Planning on having children at your wedding?
When it comes to planning your wedding day, it’s important to consider how to keep your smallest guests entertained.
Children can bring real joy and fun to a wedding, however for some couples, having children at their wedding can be an issue of concern; whether it be wondering how to involve them in the big day, how to keep them entertained and even whether you should have children present at your wedding at all.
Whatever you’re considering, it’s definitely worth making an action plan to avoid boredom, tantrums and frustrated parents, allowing everyone to have fun and enjoy the day.
I’ve written this blog post to give you some ideas on how best to take care of children at your wedding – The do’s, the don’ts and plenty of advice to ensure things run as smoothly as possible.
At the wedding ceremony, it’s often easiest to have guests with younger children sit nearer to the back. This way, if their little ones become bored, tired or grumpy, they can be whisked out of the back without too much fuss for a change of scenery or a snack.
If you are planning on having children involved in the ceremony itself, make sure to have a back up plan in place for their roles. It’s not uncommon for young children to suddenly become shy or frightened and not be comfortable walking down the aisle , or standing up in front of a room full of people. Whatever you do, don’t force them to participate if they don’t want to. It’s a good idea, in advance, to arrange for someone familiar to pick them up and sit them down away from all of the attention, if they start to have a wobble.
Flower girls and page boys can make for some really adorable and fun photographs, but remember that a wedding day can be very long and exhausting for younger children.
If possible, let them wear something smart yet comfortable and don’t get too bogged down in trying to get picture perfect photos of them if they don’t want to pose for the camera. Instead, make the most of the mess and silliness that children can bring to your special day and to your wedding photographs.
As a documentary wedding photographer, I love to photograph kids at weddings as you can always guarantee fun times and spontaneous photo opportunities.
Arranging for a group of friends to take turns watching the children could be a good idea, but another option is to consider hiring a babysitting service for the day (if a lot of children will be attending).
You could ask the reception venue to set aside a specific area where the guests can safely leave their children for the day. With a babysitting service, they will often play games, do arts and crafts, have toys to play with and keep younger children busy and happy.
This option means that all the kids will have fun and be occupied, while the adults are able to enjoy themselves without having to worry about their children getting bored.
Keeping children entertained until the early evening gives parents enough time to relax and catch up with friends and family that they may not have seen in a while.
There’s plenty of choice when it comes to children’s entertainers: Clowns, magicians, puppeteers, the list is endless. You can also look at options for hiring a bouncy castle, arrange for an arts and crafts table to be set up, organise a scavenger hunt and host garden games, such as the ring toss, giant Jenga and Connect 4.
You might also want to consider a video game station with games such as Guitar Hero, or perhaps something interactive that can involve a group, like a photo booth/mirror with a props box.
Let’s face it, there will also be plenty of adults wanting a go as well!
What if you want a child free wedding?
If you have decided that you would prefer to have a child free wedding, make it very clear on the invitations that any people under the age of ‘X’ are not to be included. An example of this could be ‘in order for our guests to enjoy themselves and let their hair down, this will be an adult only wedding’, ‘please respect our wishes’, ‘we politely request that’ will make it clear in the nicest possible way.
Sometimes the costs and efforts that can be involved in keeping children safe, entertained and happy during the day is more than a couple’s wedding budget allows, or it might be that you have a small wedding venue and in order to invite as many guests as possible, including their children just isn’t possible.
Whatever the reasons, try to give as much notice as possible to close friends and family of your intentions and don’t take it personally if some people aren’t able to attend as a result.
If you are planning a wedding at the moment and are looking for a Cornwall wedding photographer to capture your special day moments, please feel free to get in touch. I would love to hear all of your wedding day plans 🙂