I recently did a wedding with over 15 children and while some behaved beautifully, well lets not even mention the melt downs by some. This really got me thinking about children at weddings. Inviting children to a wedding is often a hot topic between couples and their families. Here are some of your options when planning your big day.
Avoiding meltdowns is the key to happiness on your big day
To keep costs low and to avoid the risk of children’s unpredictable behaviour stealing the show on their big day many couples choose to have adult only weddings. While it is ultimately the couples decision here are some things to carefully consider:
- What goes for one, goes for all. If your 2nd Cousin ‘Trudy’ can’t bring her 5 troublemaking children, your sister can’t bring her little angel either. .This somewhat applies to young attendants, they obviously will be a part of your wedding, but have someone appointed to take these children to a sitters immediately after the ceremony, or photos.
- Unless your wedding is held in an age restricted venue a child is someone under the age of 16.
- DO NOT write ‘ADULT RECEPTION’ on your invitation, instead address it to only the adults in each household (16 + still living at home should receive their own invitation)
- Instead of leaving the reply card blank and letting your guests to fill in how many will be attending (leaving room for children to suddenly be included in your guest count) word it similar to ’2 seats have been reserved in your honour, Yes we will attend, No we are unable to attend’
- Guests with small children may be offended, or choose not to attend rather than finding a sitter. Be prepared for some negative feedback.
Another option is to provide child care at your reception site. Many venues have a conference room or similar separate area. Hiring professionals to care for the children will ensure your guests comfort and the children’s enjoyment. Other factors to consider
- Have children eat dinner with their parents. Provide child friendly foods.
- Before speeches start have parents escort their children to the separate ‘kid party’
- Provide the children with healthy snacks, colouring and craft supplies, board games or play an age appropriate movie.
- If your budget allows it bringing in a television and Wii, or Playstation so older children can play some video games this will make yours the event of the year according to your younger guests.
- Many parents will appreciate having some kid free time to dance, and enjoy your reception.
Children enjoy being involved in your celebration
If children will be attending your reception for the whole evening try giving them plenty to do. Children begin to act up when they are bored so preventing boredom will be the easiest way to keep your smallest guests happy.
- Having kid specific or kid friendly favours will let your smallest guests know you’ve put special thought into them on your day. Things like a wedding customized comic book, or a small, inexpensive toy will not only keep the children smiling, but entertained during speeches as well.
- After dinner have a large table set up in a quiet corner of the room complete with poster paper, crayons and markers, stickers etc. Have the children create a ‘Congratulations’ banner to present later in the evening.
- You could also include play dough, or bubbles for little ones to play with.
- Children love to dance! Have your band or Dj play a kid friendly song for only the young ones to dance to. They will love briefly being the center of attention, and many will dance the night away along with their energy.
Having a plan to keep children at your wedding entertained will allow you to enjoy your wedding knowing that all of your guests can share in your happiness.
Some info and pics taken from proposalplanning.com