Today is the day. You’re completing your wedding seating plan and 30 minutes in, reality hits – where did all those children come from?! The age range runs from toddlers to 10 year olds, and there’s lots of them.
If you have decided to invite children to your wedding, be resourceful when it comes to their attendance. No matter how much you love them, a wedding offers some truly spectacular opportunities for your little friends to create a low level riot.
So, what’s the best way to ensure that they have a great time and their parents aren’t run ragged looking after their offspring? Here are a few suggestions which might be useful for keeping the children at your wedding happy and content…
Child-Free Wedding Ceremony?
No matter where you hold your wedding ceremony, it’s nice for you and your partner to be able to hear your vows. If you feel that attention spans might be on the short side, or you’ve got some high pitched vocal competition for the speaking parts, think about booking out a separate room, with some adult supervision, to look after children during your wedding service.
Hotel staff, a nanny or trusted person can keep the children entertained during the formal part of your wedding. Then, when the service is over, they can rejoin the party and take part in the photographs.
If they are mature enough, you could give them a special role, such as doing a reading, carrying flowers, helping the ushers, or leading the dancing!
Children’s Wedding Outfits
Children often have mixed feelings about dressing up – some love it, some loath it – so keep outfits simple and easy to move about in.
Materials need to be suitable for the season and venue, and easy to clean. A long lacy dress can be gorgeous for a teenager, but small children might find it cumbersome to move in – it’s awkward for all that sprinting around the tables! Also remember that they will need to go to the bathroom at some point, and navigating metres of frilly satin can be tricky!
A shin length dress is ideal for small children, and consider clip on neck ties for boys, just in case someone makes an enthusiastic grab for their throat on the dance floor.
Fun, Food and Drink
Why not have a special dining area for those children who would enjoy eating with their friends? It would need some informal supervision, but once the children are comfortable and can see their family members for reassurance, they will relish being able to sit with other youngsters without any drama.
A few little additions will make the table child-friendly, enticing and fun. Place a little basket filled with small toys, colouring pencils, notepads, activity books and travel sized games on each child’s chair. For a group activity, they could make a Lego wedding scene!
When it comes to food and drink, ensure the children have access to colourful, non breakable glasses, plates and bowls. Unless the children are used to spicy foods, plain and easy to eat items will be just as satisfying as Beef Wellington. Keep foods with strong colourants to a minimum – beetroot, ketchup and mustard are not easy to remove from a wedding dress. Colouring-in table mats are great to utilise between courses too!
You could even hire a Children’s Entertainer to keep them focussed during the meal and speeches. Entertainment for children at a wedding can be a valuable investment for many reasons. No matter what their speciality (Bubble Technician, Story Telling, Puppetry or Magic) these Entertainers have experience in dealing with children in celebratory settings.
A Children’s Entertainer will bring all they need to perform their act, and their professional, calm and friendly manner will put youngsters at ease. It’s a great way to harness their energy before the evening celebrations begin.
Children or Child Free Wedding?
Lots of people opt for an adults-only wedding day, which is, in many ways, easier to organise! If you do decide though that your wedding day is open to one and all, you can be confident that with a bit of thought and organisation, your young guests will have the time of their lives! You’ll also have given a great gift to their parents too – they’ll enjoy the luxury of a couple of hours ‘off duty’, and you’ll have created the party of the year!
Guest post by David Gregory of Entertainers Worldwide
Images from Unsplash