Child Friendly Weddings
It’s often the cause of much debate, but to invite (or not invite!) children to attend your wedding does not have to be a daunting prospect; with careful consideration, everyone can have a fantastic day…
Some couples may well not have the budget to cater for children at the reception, or the chosen venue may not be suitable, or have enough space – so the decision is already made for you! Sometimes a way of keeping costs down or overcoming this is to stipulate an ‘adults-only day’. This point can easily be put across without offending anyone by way of a small carefully worded inclusion on the bottom of your invitations. This could be followed up with a list of adult activities available at your chosen venue to reinforce your message. Some parents may choose not to attend your day as a result of this, but others will probably jump at the chance of a day (and night) away from their little ones!
It is also worth considering the number of small attendants you want to include in your wedding party; your guests may be offended if you then have ten small flower girls and pages when the day is supposed to be child-free.
If you do want to invite children, then there’s no need to worry about them causing chaos on the day. With a little bit of preparation, you can keep everyone happy and have a great time.
1. Ask ushers to seat families towards the back of the ceremony room or church, so if any awkward moments arise parents can slip out with their little ones unnoticed.
2. If you have the budget and a small room is available, a children’s entertainer may be the answer to keep little ones happy throughout the ceremony.
3. Just providing a colouring book and crayons for each child during the service is a cost-effective alternative.
4. Ask a family member to provide small bags of freshly chopped fruit or boxes of raisins to keep hungry moments at bay.
5. It is always an idea to think of photography in advance. If you can sort the pictures with the bridesmaids and children first they are then free to roam for a while!
6. To prevent boredom setting in during the drinks reception, hire a bouncy castle, or a giant board game such as Twister or Snakes and Ladders. The adults will get as much fun out of it as the children do!
7. During the reception, think about where to seat families with children. Your child-free guests may not be happy sitting next to a fidgeting two-year-old!
8. Safety also has to be an issue, so think about table decorations. Towering candelabras or too many twinkling tea lights may not be child-friendly! A puzzle book or a small storybook placed in each child’s place will keep them entertained throughout the speeches.