written by Rebecca Schultz
Children undoubtedly influence the atmosphere of your wedding; perhaps you and your guests would find a group of adorable youngsters laughingly twirling about the dance floor to be enduring, or perhaps this could detract from your overall vision of a refined affair. The decision of whether or not they should be included should not be taken lightly. If you do ultimately elect to invite kids to your big day, it is wise to take extra measures to make sure they’re comfortable and entertained; otherwise, what might await you is an unrestrained hyper bundle of pint-sized chaos.
- For the ceremony, reserve the seats at the end of the rows for parents with young children so they can easily duck out if their offspring begins to cry or fidget. Additionally, have a few small toys like puzzles or coloring books on hand that a close friend can quietly give to fussy youths during the nuptials.
- It seems unreasonable to serve someone tilapia when they’d much prefer grilled cheese so have child-friendly options on the menu, as this will both save money and accommodate fussy eaters. Similarly, make sure there are plenty of snacks available for little ones who might turn up their noses as caviar but will grow cranky if not quickly fed. Opt for healthy choices like fruit and crackers, as sugary bites will rev them up rather than placate them.
- Have separate gift bags for the children that provides them with various toys that will entertain – boredom is one of the main reasons children act out, so providing them with a creative (but non-messy) activity like an etch-a-sketch, colored pencils and other toys that will keep them distracted. You can take this a step further to feature a corner designated specifically for playtime at which little ones can take full advantage of their new gizmos instead of having to sly sneak underneath the table.
- Another way to combat their monotony is to give the children special roles that will make them feel important. One example is to provide the kids disposable cameras to and ask them to take pictures of the guests during the reception. Another is to task the children with the group activity of decorating a Congratulations banner that will be presented to the couple. The majority of the kids will feel appreciated and will be more eager to behave (of course there are always exceptions).
- If it’s an outdoor wedding, assign to a teenager or pre-teen the important duty of organizing a series of games that will burn off the youngsters’ excess energy without causing ripped pants or scraped elbows (a small fee is a great persuader for teenagers). Games can include classics hide-and-go-seek, a scavenger hunt or building something together like a fort.
- Consider having a babysitter on the premise but far away from the festivities so the adults and children can let loose separately from one another. This will not only make things easier for parents, but the children will undoubtedly grow bored of the stuffy affair and will happily welcome the opportunity to play away from the adults.
When it comes down to it, the presence of little ones can enhance the wedding. After all, just think about how adorable that little flower girl is as she skips down the aisle tossing rose petals. If handled properly, children can be well-behaved guests that provide an innocent, loving touch to your big day.
Photo Credit: Zama Ree Do via Flickr