Depending on who you ask and what their personal experience has been, raising the question of kids at your wedding might be akin to asking “should we invite the early-onset of armageddon or the vertically-challenged apocalypse to our wedding with open arms?”.
It’s a bit of a contentious and polarising one, and a conversation that’s well-documented already out there in internet-land as far as the pros, cons, and how to manage the decision either way: everyone’s had their own experiences, and everyones personal situation is wildly different.
With all that said, having seen my fair share of weddings with the glorious little scallywags where nobody ended up dying, i’m just going to step into the ring as a raving advocate of our dear little humans being present at your wedding, from a different point of view.
Let me explain my heavy bias, over a few key points.
1. Theory of Small-Human Close-Proximity Exponential-Collusion Effect
Due to the scientifically well-documented “Theory of Small-Human Close-Proximity Exponential-Collusion Effect”, If these small humans have access to other small humans within a close range, they simply won’t give a flying focaccia about you or your wedding: they’ll be too busy being dragons or worms.
Straight up – in front of a capable photographer, the magical theatre of vertically challenged humans is a sight to behold, and one of the greatest gifts you can get back in image-form when all is said and done.
Excuse my French, but kids, again, bless them – just don’t give a fuck (or they did, but then came across a certain bright book at the airport bestseller stand when their parents weren’t looking).
This wonderful quality that we systematically try to rid ourselves of as we enter adulthood is responsible for them colluding, doing their thing, and in turn, giving you the photographic gift of this wonderful little human theatre that you were too busy to notice happening.
That’s worth celebrating, and the irony here is that due to the Theory of Small-Human Close-Proximity Exponential-Collusion Effect (sorry, I made this up – if you google it you’ll find nothing – yet), the more kids there are present, the more they’ll be too busy being wrapped up in their own awesome world to cause any trouble.
2. Blackmail and leverage
Your wedding is an excellent place to generate prime blackmail-leverage for the duration of their teenage years, as well as embarrassing content for their 18th or 21st birthdays.
Stake your otherwise rapidly-diminishing claim as household power-holder before your spawn exercise their terrifying muscle of independant-thought by making sure that any moments of cacophony are properly captured and stored.
In this way, if there’s any delusions of grandeur in those teenage years, you’ve always got record of some of some of their not-so-fine moments, should those be displayed at your wedding, or in front of their friends at their 13th birthday party.
3. Look inwards, dear padowan
This one is a little bit of a polarising one: look inwards, put a magnifying glass over what the main negatives seem to be, and ask yourself if you can instead flip it – and celebrate those negatives.
This is also a tool you can really apply to any areas of your wedding.
Worried about getting drenched in the rain? Flip it. Celebrate it. Make sure you have a spare outfit, head out with your photographer, get drenched, and enjoy the awesome images that come from it.
Worried about kids being underfoot? Celebrate it (and keep sharp objects away from the edges of tables).
Worried about them bellowing over the vows? Celebrate the quirk and discord that brings, and know that the little scallywag can almost always be gently taken away and cared for out of earshot.
And before that happens, you’ll have some wonderful images of the glorious little deathspawn in full-flight.
Ultimately, it’s your day: whether kids have a place or not is entirely your decision, and if you do invite them, simply go all the way and make sure there’s enough logistical things that let them fall into their own world. But consider this: where there’s a positive for every negative, there’s also another perspective: looking at that negative, and instead asking – is the day about being perfect, or being memorable in it’s imperfect glory?
Oli finds magic in the small things, and is hired to do this all over the world documenting humans and ritual, from America to Antarctica.