So you have made the decision to have kids at your wedding, the next step is finding ways to keep them entertained and included throughout the day. Kids really do do the funniest things just like the famous saying says, so keeping them entertained is really important to avoid any temper tantrums or unruly screaming throughout the day. I’ve put together a list of ideas for simple things you can do at your wedding to make sure kids of all ages feel a part of your big day!
1. Give little ones a colouring book and some wax crayons for during your ceremony. Wax crayons make no noise when little ones are scribbling away creating their works of art, are easy to get out of carpets, off of floors and pews if their creativity takes them outside of the paper you have provided and are easy to hold even in the smallest of hands. If the children at your wedding are too old for wax crayons it’s likely that they’re old enough to not need entertaining throughout the ceremony, but you could always provide colouring pencils to these children if you think they’ll need entertaining to try and have your ceremony as undisrupted as possible.
2. Kiddie cocktails, no I’m not suggesting you give them little kid-sized mojitos as they arrive, but make sure they feel included and aren’t tugging on the hemline’s of their Mum’s by offering them a drink in a plastic ‘glass’ or ‘champagne flute’ as they arrive. You could even sweeten the deal with a tasty cookie too! Even if it’s a glass of milk or squash, having an option to pass to everyone on entry will keep any jealous tears and tantrums at bay.
3. Let them lead the procession either in the ceremony or at the reception venue, little ones will feel very special being the ones chosen to lead the way for the happy couple. Give them something to hold or scatter, such as flower petals or a kitsch sign introducing the entrance of the bride and groom will keep them focussed on the task in hand and will make their role seem even more important. If they’re really little have an important but familiar friend or family member take their hand as they walk in to make sure they know where they’re going and to support any wobbly legs for an adorable moment nobody will forget.
4. Throw games that everyone can get involved in like ring toss or a coconut shy. It’s great for keeping little ones entertained (and tiring them out a bit), and can be enjoyed by kids and adults alike. Don’t let it be ruled by the weather though and put the games inside a tent for a great fairground themed attraction and you could even serve candy floss for a really authentic experience! Make sure it’s clear that parents know their kids have to be accompanied around any games though, less in fear of them hurting someone but more in case they wonder into the firing line of a competitive adult that is hell bent on knocking those coconuts down. The last thing you want on your big day is someone making a trip to A&E for a head injury caused by a coconut shy!
5. Have a separate area for kids filled with lots of toys and games to keep them occupied during the speeches and toasts. It’s totally up to you whether you have a kids table or not, there are pro’s and con’s to having one, but by having a designated area for fun and games there won’t be any frustrated child-free adults around or toys scattered throughout the venue. Perhaps an I Spy game that’s focussed on the wedding, more colouring books or a TV with a games console attached for slightly older children, they will help entertain the kids so the parents can celebrate your wedding with you. If you really want to rid the parents of any responsibilities throughout the evening you could consider hiring a creche or babysitter service, there are plenty out there who offer wedding packages and can take the stress out of the night for all involved.
6. Feed them with what they love and don’t expect them to want the same dishes that the adults will. Can you remember what you were eating as a child? I’ll bet it was something you would turn your nose up to now, but that works vice versa too. Many kids haven’t explored the big wide culinary world just yet and are likely to be accustom to simple flavours such as pasta so keep things simple and feed them exactly what they want. Ask the parents prior to the wedding what their little ones enjoy and ask your caterer to prepare something to these pint-sized VIPs. It’s likely it’ll be much cheaper than what you’re offering to your adult guests and you will avoid any ‘Mummy, but I’m hungry’ moans later in the evening after they’ve pushed their asparagus or roast beef around their plate.
7. Finally, don’t forget the pudding! Jelly and ice cream is always a winner, candy floss fits a vintage or fairground wedding or offer a little bag of mixed sweets in personalised bags. Just don’t be surprised when you see some of the adults eyeing up their desserts, we’re all still big kids at heart after all…
*All images are from Pinterest.