Keeping the kids happy at your wedding
They say never to work with children or animals, but there are some occasions where you simply cannot avoid it. If you have chosen to invite and embrace children at your wedding, there are plenty of ways to ensure they and their parents relax and enjoy the day. This is important, as relaxed children usually make for happier children and appreciative wedding guests.
So how can you help keep the little dears occupied without having to compromise on your elegant, special day? Here are some ideas for the different age groups.
Babies and toddlers
Start early, by ensuring that parents of babies and toddlers have as much information about the day as possible, so that they can work out whether they will need babysitters, overnight accommodation or special transport or equipment. Check with your venue what they can provide in terms of high chairs, stairgates, baby food heating facilities, baby plates and cutlery etc.
Try to work out your timings so that young children can take time out for a nap where necessary –schedule any photos that you would like them to appear in for just after they have napped or eaten to get them in the best possible mood. Above all, let parents and carers know that it is OK for them to take fractious or crying children out of the ceremony for a bit if they start to feel restless.
Infant and primary aged children
The biggest threat for this age group is boredom, and the consequences of their having nothing to do and lots of time to kill. Providing activities like colouring books, indoor games or a TV showing cartoons is a nice thing to do, to ensure that they don’t run amok. Little favours to take home are always popular as well, and these needn’t be expensive – stickers or bubbles always go down well with this age group.
Make sure younger children don’t have to wait too long to be fed, and have drinks easily available, with a quiet place to retreat to if things get too much. Of course, their parents or relatives will (or at least should be) sorting this out, but the whole family will warmly appreciate any extra help you can provide. If they are part of the bridal party, make sure they know what is expected of them and give them time to practise their role in advance and allay any stage fright well in advance. Keep outfits simple, comfortable and non-itchy or confining.
Older children and teens
Most older children will want to be part of the main proceedings and to feel grown up, rather than relegated to the ‘kids’ table’,. So include them as much as possible in the day’s events. If an older child is capable and keen, having them do a reading, hand out orders of service or act as ushers is a lovely touch that ensures they feel important on the day.
If you are having older children in the bridal party, give them at least some say in what they are going to wear – even if it is just a choice of shoe style or bow tie colour. They should co-operate better with the photos if they feel lovely in what they are wearing. As with younger children, provide a quiet space for them to have a few moments relaxing with a tablet, watching TV or chatting with their peers.