Kids are Kind at Kindred events such as weddings, as they Know the Kiss is coming
Keeping kids entertained at a wedding is a tough task- weddings are a family event so naturally it is thought children are a part of that. But children and weddings are a tough mix!
To invite or not to invite?
Inviting children to your wedding is an easy choice but will require some thought and planning into how to keep them entertained and happy during the proceedings.
If you want a child free wedding (or maybe just a child free reception) you will have to consider the parents who may be offended at this suggestion. A simple line of ‘Unfortunately, due to the venue, the reception is unsuitable for children’ will be appropriate on the invitation.
If you have a lot of parents travelling to your wedding you should also consider the extra arrangements they have to make to be away from their little ones for a period of time or to find carers for children in the town where the reception will be held.
Will you invite newborns? What about pageboys and flower girls? This is something you will have to decide with your fiance and your family. It never seems to work well to invite children on a case by case basis- feelings will be hurt and offense will be taken. A daytime wedding will suit children better than an evening wedding.
Nephews and nieces at Nancy and Jim’s wedding from brides.com
Flower Girls & Page Boys
It’s so special to have little ones involved in your ceremony. Their own personalities shine and you will never be sure if they won’t do something funny that will steal the show!
Flower girls and page boys are best suited to the role when they are 4-7 years of age. After age 10 they tend to feel it’s a little ‘uncool’ and the term ‘Junior Bridesmaid’ and ‘Junior Groomsman’ is better suited.
Be sure to dress children in comfortable clothes. Check that necklines aren’t scratchy and whether they warm or cool enough on the day. Make the child as comfortable as possible- do they hate things in their hair? Do they prefer theirs arms covered? The clothing should be appropriate for the age of the child – flat shoes are a must.
A small token of your gratitude may be presented to the child as a memento of the day. For little girls a charm bracelet or ‘wedding’ doll or teddy bear may be appropriate. For little boys an engraved money box or model airplane. There are also plenty of gifts like flower girl and page boy t-shirts, bags and other trinkets emblazoned with their role, available.
At The Ceremony
Have plenty of talks and run throughs with nervous children before hand so that they understand what is required of them.
Page Boys may carry a ring cushion, a flag announcing the arrival of the bride, bells, bubble blowers, or hold hands with the flower girl.
Flower girls might carry a posy, a basket of petals to scatter, bubble blowers, flower pomander, flower fairy wands.
If you are concerned about the disruption of a crying flower girl, assign a close adult to keep an eye on the children and take them out of the room for comforting.
Flower girls at Cynthia and Brendan’s wedding from brides.com
At The Reception
You may choose to have a child free event. If you choose to do this, consider keeping them close by and perhaps provide a separate room with an accredited babysitter to keep the little ones amused. Consider supplying pillows and blankets for naps.
If children are invited to the reception they will need some care and thought (if only to survive long tedious speeches) so provide gift bags which are especially kid friendly. Perhaps create your own colouring in books with pages relating to your wedding and consider a ‘kids only’ table manned by a babysitter with colouring in books, paper, crayons, toys, kid friendly food such as mini hamburgers and chicken nuggets (not your mushroom steak and garlic chicken) Also consider the child- a mature nine year old might enjoy being with their parents, whereas a seven year old may not.
You may also choose to have music played during the reception familiar to children ‘You’ve Got A Friend In Me’ from Toy Story, ‘You’ll Be In My Heart’ from Tarzan. Encourage them to have fun and get rid of excess energy by dancing.
If the wedding is in a garden, supervised play in the form of ball games, cricket, kite making (and flying) could be an ice breaker- and could even get some of the adults joining in!