Child Friendly Wedding Tips for a Great Day For All Your Guests: Big and Little.
Children at weddings can bring so much joy, but working out how to accommodate them, ensure they are entertained, well fed, and don’t get bored can also feel a little stressful! Having children at your wedding needn’t distract from the sophisticated occasion you may be looking for, but you do need to put some effort into making it FUN for the tiny people, quite small people and almost-big people in attendance.
Planning a child-friendly celebration is easier than you may think and I’m here to give you all of the ways you can make your wedding amazing for the children in attendance too, whilst also creating a safe, comfortable environment for all of your guests.
Let Your Guests Know That Their Children Are Invited!
As funny as it may sound to you, around half of the internet believe children should be left at home for weddings and the remaining half are all for team kids. If you are planning on a celebration for all, don’t assume that your guests will know –unless you tell them! Make your guests aware that their children are invited to your wedding day. The simplest way to do this is to write their names on the invitation. That way there’s no confusion.
Communicate with your guests if there’s a dress code for your wedding and whether you’d like children to stick to this too. You may know a particular child who is extremely attached to their superhero or Disney princess outfit, are you happy for them to wear this to your wedding or would you prefer something a little more formal for the day? Having a quick conversation with the parents will ensure you don’t have a superhero photo bomb on your pictures – although that would make for a great story and picture, I’m sure!
Choose a Child-Friendly Venue
If you’re planning on hosting a kid-friendly wedding day, this will need to be taken into consideration when researching your perfect wedding venue.
You’ll want to check whether the venue has the right facilities for any little ones joining you on the day such as: Can they organise a children’s menu? Do they have highchairs available? Are there any changing areas and do they have bottle warming or baby food reheating facilities?
Whilst we are on the subject of food, ask if there’ll be a choice for the children too. It’s nowhere near enough to just expect children to just eat chicken nuggets, children like to have a choice too – and bless them – can become emotional and downright cranky little things when they have hungry tummies. Remember to have something for the children, and drinks too!
It is best to have an upfront chat with your venue and tell them of your plans and how many children you’ll be accommodating on the day. The staff will be able to let you know of any tips that have worked well for previous weddings and any considerations you may need to make in order to have as safe a day as possible. Ask to see any of the areas where the children can run around and play safely. Take into consideration any areas of your venue that aren’t the most child-friendly – such as steep staircases, doors to main roads or lakes and ponds.
Give Them Responsibilities
Children generally love a little bit of responsibility – especially on something as important as a wedding. Give the children who you know will be comfortable with a little responsibility some tasks to do. From handing out ceremony leaflets, and confetti, to being in your wedding party, or even giving them all disposable cameras and asking them to be your second, third, fourth and fifth photographer on the day! Giving the children mini roles on the day helps to entertain and occupy them and there are plenty of ways you can have the children help out.
Don’t task the children with too much responsibility and have a trusted grown-up close by, weddings can be extremely overwhelming for little children and having mum or dad, or an elder sibling (literally) hold their hand and help them out will leave them more relaxed.
For any children in the bridal party that will require matching outfits, plan early but have in mind that children and teenagers grow incredibly quickly. If you are heading to a traditional bridal or suit hire shop to order your outfits, take their advice on how early or late you need to order the attire for the little people. Depending on whether your outfits are off the peg or made to order, whether alterations need to take place and any order lead times – you may need to order your outfits early and factor alterations into the cost.
Create a Dedicated Space
Creating a kids’ zone is the perfect way to ensure that there’s always somewhere to go and something to do – when the grown-ups are busy talking, mingling or whilst the speeches are happening. Having an area where you’ve thought about the children attending and their interests will keep the children happy and leave their parents less stressed and able to enjoy those occasions too. Along with a space they can hang out, it’s also a good idea to include some (non-messy) activities that they can get up to.
The options are endless when it comes to thinking up something to keep the children entertained and it will depend on the age(s) of any children attending, you could have an area outside with some lawn games, a dedicated film area inside with a DVD player and some films or a kids table with crafts and magazines.
For older kids, you can have giant Jenga, board games and somewhere they are able to charge their devices. If you want to go the extra mile and if your budget allows you can hire a nanny service or entertainers such as a balloon artist, magician, or face painter. Choosing your nanny, crèche service, or kids’ entertainer should be a thought-out process, research childcare providers with lots of experience and who know how best to navigate all of the excitement of the day. Your venue might be able to recommend a service that has worked there before.
- Let’s talk teens – it’s a tricky age to go to a wedding. At this age, we all like a bit of peace and quiet sometimes and so placing them on the dedicated kids’ table may not be so appreciated. Speak with the parents as to what their teen/pre-teen would like to do – and they’ll all love you forever!
- Fancy canapés aren’t as appealing to children as they may think. They love nothing more than to see miniature food coming out on fancy-looking trays, but in reality, it’s not going to taste as great as they imagined. I know I’ve experienced my fair share of witnessing children spitting out food rather ferociously when it didn’t taste as nice as they expected! Instead, serve some child-friendly canapés – you don’t need anything too fancy – miniature cones of chips, crisps or biscuits will keep hunger at bay and not make them feel left out whilst the grown-ups are tucking into their own.
- Think about having a chill-out space where the children can flake out on cushions or in front of a TV. If your venue has accommodation on site, this can be super helpful for any parents who may want to retire early or take turns keeping an eye on their exhausted child whilst the other enjoys the party!