How often has it happened that you attended a bridal shower, wedding, or other event and wondered if the gaggle of children you watched really should be there? At times you might have inwardly rolled your eyes, while at other times you might have actually questioned the sanity of the hostess.
Is the attendance of children at a bridal shower appropriate? The short answer is a resounding “maybe.” While this may be a bit vague, it is important to remember that all bridal showers are not created equal. There is a time and a place for everything and the presence of children is no exception.
There are bridal showers where the attendance of children is most welcome, appropriate, and enhances the occasion, while there other differently done or themed bridal showers where a child’s presence would be inappropriate.
You will be sure that your enjoyment, and that of your guests as well as their children, is ensured by laying the ground rules before the bridal shower event.
Set these easy ground rules before the bridal shower event:
If the bride will have a little flower girl to precede her in the procession, it is most appropriateto invite the little girl, and her mom, to the bridal shower. Consequently, if the bride will have one or more junior brides maids, these would be little girls aged ten to thirteen, they, too, may be invited to the bridal shower.
Inviting these children to the bridal shower is only fair, since they are part of the bridal procession, and since the bridal shower is usually attended by the women of the bridal party. It is appropriate to invite the little girls even if no other children are invited or will be present.
If you are planning on having a more adult party, will be serving alcohol, or will make lingerie modeling a part of your bridal shower, please be sure to clearly state on the invitations “adults only, please.” This will take the guesswork out of the planning, and will alert guests with children to the fact that they will need to arrange for child care ahead of time. In addition to the foregoing, it will prevent a guest from bringing a child into an environment that is clearly unsuitable for the youngster.
On the other hand, if you wish to include the children, it is only fair to state so on the invitation. “Please bring your children” or something to that effect will signal to everyone that children are not only allowed but most warmly welcomed.
Additionally, this will spell out to the harried parent that at this party there will be food supplied that children will like to eat, and that there will be activities that will keep the kids busy for a while and without the need of constant parental interaction and supervision.
Of course, if you do wish to expressly include children, please be sure to have foods that are appropriate for them. While most adults will cherish the idea of sushi, most children will not and thus some hot dogs, chicken nuggets, and other child comfort foods should be included in the menu.
Additionally, please be sure to plan some activities that will keep them entertained, since it is most unrealistic to expect a bunch of kids to be excited about a new mixer, or set of Tupperware bowls and dishes. Coloring books and crayons are a nice idea, but will keep the kid entertained only for a little while. Thus, if you advertise in your invitations that you wish to include the children, you will also need to plan and provide for their entertainment.
Perhaps you could hire a few babysitters who will have some activities for the children. Ideas for such activities are plentiful and the Internet can offer endless printable coloring sheets, word puzzles, and such, while party rental companies will be able to provide you with bouncers, jumpers, and other outdoor playthings that will keep the kids busy and entertained.
As you can see, communication is the key to planning a successful event, such as a bridal shower, and the presence or absence of children needs to be communicated well in advance of the actual event.
Failure to do so will result in a room full of bored children, quite possibly a lot of acting up, and some rather frazzled bridal shower guests.
and you will be sure that your enjoyment, and that of your guests as well as their children, is ensured: