Image of kids place setting is from: http://www.myrecipes.com/holidays-and-occasions/wedding-and-shower-recipes/kid-friendly-wedding-ideas-00420000014001/#kids-wedding-welcome-gift
Whether to include children as wedding guests or participants is a personal decision for each bride to make. Several factors such as the time and formality of the event can help you make your decision, along with your personal preference. If you want your wedding to go exactly as planned with no surprises and no unexpected interruptions it is probably best to exclude children from your guest list. If your wedding is a very formal evening event, then it is very possible that little ones would not be used to the attire or missing their bedtime. Guests with children may even decide they would rather hire a babysitter so they can enjoy (instead of dread!) your invitation. In short, your decision should ensure the most positive experience for you and your guests.
If you decide to include children in your guest list, here is some advice to ensure everyone enjoys themselves. Alia Hoyt, author of the online article “10 Tips for a Child-Friendly Wedding” suggests putting parents at ease by giving them a schedule of events ahead of time so they can plan for snack & potty breaks and be available for photos when and if you want their child included in your wedding photos. The very helpful website, kidfriendlyweddings.com, also suggests having a greeter inform guests with children of a designated area available for a cry room during your ceremony.
As far as the kids are concerned, it is important to keep them fed and happy. Sounds simple, and it really can be. Inquire of your caterer if they can provide kid-friendly menus like chicken nuggets or hamburgers. If you are having a buffet at your reception, it is probably very likely that there will be food like fruit or ham that most children will happily devour. We really like the idea pictured in the photo above of a fun place mat and kid’s activity box with juice and snack inside as well as fun favors and crayons for coloring. Both articles suggest either seating kids with their parents or having a kids room with trusted adult supervision and planned activities or entertainment.
There are plenty of cute activity bag ideas, games, and child-friendly entertainment suggestions online. We searched Pintrest and found images to inspire homemade games like ring toss, a bubble refill station, or wedding wands for kids. Other suggestions include giving children tasks like passing out favors or programs, giving fun favors like little cars or tiaras, and having game tables or a TV corner. Including children in traditional wedding activities like dancing by playing some songs kids like or encouraging a kids-only dance, or encouraging kids to take photos (provide a list of subjects they can check off like a photo scavenger hunt) is also a way to ensure little guests will enjoy the event (happy kids=relaxed parents). Reading the comments section of “Wedding Ideas” on kidfriendlyweddings.com was particularly inspiring as brides can share their ideas and experiences with what makes weddings more enjoyable for children.
Sources Used to Write this Article:
Hoyt, Alia. “Ten Tips for a Child-Friendly Wedding.” TLC. Discovery Communications LLC. 2014. Web. 23 Feb 2014. <http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/weddings/10-tips-child-friendly-wedding.htm>
“Kid-Friendly Wedding Ideas” Kid Friendly Weddings. Kid Friendly Weddings, A Subsidary of The Last Details. 2008. Web. 23 Feb 2014. <http://www.kidfriendlyweddings.com/c.aspx?n=wedding-ideas-for-kids-at-weddings>