The Pinterest boards all seem to have perfect, beautiful children in perfect, beautiful outfits being ridiculously adorable. But most of us (especially if you are a parent), will have been to a wedding where the ceremony is interrupted by screams/ nappies/ accidents of one kind or another… my friend’s nephew needed stitches after falling off a pew last year at her brother’s nuptials, and I’ve dealt with some embarrassing situations and missed bits of several ceremonies.
Never mind how child friendly or not you are, this bit of the day is the serious bit, and should be focussed on your vows and promises to each other without distraction. So, we have come up with 6 of our tried and tested top ways to make sure your ceremony is as you planned it…
1. Have a children’s area or den
A kid’s area is a great place to give them their own space and fill with fun and silliness- fancy dress, blow up instruments, colouring, games etc.
2. Know your audience
Work out the ages and sex of children coming to your event and try to make sure you have some ideas and entertainment to suit them. Younger children love dress ups, bubbles and music, older boys need sports and something competitive, and older girls love art and crafts.
It’s a long day for small children, and quite often, usual mealtimes are not catered to. Make sure that on arrival, you have some snack boxes or mini sandwiches for the children so that they can manage until your wedding meal is served. Serving the children separately, or earlier, works well; not many of them are that excited by a 2 hour 3 course meal!
4. Let them be free!
Children love to run around and need to blow off steam- they will be much more likely to sit still when needed if they are a bit worn out! A fancy dress relay race, silly dancing competition, scavenger hunt are ideal.
It’s a party! Set up a film with popcorn, book an ice cream van, let them loose on a sweet cart, or give them biscuits and icing pens to decorate whilst you enjoy the speeches and champagne.
6. Set expectations for parents
Make sure your invites are clear about whether children are invited, and whether any childcare or entertainment will be available. It’s YOUR wedding, and if you don’t want hundreds of children there, make sure parents know what to expect. Some might rather not bring children, some might be offended, but if worded right, people should understand your decision. For example, “we can’t wait to celebrate our day with all of our favourite people, young and old, but it is very important to us that our ceremony and vows/ speeches are about the 2 of us and our promises to each other, so we will be providing childcare during this time”
If you would like some help looking after the little ones at your wedding The Little Top provides a decorated and fully equipped tent for your smaller guests with toys, games, dressing ups, art and amazing craft activities, and can provide our fantastic team of friendly, professional childcarers and mind blowing entertainers! For more information please visit The Little Top website. For 15% off The Little Top bookings in January and February 2017 visit our Offers page.
A Guest Blog Post from Kate Townshend