Kids at a Wedding Shower: Yes or No?

Should you allow kids to attend a wedding shower with their moms? The etiquette's not clear on that, so let's give the topic some consideration

Should you allow kids to attend a wedding shower? That's a good question, actually; the etiquette can get somewhat delicate. Some people will automatically say no: that a child's presence isn't appropriate at what they perceive as an adult event, and that even considering it is the epitome of bad taste.

Given what some girls get up to at some bridal showers, this is certainly understandable. But on the other hand, some people wouldn't dream of excluding their children from what they view as more of a family event. Furthermore, some folks believe the ring bearer or flower girl should attend by right.

Given the multiplicity of opinions, even something as simple as the shower format can become a social minefield, so you'll have to tread carefully here.

First Steps

While she may not be aware of the details of the shower, the bride-to-be will certainly know that such an affair is in the offing; so she should be the final arbiter of whether or not kids can attend. In fact, you should ask her first, so you don't waste any time with misguided planning.

Some ladies won't mind; but some, understandably, want to be the center of attention. They want the event to be about them and their upcoming nuptials, not about how cute little Johnny looks as he helps unwrap the presents.

If she's okay with it, you can then do an informal survey of the attendees to see what they think.

A Tactful Approach

Ideally, you be able to should simply tell the attendees that it's an adults-only event, if that's what you decide. But if that goes over like a lead balloon, there are certain steps that you can take to limit attendance by the munchkin crowd.

First, you can simply schedule the event for a time when it's inconvenient for kids to attend; or you can even hold it in a place where kids aren't allowed, like a pub. Both strategies should be clear enough in communicating that it's an adults-only event.

That said, I think it's better to just say so outright.

An Alternate Option

Here's an idea: Just leave the event wide open for anyone to attend, so everyone feels welcome, and no one will get sore because they can't bring their kids. In fact, why not plan a sub-event for the children?

Assuming that the significant others of the female attendees have not, in fact, been invited, then you can tap one or two to serve as chaperones or hosts for a sweet little kid's party on the side. That way, the girls can have their wedding shower elsewhere, and can be as loud as they want to be!

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