Child Friendly Weddings

kids at the wedding, premierweddingplannerscotland.com

They can be a bit out of control, wild and loud when left unattended or not found at the center of attention.

Small children.  Weddings aren’t often planned around what will keep a child’s interest.  These small wedding attendees are at best along for the ride when it comes to a wedding, whether they’re in the ceremony or just attending the reception.

You can find yourself in a tough spot if you, yourself have children and are planning a wedding or don’t have children of your own but have immediate family and friends with a lot of young ones.  Not all weddings are appropriate for children and some ask that you leave the kids at home.  But when it comes down to being a family affair that does include the little ones it’s best to be prepared.

It’s a bumpy ride when you are considering a route with children that asks them to sit still, be quite and pay attention to the adults; bored, antsy and tired children equals a dangerous situation.

Can your special day be saved?  With the right planning get a wedding that is kid friendly with it taking over your whole wedding theme.  Integrate a few activities to entertain them, combined with a few other tips like keeping a child’s schedule in mind and your wedding day can go on as planned.  A day to enjoy everyone’s company big and small.

kids asleep at reception,danielmichael.com

Schedule

A wedding is a long day for adults let alone small children.  Receptions that go into the evening hours can cut into children’s bedtimes.  Having a designated quiet area with a small sofa, chairs or big pillows will give them the opportunity to have some down time from all the wedding commotion.  This would also double as an ideal area for any nursing mothers.

If you are okay with it let parents know they can bring pajamas to change children into later in the evening.  This will help the kids relax and get out of their dress up clothes.  An extra bonus for parents if they fall asleep on the ride home they can slip undisturbed, slumbering children right into bed.

goldfish bar, blog.catchmyparty.com

Food

Chicken or fish?  That decision is not as easy for kids, picky eaters might not even sit still long enough let alone sit down to eat a meal.  Remember back to our Fall Menu post?  Fun wedding trends like food bars would be a great idea for little, finicky eaters.  Can you imagine how well a mac & cheese bar would go over with a 4 year old?

Another way to incorporate these picky palettes into the menu without their preferences dictating your whole wedding meal, set up a kid’s snack table or bar.  Find healthy, finger foods like goldfish, chips, crackers, fruit, that they can grab on the go or as they get hungry.

One last note under this category.  A big do not.  While a candy bar is a fun activity and wedding favor idea for guests.  My one suggestion is, do not set your kids table near or in direct route to the candy bar.  Sugar hyped up children– Yikes!

kids wedding activity table, intimateweddings.com

Entertainment

A kids table is essential to keeping the little ones and even tweens entertained throughout a reception.  What’s a good plan when it comes to the kid’s table?  Keep it clean and simple.  You don’t want to have a lot of work to set up, take down or supervise the kids table.  Purchase items well in advance at a local craft or dollar store and organize in plastic totes.  As things are getting set up for the reception all you’ll have to do is pull out this tote and prep your table.

Paper rolls or even brown packaging paper are great to roll over a long reception table and let kids go nuts on decorating.  Keep artistic materials to crayons or colored pencils not markers, less mess and the younger ones wont get it all over themselves or feel inclined to color on each other.  Stickers and foam projects are another easy ideas and available in kits.  Bubbles are always a cheap and fun item that can entertain anyone for quite awhile.

And last but not least include them on the dance floor.  Who doesn’t like the hokey pokey?  Really weddings and birthday parties are the only opportunity you get to put your right leg in and shake it all about.  Get the kids and adults going with this time honored classics.  They’ll feel included, have a little fun and burn off some energy.

A Win Win Wedding

With a few ideas for entertainment, food and keeping what works for the kids in mind your wedding day will be smooth sailing.  Whether they’re your own or someone else’s little munchkins a game plan will go a long way.

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