I am finding that most couples planning their wedding do not want to include children on their guest list because of the extra costs and maybe perhaps the noise factor. Nowadays there are so many activities that can be incorporated into the reception for children who attend, as well as babysitting options. At a recent wedding that I coordinated, I had the older children sitting at their own designated table and set up activities at the table (coloring books and uno cards). The children did not bother the adults and were not in the way of the celebration. This wedding was buffet style so there were a variety of different foods for the children to eat. Another suggestion could be to have a separate menu designed for children, i.e., hamburgers and french fries or mini pizzas versus the filet mignon or speciality food that the bride and groom and their guests will be eating.
Below are 10 kid friendly ideas for weddings that I found on kidfriendlyweddings.com.
Child Attendant Gift Paks
- Delegate someone to supervise young wedding guests during the entire event. If children are sitting with their parents, this will be a simple role involving distribution of activity bags (or books) to kids upon arrival and handling any unexpected kid emergencies. If you are able to provide a private “kids only” room, this position expands into a much greater role involving some pre-planning. Activities are only limited by your imagination. Fill a piñata with wedding treats, play musical chairs to wedding theme music, have a special cinema corner set up with comfy pillows, or play bingo. Let children express their artistic side. Have a table covered in butcher paper for a gigantic drawing canvas (just make certain to have individual supplies for each child to avoid unnecessary fights and tears). Another idea parents will appreciate is providing sleeping mats and blankets for the exhausted child who has fallen asleep during the evening.
- In search of qualified, reputable, babysitting services? Ask family members or friends for names of trusted sitters. Hire a reputable babysitting service found in your local phone book, use the country club or hotel’s onsite babysitting service or kids club attendants.
- Predict the possibility of crying infants or young children and secure a nursery during the ceremony. A nursery representative can then be present as guests arrive to inform parents that there is a cry room available if needed.
- If space allows arrange small game tables for the older children. Puzzles, playing cards, and board games will be popular not only with pre-teens but also keep teenagers entertained for hours.
- For a more controlled environment and less disruptions, seat children at their parents table. Kids are usually more behaved and less rambunctious when seated next to mom and dad rather than other children. This will also eliminate children from running between their own seats and their parent’s table throughout the event. The wedding activity bag will keep children quietly entertained and in their seats rather than racing around the reception hall.
- Add a juice box, fruit bar, or crackers to each kid’s activity bag or place them in the center of the kid’s table. Children can become cranky when hungry or thirsty and often do not have the patience to wait until the wedding dinner is ready to be served. Parents will appreciate your thoughtfulness for providing snacks to hold them over.
- Ask about the possibility of having a separate menu for the children. Many caterers will oblige with special requests and it is often less expensive than having children eat the gourmet meal prepared for your adult guests. Some popular ideas include: chicken nuggets, mini-pizzas, mini-hamburgers, pasta, fish sticks, and Jell-O created from wedding molds.
- Invest in some fun by hiring a face painting artist, magician, or balloon artist. The performer can mingle among the tables entertaining guests of all ages.
- Encourage the band or DJ to play some songs that the children will recognize and enjoy.
- For an outdoor wedding, designate a trusted adult to take the kids on a nature walk around the grounds. Provide each child with their own bottle of bubbles and watch the smiles blossom and delightful interaction between the children.
I found this site to be very helpful to any bride and groom who will have children in their wedding and as guests. They also sell the activity paks (above) on their site. If you need any more ideas or would like to offer any more suggestions, feel free to leave a comment. I would love to hear what you have to suggest, but for now...
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Photo Credit: kidfriendlyweddings.com