Children at your wedding? Handle with care!!

 Nowadays a lot of couples are opting for a childfree wedding. I can understand the benefits of this and parents also want a night off from the little ones and you must respect the bride and groom’s wishes for the big day. Speaking as a mother, I know that I will not have a child free wedding whenever that day comes so I was thinking about what would be the best way to approach the situation regarding control, entertainment and keeping the parents stress free!!
If your budget allows and there are a lot of children attending the wedding it would be a good idea to hire a childminder, especially if there are younger children going. Their parents will be beyond grateful! Or if budget doesn’t allow perhaps see does the venue have a room close by you can put a DVD on or leave some toys in. Parents can take turns going in and out watching the children.
Make sure there are nappy changing facilities and if any of your bridal party are toddlers and just potty trained make sure they wear trainer pants. There is only one outfit they can wear you don’t want a flower girl walking around in tracksuit bottoms!!
The sit down meal itself could be a tricky one. The kids won’t sit for long realistically and the little ones may be running after Mum and Dad. If you have enough children it may be a nice idea to create a ‘kids table’. However kids under five really shouldn’t be at a kids table without older siblings present.
Kids aren’t going to be eating a five course meal so they will sit for enough period of time to eat. Ensure some cupcakes or treats are brought out after their meal as rewards. Provide colours at the table and maybe some board games. You’d be surprised when they get involved in something how calm they can be! Put this table quite far away from the top table as it may be a noisy zone!
Food colour is quite important! Avoid chocolate if possible, it always melts and gets messy! No one wants chocolate handprints on their bridal gown! Opt for drinks that are clear or milk. Cakes can be sponge and offer sweets rather than chocolate treats. Ketchup is going to be another problem, but kids can’t really have chips without ketchup…..or can they?!
Entertainment is always a good idea, in the form of a magician or charicaturist, bouncy castle, outdoor lawn games or a ballpit. Confetti is always fun to play with for the little girls (if venue allows). You could also consider bubbles or ribbon wands. Even ask your regular babysitter or friend’s babysitter to come in for two hours to read stories or organise games (during the speeches would be the best time). Of course, once the music starts the kids will be in their element. I find this is the time that you are thankful you had kids at your wedding, it’s very cute to watch!

 

Curfew! Kids should really be gone by a certain time from the wedding. Approx 9-10pm depending on the age group. This should be when the babysitter comes or the grandparents come to collect the children. Suggest this in a friendly manner to your guests, it is in their benefit more than anyone elses! A tired child is the worst kind……….
Make goody bags! Kids will love these and with the introduction of inexpensive shops, this won’t break the bank! Some suggestions include disposable cameras, snacks (of the clothes friendly kind), bouncy balls, playing cards, stickers, colours, bubbles, finger puppets, playdoh or a special toy.

 

I ensure if you take some of the steps above, as a bride you will be stress free and so will the parents, the kids will be happy and a better day will be had by all! Kids aren’t that bad really 🙂

Photo credits: www.bridalmusings.com, www.weddingcommunity.com, www.bespoke-brides.com, www.premierweddingplannersscotalnd.com, www.weddingpath.co.uk, www.onewed.com.

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