children are included some extra thought needs to be put in. Here are The Wedding Planner’s top child friendly tips:

Invitations: Etiquette says envelopes should be addressed to everyone invited, children included.

If sending invites by e-mail you need to make it clear if you kids are welcome.

Baby-sitting: Have professional sitting services available during the ceremony and the later hours of the reception.

Diversions: Consider setting tables with paper placemats and crayons, stocking a table with games during the dancing, and leaving gift bags with small toys and snacks (healthy ones – not lots of sugar!) available for ushers to give out to parents at the entrance to the ceremony.

Are they cute?: Think twice about including children in the ceremony, They could freeze or have a tantrum. Some adults almost pass out from the anxiety of being in a wedding, so it’s no wonder that kids get anxious.

Assistance: Parents should be prepared to walk down the aisle with their child, if need be.

While I do think having children at a wedding is a bonus as they make it a truly family affair, I find it annoying if parents when parents don’t take extra care and responsibility to make sure they don’t spoil the day.

Some advice for parents:

Plan an escape route: Sit near an exit and be do not hesitate to use it as soon as your child is getting in anyway vocal. I am not just talking about crying but talking loudly or laughing loudly too during the vows is not on. This is the couple’s special moment and they should not have it disrupted by a child in the background no matter how cute their voice is!

Designate an adult to each child: Especially if you’re in the wedding party, make sure your child has a trusted adult with whom to sit, and play, if need be. Hand the friend a bag of small (quiet!) treats, with instructions to dole them out slowly not all at once.

Child free: Even if your little one is invited consider leaving them with a relative for the evening so you and your partner can enjoy a night out together child free.