To have or not to have children at your wedding? This is always a big question and one that causes some rifts in families. For some people it’s a definite ‘yes, we want children at our wedding’, but for others it’s a definite ‘no’.
For those in between its hard, but I believe it’s imperative that if you do decide to have children at your wedding they must be catered for and built into the plan.
At What Age Is a Child a Child?
I think you should count children aged over 12 as an adult, but check with your wedding venue/caterers on their guidelines as these may be different.
Where Should Children Sit?
Seat children with their parents at the table, as opposed to a separate children’s table; that always ends in havoc. This is unless you have over 12 children. If this is the case try to choose a venue with a separate area and cater for them separately. They can then have their own party and the parents can enjoy themselves.
What Should You Feed Children at Your Wedding?
If children are dining at the table I always serve smaller versions of the adult’s food, in the belief that if we treat them like adults they will behave like them.
Whatever you do, don’t ask parents what their children will eat! You will get endless requests such as “Oh just some pasta, pizza, sausages…”. This in the middle of serving 150 guests is a nightmare.
Make it Fun
If you are catering for children separately then make it fun. A giant tea party, a build your own burger bar… whatever you do, provide plenty of choice and plenty to eat, well spaced out to fill the time and give the adults plenty of peace and quiet!
Have a simple selection of natural, child-friendly drinks. Fizzy drinks and fruit punches are a ‘no-no’ as the sugar will create craziness in most children. It is good to serve milk and cookies in the evening, signifying it’s time to rest now.
Always count children in on the canapés. In my experience they always eat lots as it’s a novelty factor for them.
Keep Children Entertained
If you have a large number of children at your wedding, consider hiring an entertainer. During dinner is good (as children can eat very quickly), and again later in the evening. Or, here are 10 other ways to keep children entertained at a wedding.
A crèche company is worth its weight in gold… parents want to be able to relax and enjoy themselves, and this will allow them to.
Provide party bags or activity books to keep children occupied. It makes them feel special and keeps them entertained during the party.
Make provisions for a quiet place for them to settle down later. No one wants tired, tearful children spoiling a party.
For more advice read 5 Golden Rules for Feeding Children at Your Wedding.
Guest post by Julie Gray of Bovingdons
Image from Flickr by Randen Pederson (CC BY 2.0 License)