Here's what you need to consider when deciding whether your wedding will be adults-only or family-friendly.

Here's what you need to consider when deciding whether your wedding will be adults-only or family-friendly.

"Are the kids invited, too?"

Few wedding-related questions have the potential to incite such strife. While crystal stemware and dry-clean-only attire doesn't exactly scream "bring all the toddlers" (and it bears stating here that kid-free weddings are completely acceptable if that's your preference), it's easier than you might guess to incorporate your smallest well-wishers into your special day in a fun and relaxed way.

We asked some of Columbus' top caterers, wedding-venue administrators and coordinators for their advice on how to include the younger ones in wedding festivities:

Factor in your budget. Dock580's senior event coordinator Tiahna Wilkins says, "For many couples, cost is a major factor. If you need to chop down the guest list, omitting children is one way to save costs. However, many venues offer discounted prices (and special kid-friendly plated menus) for kids; for instance, we charge $14 less per head for each child versus an adult meal."

Consider a compromise. While a kid-free wedding is an acceptable preference, it may be prohibitively tricky or costly for out-of-town guests to arrange childcare. Open to compromise? Many Columbus venues are happy to craft creative solutions. Callan Kirgis Hash, director of catering at Brookside Golf & Country Club, says, "We usually offer a separate room for the kids directly beside the ballroom (at no extra charge), which typically includes a screen/projector for watching movies, floor space for playing with toys and babysitters (hired by the couple)."

Seat Strategically. At the ceremony, seat parents with babies or toddlers on a rear outside aisle. If baby fusses during the grand processional, no one has to crawl over pewmates to escape. Many wedding pros recommend against reception kids tables, as grouping kids sans adults can lead to meltdowns or messes. Plus, safety is paramount. Wilkins cautions, "We once had two wedding parties in our building's different venues simultaneously. A small child was unattended and wandered into the other party. She was quickly found, but was scared and confused. We always urge close supervision of all children."

Don't skimp on fun. Want to keep kids of all ages happy? Choose a whimsical venue. The Columbus Zoo and COSI are two popular options. Amber Waters, COSI's event sales manager, says, "Depending on group size, [it's possible] to hold a ceremony, cocktail hour or reception in any of our classic exhibit spaces...or incorporate our mobile science carts into your event." Even at more traditional venues, provide activities to keep kids entertained. "We've had babysitters, kids games on the patio, kid-friendly favors," Madison McAllister, wedding sales coordinator at the Blackwell Inn at Ohio State University, says. "The sky's the limit, and it's something we love to accommodate." Notes Kirgis, "Just having something for them to color or play with really helps."

Communicate your wishes to guests clearly, early and graciously. Be perfectly clear on invitations, RSVP cards and wedding websites as to whether children are welcomed and offer to discuss any arrangements, exceptions or questions. If you omit (or, for that matter, include) children, you may get a frowny emoji text or two from family members with strong feelings on the subject, but it's your day. "There is no right or wrong way to do a wedding," McAllister says. "The only thing that matters is that the couple has the best day of their lives."