By Jen Bichard at Oasis Flowers in Vancouver.
When it comes to one of the most memorable days of your life, you want everything to go perfectly. What you need to consider for having children at weddings.
For some of you that means all your friends and family, and friends of families family…but wait…what about the children? If you are reading this post then you have probably hummed and hawed about what to do and how to approach this issue.. The answer? With pre-planning and some creativity!
Deciding whether or not to have a a child friendly wedding can sometimes come as a hard feat. Many factors are involved… What are the ages? Do we have it in our budget? How many people can our venue hold? How many children would there be? Is it a quiet, intimate affair? or a all-night party dance off kind of night? Do our caterers have child friendly options available? Do we even want them there at all?
Quite frankly, weddings are a celebration of two becoming one, the beginning of a new family.. to cherish and share with the ones you love and love you right back, a beautiful part of your life. Although children can be loud and crazy they are apart of your family and should take part in it.
If you decide this is not an option for you, simply the best way would be to state it on the invitations… so it is upfront… clear and precise. When addressing the envelopes write “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” as opposed to “The Smith Family” which would imply right away who is invited. Include an RSVP Card where the response has to be circled as opposed to the guests writing their own…
RSVP without children example:
We are able to attend the wedding YES or NO
Number of spots reserved 1 or 2
RSVP with children:
We will be able to attend the wedding ____________
We will not be able to attend the wedding __________
Number of Adults ___________
Number of Children ___________
BUT… If you are having children there are lots of fun filled ideas that can make everything run soother. Like…
Hiring a babysitter for the evening.. Delegate a certain area to create a ‘kids corner’ or a special room, where they can be free to spin in circles and chase their tails. Professional baby sitters are a wonderful idea when you want your guests to be free to mingle, and the children are able to be in a safe and fun environment. Also this saves your guests the hassle of finding their own babysitters for the evening and they can probably stay a little later!
Hiring an Entertainer.. How about a magician or a scientist? The parents would love it and be greatly appreciative that the extra mile was taken to have their little ones entertained and there are so many great options out there!
Food Options..Fill their little tummies with food that appeals to them. Catering companies can usually do a large bowl of Mac’n’cheese or even chicken strips.. make sure to have juice on hand as most children don’t drink carbonated beverages and will get thirsty running around. For the oh-so-sassy little ladies in the house, what about Shirley Temples or Virgin Pina-Coladas? Instead of a dessert table, how about cookies and milk.. It’s all in the presentation.. anything can look like it is fit for a queen if it is done creatively!
Goody Bags: Now remember this isn’t a birthday party… they are guest at your wedding.. think classy, upscale, functional and fun. Try a fabric bag with markers inside, they can decorate their own bag with their names on it. Inside have things like colouring pages, crayons, stickers, a craft kit or two, some playing cards, Playdoh or Lego. We want the times inside to have lasting entertainment value, not be too messy or noisy and contain them in one place. You can also add a juice box, granola bars, candy, and hand wipes.
DIY Entertainment: DIY projects are great ways to incorporate a piece of you, be original and customize your items all while sticking to a budget. There are a ton of great websites to print free wedding day printables, like colouring pages, mazes and more. You can do a Mad Libs version that is relative to you and your spouse-to-be. Make your own bubbles in a mason jar, or have a craft station set up at the wedding, perhaps kite making if its a summer outdoor wedding, origami, or a scavenger hunt i.e.. On this Wedding Day I see: 2 shiny rings, something blue, someone laughing, someone dancing..etc.
As long as you plan ahead, keep them full and entertained, the children as well as the parents and other guests will all have a better time. Besides, where would we be without those little rascals? We were all young at one point… embrace the love you are surrounded with and be thankful for the people in our lives.