Are you wondering how to include kids at your wedding day? Just because you have a cute table for them with matching crayon packs (thank you Pinterest) doesn’t mean they will stay there or are truly included.
Now if you are one of those couples who don’t want to have kids at your wedding but opened this blog because you thought you HAD to then close it now! Courtesy invites even if they are for little, cute, squishy people are a no no.
Plus mommy and daddy are allowed to have tequila time too!
If however you truly do want children at your wedding here are 5 ideas of how to really include them:
1. Have an outdoor wedding festival.
This Wedding Festival shot by Summetown Pictures shows how big open spaces, some unashamed kids activities (blowing bubbles, bouncing balls, face paints & a magic show) not only keeps the kids entertained (and tires them out to sleep right through later) but also gives the adults a chance to embrace the relaxed, excited, childlike experience of a different type of wedding.
2. Get the kids to draw you.
When you send out invites add an A4 blank page with your names and wedding date at the top, to the invite. Send this to all the guests with kids (a digital version they can print a few times is ideal) then ask the kids to draw you, the bride and groom, on your wedding day and sign their name.
Ask the parents to bring this along and have a special place to hang or display the pictures. Take a little time out to look at each picture with the kids. This is not only an amazing keep sake for you but an awesome way get the kids excited for the wedding and really make them part of the celebration, décor and memory of your day.
3. Include the kids in the ceremony only.
Make the little ladies flower girls; give the ring duties to your little man, have the older kids be ushers or let them hand out the confetti afterwards and make little mini bouquets and buttonholes for them.
There is nothing cuter than the shy or brave reaction of a child when it’s their time to shine.
Having a run through of this the day before is always a good idea, so at least moms and dads know what to do and when to prompt. (If you can’t have a run through and you are able to embrace the potential chaos, this is just as fun and makes for great pics too)
Once the ceremony and canapés are done have a special room close to the reception set up with pizza, movies and a few fun board games. Bring along a child minder or ask the venue if they have an au pair contact. (If you don’t want the festival vibe at your actually wedding maybe bring some of those fun elements to the kiddies here)
4. Treat the kids like adults.
Instead of making an obvious kids section set each child’s place next to their parents but with smaller (maybe pretty plastic) versions of the plates, knives etc. Get a booster seat so they can reach the table; bring in plastic champagne glasses for them with sparkling grape juice that they get when everyone else has bubbly.
Bring out the kiddies meal with the starters or earlier in the night and maybe hang a little pillow and blanket on the back of their chair in case they get tired (I slept under many a table while my parents partied)
Depending on the kids age you could also add a little mini activity to their place setting (I mean mini magnetic chess boards for the win) but let’s be honest they probably have their own iPad, cell phone and more followers than you.
5. Say no to candy tables.
They look pretty and the kids will love you…until they fall into a sugar fueled spiral of dismay and tears. (Because you haven’t seen shoveling until you have seen a kid – especially one who doesn’t get sugar at home- face a candy table)
I’m not a mom but I have been known to do some aunty duties and the best way to ensure your mommy and daddy guests leave early (and don’t get that precious tequila time) is to not feed the kids in time or to feed them crap and have them grumpy by 6pm.
Kids will be kids and there is nothing you can do to 100% guarantee smooth sailing (hello life lesson) but make sure there is water, fresh fruit juice, kid appropriate snacks, an early meal and a little bit of something to do and you should be on your way to semi smooth wedding day sailing, kids, parents and you intact!
Are you a parent who has taken your kids to weddings and come out victorious? Or were you home by 7pm watching Disney channel? Are you a couple who didn’t invite kids to your wedding and now wish you had (or are so glad you didn’t?)
I would love to hear your no. 1 tip on kids at wedding! Please leave it in the comments below. Share your knowledge and save the party!