As you begin planning your wedding it is likely you will have a lot of friends and family members that have children, and you’re going to either love the idea of having all their children there to celebrate your day OR you’re desperately trying to think of ways to gently tell your family and friends that you want an adult only celebration. This is a decision that should be handled quickly to avoid any awkward questions from family members or friends who need to make plans. The no-kids rule works really well when most of the families are local and the parents can leave the kids with a familiar babysitter, but if you’re planning a destination wedding, its harder not to invite kids but you can draw the line with immediate family only.
When you’re writing up your invitations, the traditional way to invite a child is to address the envelope to his or her parents and include the child’s name on the invitation card underneath the parents names. If the child is over 18, he should receive a separate invitation even if he is still living at home.
When choosing a ring bearer or flower girl your siblings children should be an obvious choice. However, younger children just won’t make it down the aisle without some sort of adult intervention, so if you have your music entrance to your ceremony timed to perfection and you’ve asked your sister’s three year old to be a flower girl and she’s a little bit shy, then you may want to rethink your way of getting your niece down the aisle, perhaps holding your bridesmaids hand to keep to your timing.
Where should the kids sit ? Here’s the thing, parents know that kids only have a certain length of time where they can ” wait”, when they’re hungry or tired they’re less likely to sit at a table together without someone kicking off. It’s a really nice idea to have activities at the kids table, like crayons, coloring books, little trinkets and toys to keep them entertained while they’re waiting on their food and during speeches. When it comes to food , offering kid-friendly food like chicken nuggets, sausages or spaghetti are great to keep kids happy and they are also less expensive meals. Children aged around 12 will probably want to eat the same meal as adults, you may want to ask their parents about this ahead of time.
What if you want the ring bearer or flower girl at the church but not at the reception ? Here’s the thing…there’s no rule to say that you have to invite them to your reception, but the little ones have been there to do a task for you during your wedding AND without doubt, their parents have probably been struggling with them to get them dressed up in fancy clothes and nudge them along the way to do their given task. So even if you invite them to attend the venue where your reception is being held and got them party bags, some treats and had a baby-sitter for them for the rest of the night, it might take the sting out of not invited to the reception.
Keep them busy !! The best way to keep kids happy at a wedding is to keep them busy. Kids can act as ushers, hand out order of service booklets, distribute packets of petals or confetti at the church. At your reception, kids can pass around your guest book for guests to sign or pass out favours in a basket. These are jobs for the kids that have the personality to match the job and will enjoy going around and meeting your guests, its definitely not for the shy ones !
Create and “Kids Club”, most facilities have small function rooms used for meetings. Bring along board games, jigsaws, Lego, kid-appropriate movies, a DVD player and non-messy art projects. Hire an insured babysitter to supervise the kids at the Kids Club. If your budget stretches, hire a balloon maker, a magician or puppeteer to keep them entertained for longer.
If your wedding is a more formal like an evening wedding or black tie affair, it wouldn’t be appropriate to ask children to this type of wedding. Parent’s can also really enjoy an adult only wedding, without having to keep an eye on their own kids. It’s more of a challenge to restrict children to a daytime or casual wedding without some parents feeling offended.
With small families if you’ve invited 150 guests and three little girls aged 4, 7 and 9 it will be so cute, but if you’ve invited 16 children aged between 4 and 14 it will definitely be a bit more on the crazy side. If kids are staying for the reception, one way to get the party started is to get the DJ to invite all the kids onto the dance floor for a kids dance and get the DJ to play “Let it Go”.. stand back and watch the kids go nuts !
Whichever you choose, if its kids invited… keep them busy. If it’s adult’s only… kick back and relax !
So, do you need help planning your wedding ? Happily ever after starts here….
Call Inspired Events and ask for Rachel on 00353 868298706