Tips for a Kid-Friendly Wedding
So you are looking at your guest list and you are noticing that you have a heck of a lot of friends and relatives with kids. And kids? Well, kids are kids. And for a kid, weddings can easily not be fun. Think about it- they have to get dressed up in uncomfortable clothing and sit still and quiet for a ceremony, then be with grown-ups and on best behavior during the reception. Here are some ways to have your favorite little people celebrate with you and still let them enjoy themselves.
First, how much do you want the kids attending to be part of your big day? Do you have any special roles for them to take? For instance, the traditional roles are for them to be the ring bearer and the flower girl but there are a few other places they could help too. If you are using a program for the ceremony, letting them hand them to guests is a great way to include them! If you have an older child, maybe having them sing a song during the ceremony would be appropriate or having them be included as ushers before the ceremony begins.
Pro-tip: have them seat parents of littler children at the back or ends of aisles for easy exit if there is a need!
In order to make these go as smoothly as possible, make sure to include the kids in your rehearsal. Specifically, it is important that those who have to go up the aisle do so a couple times and that those who may be involved in other parts of the ceremony know when they should be doing their part. Remember that on the day-of, the kids will not be able to stand still in the front for the duration of the ceremony. It is important to have a wrangler of sorts for helping them sit down after their due diligence is done. For any children of guests that are there during the ceremony, I definitely suggest making a coloring sheet and small boxes of crayons available (you can find both on amazon).
Once the ceremony is done, it is on to the reception. This is where you can really have fun for them!
There are a few ways to approach keeping kids occupied during the reception. One way is to have a kid zone! This can be a separate room or a corner of the main room. You can put some activity books there with some crayons (not markers!). If you are doing an outdoor wedding, you can include some yard games that will get your other guests engaged as well, such as cornhole, giant jenga, or bocce ball. And if all else fails, have a couple of Disney movies and a tv on hand! In order to allow the kids to play and the parents to not worry, find a designated friend, relative, or hire a babysitter for the day to keep them corralled.
Another thing to be aware of is food. While kids do count for seat count, their count is different when it comes to catering, depending on what you are planning. Make sure you verify if the kids have any allergies then check with your caterer to see if they have kids meals. If you are doing a buffet they may count as half of a head for the count and for plated meals, they may have something kid-friendly to offer.
During the reception they just want to have fun with you! Get them on the dance floor and hanging out with everyone! At the end of the day or the night, let them be in charge of handing out the confetti/bubbles/lavender to your guests for you send off- a simple task, but one that can be a lot of fun! And giving them a job that is easy enough but important for them will let them feel like they are a part of your big day.
Finally, know that it is ultimately your choice whether you want to have kids at your wedding or not. Do not feel bad for whatever way you go!