How to occupy children at your wedding!
In the second of our two posts by Janice from http://www.wonderfulweddingsbyjt.co.uk, Janice gives us some fab tips for consideration when organising a wedding to which children are invited. If I can ever talk my husband into the big 10 year anniversary celebration bash, I will definitely be utilising a few (if not all!) of these!!
If you do decide to invite children here are some key areas to consider:
Food: A children friendly menu such as fish fingers or chicken goujons will go down much better for really young children, compared to your roast beef dinner. As well as saving you money – most venues charge much less for a children’s menu – it also means gravy etc doesn’t go over their Mum & Dad’s outfits!
Older children will often have half a portion and this can be used to suggest they should behave themselves at the table as they are being treated as a ‘big girl or boy’.
Also make sure the children are catered for at the same time as the adults – so consider your reception drinks & canapés, providing boxes of raisins, pieces of fruit & fruit juice. Well organised parents should have this covered off but just in case you should also be prepared.
Entertainment: Instead of giving children the same ‘favour’ as adults you should provide a gift that will keep them occupied. This will be particularly important during the speeches. Colouring books & crayons are useful but be careful about giving them chocolate & sweets otherwise they could go on a sugar rush!
Alternatively you could arrange for an Entertainer to be available to look after the children whilst the adults are eating. Giving them a separate room to eat and play in means the adults can feel relaxed during the meal and during the speeches. Once again this is an extra outlay, but depending upon numbers it would be a definite recommendation.
If you desperately want children at your wedding but can’t afford an entertainer than you can set up a little corner with comfy cushions, a TV & DVD player and some kids favourites – e.g. Nemo, Shrek, The Lion King.
Older children are obviously more self-sufficient & as long as you provide some entertainment for them – colouring books, iPad, videos, DS – then they’ll pretty much look after themselves.
Planning: A church ceremony is much longer than a civil ceremony and little ones can get restless so think about this when you are planning the ceremony – lots of long readings and including lots of hymns are likely to result in lots of shuffling & squeaking by the children. Even the most well behaved children can become disruptive after a certain period of time so ask your ushers to put families towards the rear of the church or ceremony room. That way they can attempt to slip out without too much disruption.
If you want photos with the young children then get those photos taken straight after the ceremony so that they should still be relatively clean – no time to roll in the mud or get chocolate down their white shirts!
You could also include a basic itinerary of the day with the invitations this means that parents can plan their children’s day. If they know their children will sleep after a good feed then they will be able to plan the day accordingly so they don’t get grumpy at an important time.
You could suggest that children do disappear at a certain time if you are inviting them to the day reception. The last thing you want is small children running around the dance floor once the adults get on their having had a pint or 2!
Venue: If you are planning on having children at your wedding then consider this when choosing your venue. If there are lots of babies make sure your venue is baby friendly – nappy changing tables in the toilets and some private areas for breastfeeding.
Safety: Think about your venue & decorations etc. Don’t light candles & tea lights with little fingers around.
Jobs: Children often love to have jobs & responsibilities. Silly things like blowing bubbles outside at the end of the ceremony, asking them to take the guest book & a pen round the guests to write something. These kind of things keep them occupied and out of trouble!
Don’t forget to check out Janice’s website at http://www.wonderfulweddingsbyjt.co.uk for lots of great information and advice and also our Top 10 Wedding Products for Children. We ALMOST wish we were getting married again ourselves!!