When it comes to wedding planning, everyone knows it involves decision-making. And lots of it. What time of the year will we celebrate our nuptials? Do we want an indoor or outdoor wedding? A destination wedding or traditional ceremony and reception? How many guests do we want to invite? And as this post will address, do we want children in attendance?

There is much to consider when making this particular decision. As you well know from any event you’ve been to, wedding or otherwise, whether or not children are around will change the atmosphere. Whether it changes it for better or for worse is a matter of opinion, but there are some certainties about having kids around. For starters, kids lack the predictability that usually accompanies adult guests (except for that one cousin you are never sure will behave after a few cocktails, and the divorced couple seeing each other for the first time since their break up at your reception). If you’re okay with a bit of spontaneity, you might not be able to imagine a wedding without children in attendance. If you are more rigid about things going just so, it might be best to keep them off the guest list.

Keep in mind, however, that this decision should not be made lightly and is likely to come with some heated, much-opinionated discussions amongst your guests as your invites start to arrive in their mailboxes.

If you are a couple that does not yet have any children of your own, you may not realize that asking guests to find childcare for their kids is putting a bit of a burden on them. It also makes it very difficult for an out-of-town guest to come at all, as they’ll likely require overnight care of their children which can get costly.

There is definitely some unpredictability that can come with having little ones around, but they can also bring a level of joy that is unmatched. And who knows, the little girl tripping on your gown and breaking up the conga line might end up being one of your fondest memories of the night!

If you do decide to have kids in attendance, here are a few tips to make it more kid-friendly! Include having an activity for the kids to do (simple coloring sheets, for instance) and a separate kid-friendly (and budget-friendly) menu for the little ones. Additionally, you could pay some older kids to watch the younger ones for the evening, so the parents can still relax and enjoy themselves!

Regardless of what you decide, make sure you make it clear on your invite to avoid any confusion, an onslaught of unwanted text messages. Once this decision is made, you’ll find yourself busy making many, many more!