You have set the date; picked the venue; organised your dress and suit; and tasted the menu. Everything is going well, and you’re all set for your big day. But wait, what about the children? Will they eat the canapes and three courses of nouveau cuisine? Will they even sit still?! Yes, it can be easy to organise and plan a wedding when you’re thinking like an adult for adults, but when children are involved, it can take a little bit more imagination to keep these tiny people entertained and fed.
Weddings, more often than not, are an all-day event, and for children it can be difficult to sit still and be quiet, or even crash out in the middle of the dancefloor. So, what can be organised to ensure that your wedding day runs smoothly and does not incur the wrath of the child tantrum? There are generally three elements that can affect a child’s mood: hunger, boredom and tiredness. So, the first tip- keep feeding them. The gap between the wedding ceremony and the dinner can be a few hours, and this can be prime time for the hangriness and boredom to appear. Consider making little boxes filled with activities: colouring books, puzzles, Lego; and snacks: small bags of popcorn; fruit or nuts (providing no one is allergic). Personalise them for that extra special touch. Maybe have child friendly canapes and they can feel like they’re one of the grownups. And now, for dinner…. Children can be fussy when it comes to food; so be prepared to have a separate menu just for them. Your caterers may go with the traditional ‘kids’ menu, or they can create child versions of your existing menu.
And now for boredom. Listening to speeches is not everyone’s idea of entertainment – especially if you’re a child! Give them a job – we don’t mean waiting on tables; have them give out the presents to the wedding party or the parents of the bride and groom; give all the guests a wedding favour. Keeps them busy, and sense of achievement. A children’s table can either be a genius idea or asking for trouble. Even so, if you do choose to have one, this can be ideal place to have board games, art and crafts or puzzles and toys to keep them amused. If you’re having a summer wedding, have games outside or maybe even a bouncy castle! (We know the adults will be on it too).
If your venue can provide it, then a quiet room can be an excellent idea for those little darlings that getting all partied out. Another room away from all the excitement, can help them chill out and maybe they will have a little sleep.
Failing that, you may choose to have a wedding without children. You never know, their parents may even thank you for the break!