If you’ve decided that you’re allowing children at your wedding, then you’ll certainly need to take them into consideration while you plan. You don’t want to spend the day listening to a crying baby or catering to their attention needs. While it is most definitely the responsibility of the parents to take care of their children if they decide to bring them, it can be nice to offer a few things to accommodate children if you’ve invited them.
Here are 10 things you can consider adding into your wedding planning to help make the day a little more enjoyable for the children and much less stressful for you:
Provide a Children’s Area
A children’s area doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but it can be a great place to send all of the kids during hors d’oeuvres or before the ceremony. It can be as simple as a few tables and crafts, or as elaborate as a playground. Depending on where your ceremony is, you’ll know what you have to work with.
Offer Kids’ Meals
If you’re inviting children to the wedding, then there are going to be some picky eaters. If you’re having a buffet, then this is perfect for children, but having set meals may be a problem for some. If you’d like, you can inform the parents ahead of time of the meal that will be served, or you can offer kids menu options that are easier and which have smaller portions.
If there are safety hazards for children on the property where you are getting married, then you’ll want to let parents know ahead of time. Some locations have wild animals nearby, or close roads or pools, and it’s important that you prepare for the risks that are there.
You can use signs and blocks to let guests know of any danger to children, or provide things like water wings and other safety precautions. This way, you’ll be able to breathe easy knowing that the little ones will be safe and enjoy their stay.
Keep Photo Sessions Short
Whether you take 10 or 100 photos with your little guests, they will ultimately decide what kind of mood they will be in on your special day. If you want photos with them, try to break their sessions up into a few short ones instead of long, overbearing ones.
Especially if it’s very hot or cold out, you’ll want to be flexible with them. If you get a few good smiles, then let that be enough for the photo album. There is no point making them miserable for the rest of the event, so take it when you can get, and laugh about the big tears or giant pouts you may get! If you’ve got kids in the wedding party, then use some tricks to keep them going. Let them take charge of the shoot, and give them freedom to be silly or playful—these always end up being the best photos.
Offer Fun Kids Drinks
Once the ceremony is over, it’s all about toasting and having fun for your guests. This means the little ones, too! If you’ve got a cool drink bar that your adults are using, consider building a mini bar for the kids to use, as well, under parental supervision.
You can have Shirley Temples, milkshakes, and more, and add fun things like colorful straws and sprinkles. What will be important, though, is making sure that the bar is only available at certain times, so that the kids aren’t running back and forth for six milkshakes while they dance. Then you’ll be talking about a whole other kind of mess on the dance floor!
If you really want everyone in your family to be able to make it to your event, then you might consider hiring babysitters. This is something that’s more of a plus for the parents, so that they’re able to enjoy their time knowing that the kids are taken care of.
If possible, hire someone who is close to the family or who you already use. You might also request that the babysitter keep the kids in a specific area of the property so that the parents can still locate or see them easily.
Offer Relevant Party Favors
Obviously, your little guests won’t be able to utilize a nice candle or picture frame as much as your adult guests. Instead, offer some kid-friendly wedding favors that kids can have at the wedding or take home and enjoy. Wedding cake and favor boxes are a great idea for kids, because you can fill them with yummy candies that they can munch on during the reception. Make sure to check with parents about food allergies before deciding what to fill them with.
If you have a wedding planner, let them know that you’re inviting children—they may have a few tricks up their sleeve from experience and be able to provide some great tools. If possible, let parents know in their invitation what they can expect for the day so that they can plan accordingly. Parents will be able to prepare better if they know it is outdoors, near a pool, a far drive, etc.
Remember that kids always add an extra adorable or goofy element to weddings, so be smart about your planning, and it will be a great day for everyone!