There are many pros and cons to having children attend your wedding. On one hand, children can create a lovely atmosphere and can be a great conversation starter amongst your guests whilst on the other hand, they get bored easily and can become impatient, hungry and to be honest, downright grumpy! Here at Fund Your Wedding, we’ve created an essential guide to help your day run as smoothly as possible when inviting children to your big day.
1. Determine who’s invited and make it clear on the invitation.
Whether you decide not to invite any children or you just decide to invite those who will play a role on your big day, it’s entirely up to you but make sure you make it clear on the invite. The last thing you want is for your guests to have misunderstood the invitation and you end up running around on the day of your wedding trying to find some form of entertainment for them. If you decide not to have children at your wedding, make sure you let your guests know well in advance so they can arrange childcare. Remember, it’s your special day so don’t worry about offending your guests by not inviting their children, many parents will enjoy a little break to let their hair down.
2. Make sure children are supervised
What you need to remember is that it’s the parents job to keep their kids entertained and that they’ll probably have something up their sleeve to entertain them so make sure when writing your table plan that children are sat alongside their parents. Make sure high chairs are also available if necessary and make sure there is enough seating scattered around because children can’t stand for long periods of time. It wouldn’t hurt to make up a goodie bag either and fill it with crayons, colouring books and puzzles so that they don’t get bored.
3. Make sure their chosen outfits are comfortable.
If they’re part of the wedding party, consider whether their choice of outfit is suitable. Some dresses can be made with a coarse netting and when children are running around and overheating, the material can become itchy and uncomfortable making them very groggy.
4. Hire a crèche
Consider hiring a mobile crèche even if it’s just for a couple of hours whilst the speeches are under way. There’s two significant moments in a wedding where it is almost impossible to keep children quiet, especially very young children. One moment is during the ceremony and the other is the speeches. This is where a mobile crèche would come in handy and would alleviate a lot of stress from the parents. No parent wants all eyes on them as their toddler has a screaming fit whilst the bride walks down the aisle.
5. Consider having a movie room
If you haven’t budgeted for a mobile crèche, ask your venue if there is a room available for you to create a movie room. Fill the room with blankets and safely display a TV and DVD player. Put on a Disney film and it’s bound to give you and your guests a moments piece during the significant moments.
6. Make sure children know what they are meant to do.
If you have children playing a part in your big day, make sure they understand exactly what’s happening and what they’re meant to do. The last thing the bride wants as she walks down the aisle, is to be met with lots of lost children not knowing where they’re meant to stand. Whether they’re a flower girl, a page boy or a bridesmaid, most kids love having a special job to do so take the time to explain what’s expected of them.
7. Keep them entertained
The great thing about entertaining kids and adults alike, is that it needn’t be expensive. You can prepare lawn games, hire a face painter, hand out sparklers or if you wanted to splash out on something with a bit more wow factor, you could even hire a magician or a photobooth.
8. Involve them in the throwing of confetti
The throwing of confetti is a fun time for everyone and is a tradition that originates from Italy. Nowadays people throw paper confetti but before that, people threw flowers, petals and rice over the newly married couple to bestow prosperity and fertility. Why not do something original and give your guests bubbles to blow as you walk out of the ceremony hall. Your little guests will absolutely love blowing bubbles. Not only will it keep them entertained far longer than the momentary throwing of confetti but it will also make for great photo opportunities.
9. Keep them fed and watered
If children are hungry, they tend to become quite irritable. Make sure you have plenty of food and drink on hand to satisfy their stomachs. Remember, children don’t always appreciate fancy foods like canapés so make sure you have child friendly finger foods such as cheese bites, sandwiches, milk and cookies.
10. Pros of inviting children
Children create a wonderful atmosphere and act as a great talking point amongst your guests. They can set the tone for a fun filled day and parents don’t have to stress about arranging childcare.
11. Cons of inviting children
Children can easily get tired, bored and hungry. Inviting them to the wedding may result in guests having to leave early and not truly letting their hair down because they have to remain responsible. This might be worth considering when purchasing your drinks package. There’s no point purchasing the most expensive drinks package when no one is able to drink.
12. Have a sense of humour
The reality is, children are unpredictable and some, depending on their age, know no boundaries so if your little guests indulge in the cake before the cutting of it, remember to laugh it off. These are the joys of having children at your wedding. It might not be ideal at the time but believe it or not, it’s a memory you will look back on with fondness.