It’s hard to throw a wedding without inviting any kids. Sure, child-free weddings exist, but they can make it a lot harder on the guests who have to find childcare for their little ones. Not to mention that you might be a parent yourself!
Don’t worry – kid-friendly weddings don’t have to forget about the adults. You can still host an elegant, luxurious wedding while the little ones also run around and enjoy themselves. Read on to learn how.
Choose a Convenient but Exciting Location
The first thing you want to consider is your wedding location. With children invited, you want a convenient but fun location that kids, both young and old, will look forward to. Don’t think that just because you have invited kids, you can’t host an exciting wedding!
Certain elegant and exciting locations can even be more beneficial for kids than a traditional church wedding. What about a yacht? Yachts provide unforgettable wedding locations, allowing you to tie the knot with a beautiful ocean-blue landscape behind you. A yacht isn’t just suitable for the adults – it will also be exciting for the kids. Plus, there won’t be as much room for them to run off and get lost, and wedding yacht charters can help you create the perfect wedding for all in attendance. Let everyone have the experience of a lifetime, no matter their age!
Know Which Kids Are Invited
Write out a separate guest list with only the kids included. When writing it, include information like age, dietary needs, and if they have any behavioral or learning difficulties. Doing this will help you plan a wedding that can cater to them. For example, if you have a nephew with an egg allergy, you will know to organize food without eggs for him to enjoy. Thinking about accommodations like these early on will reduce stress when the day comes.
Provide Child-Friendly Seating
Forgetting to provide seats that are comfortable for children is easy to do! Amid the rush of wedding planning, you might not think about the fact that your four-year-old niece won’t sit well on an adult-sized seat. To ensure the comfort of all, provide child-friendly seating where necessary. You can even hide an activity or reading book under the cushion to give them something to do.
Get the Children Involved
Many kids like to feel included. When they have responsibility, they are more likely to behave. You can take advantage of that by dishing out roles to the children! There’s the traditional role of ring-bearer that a little one could do, and there are other, simpler roles like throwing confetti or handing out flowers that even a small child might enjoy. Of course, keep in mind not all kids will want a job to do on the day, so ask the kids/parents prior to assigning responsibilities.
Find Ways to Keep the Kids Busy
Kids become bored quickly. The last thing you want is for uninterested kids to turn irritable and disruptive, especially during big moments like the exchanging of vows. Luckily, there’s a simple solution: providing child-friendly activities to keep them engaged throughout the day. Here are some fantastic ideas.
. A Wedding Activity Book
A wedding activity book will give every child something to do during the quieter moments. The book can even be tailored to your wedding! You can include activities like “Color in the Bride’s Dress” and “Spot the Difference.” There are also great activity book printables online if you want to keep it simple.
. Face Painting
Hiring a face painter (or two) will keep the kids preoccupied while allowing them to transform into a character of their pleasing! It’s a fun activity to make the wedding pictures look even more exciting. Plus, the kids will certainly appreciate it (they’ll think they’re at a kid’s party rather than a wedding).
. A Games Area
Kids love games, so keep them entertained with a mix of fun games at the wedding by creating a games area. Games like Jenga, Connect Four, and oversized yard games are a fun way to keep them entertained. You could even go further and create a scavenger hunt for them.
Don’t Lump All the Kids Together
You might be tempted to plan the wedding so that the kids all stay in one big group all day. However, that might not work out as you think it will. While kids can keep each other entertained, they can also make each other too excitable, and it’s very common for excited kids to argue with each other!
While it’s good to have a kid’s area, avoid lumping all the kids in one place without much adult intervention – especially if there are younger children invited. This is another area where it’s good to know the personalities of the children invited. A very shy child will likely want to sit with their parents rather than other kids they don’t know very well.
Hire a Wedding Babysitter
Do you want all the adults to have the time of their lives? If so, consider hiring a wedding babysitter. Doing this means all children can attend without the parents having to look after them all evening. The wedding babysitter will provide all the necessary childcare for the kids, including keeping them entertained throughout the process. For many wedding planners and attendees, they are a lifesaver.
Offer Separate Meals for Children
You might have incredible ideas for your wedding day menu, from caviar to sushi to lobster rolls. What about the kids? Kids are notoriously picky eaters, which means they might not appreciate all the efforts that have gone into your seafood station or salad display. That’s okay! You don’t have to compromise your perfect wedding menu just because children are involved; it just means you should have some separate meal options for the kids. Simple meals like mac and cheese, mashed potato, chicken tenders, and French fries are usually a hit. For dessert, offer some children’s favorites like cupcakes and cookie cups.
Don’t Forget About the Teens
You’re obviously putting in a lot of effort to cater to the children. What about the teens? While they won’t need as much looking after as the younger children, it’s still a good idea to keep them entertained (and off their phones) during the wedding. Things like mocktails, a movie area, and a photo booth work well for teenagers.
Teenagers can be especially great at kid-friendly weddings as they can act as the big brother, sister, or cousin to the little ones. The younger children will likely look up to the teens, so letting the teenagers act as guides is a great way to keep everyone busy and happy. This works even better if the teens and kids already know each other. If not, it might be a good idea to introduce the kids to the teens to one another before the wedding day so they are more comfortable when the time comes.
Have a Calm Area to Catch a Breath
As energetic as children are, they often tire quickly, especially after running around, eating sweet treats, and dancing. Having a quiet, safe space where they can take a break is a good idea. Once they have burned through their energy, they can go to this space (which should have comfortable cushions and maybe a movie playing) to calm down. It’s a good space for stressed-out moms and dads to go, too!
Speak to the Parents of the Kids
You won’t really know the best way to cater to children at your wedding until you’ve spoken to the parents. So, ask them – how can you make the wedding as entertaining and enjoyable as possible for the little ones? They know their kids better than anyone, so they’ll be able to give you some ideas for how to keep them entertained during your big day. They’ll also be able to inform you of any critical info like allergies and learning disabilities.
Don’t Let Minor Disruptions Phase You
If you’re going to invite children to your wedding, you must accept that there’ll be some disruptions. A baby may start crying because they need feeding, or a toddler might throw a small fit because they’ve been sitting for too long. Don’t let these imperfections distract you from having the happiest day of your life. They are kids; after all, it’s in their nature! Just make sure you have a plan set up to accommodate them, and you’ll still be able to enjoy the most special day of your life.
Should You Have a Kid-Friendly Wedding?
After going through all the stress of trying to accommodate children at your wedding, you might wonder if it’s worth it. While – yes – it takes more planning, it’s also a great thing to do for your guests who are also parents. The chances are you have friends, aunties, brothers, and other people you love who have children. By hosting a kid-friendly wedding, you show them that their presence means a lot to you. Plus, kids can make the day even more special thanks to their funny and cute behavior!