Weddings and Children, do they mix?
Having children at you wedding is a very personal and possibly contentious issue. Some people can’t understand why you wouldn’t have children at what they see as a ‘family affair’ whilst others will think why would you have children at an ‘adult event’. So when it comes to weddings and children, do they mix?
An outdoor wedding in the summer may lend itself to children who are able to run around outside and not be under foot but if you are going for an elegant city affair with cocktails by the fire you may be less inclined to invite them.
Not inviting children to your wedding can cause issues within families so it is best to talk to your guests beforehand and explain that you are having a child free wedding and give your reasons why. I have three of the little darlings and to be honest I’d rather leave them at home, kick my heels off and party the night away with a cocktail in my hand!
But you have to remember this is your day and you need to do it your way. People will understand. Perhaps if you don’t want a completely child free wedding you could split the day up and have children attending just in the evening so they don’t have to sit through the ceremony and the speeches. The children might actually thank you for it, weddings can be a bit boring for them if they are young.
Whatever you decide, when sending out your wedding invitations, you need to make it clear who you are inviting to make sure that no one turns up without you realising. Putting ‘and family’ makes it clear that children are welcome. You may be having a ring bearer or flower girl, most of your friends and family will understand this, but you may want to be clear with people so not to upset them.
However if you do decide you are having children at your wedding, how do you keep them entertained all day and night? Kids can get bored and mischievous and waiting around for photos and keeping quiet during the speeches isn’t easy, remember I have three, I know!
I remember during my first dance there were kids doing laps around us! There are lots of different options out there to help keep them entertained and you don’t have to break the bank to do it.
Wedding Gift Bags for Children
Homemade gift bags are perfect and kids love them. Fill them with wedding themed sheets for them to colour and crayons (not felt tips!). Lego is always a winner with both children and adults, I am very proud of the Star Wars Lego Death Star I am in the process of making, I mean my son is in the middle of making. It’s awesome!
Sweets are always a winner and a favourite of mine because it shuts them up at speech time! Perhaps reading books could be another idea to help keep them quite. There are lots of books out there that kids love regardless of age. Who doesn’t love elephant pants?
Perhaps a homemade jigsaw showing a photo of you both. My teenage daughter and niece even joined in the colouring at my Nan’s 90th birthday party last year so even the teenagers love gift bags. Just don’t tell them I told you!
When putting gift bags together if you know the children well you can create something that reflects who they are and what they enjoy doing just be careful if you make them different. No one wants tantrums over who got the glitter pens. Putting a disposable camera in there will help them feel like they have an important job to do on the day.
Having a kids table seems like a great idea? Erm no. This is the biggest way to complete disaster. Children need someone to keep an eye on them. Remember when your mom used to give you ‘the eye’? She didn’t even need to say anything; you just knew you were in trouble. Kids need that.
Someone to tell them if they are being too loud, make sure they sit in their chairs and don’t start chasing each other around during the speeches. I can see the cake on the floor already! It may be best to sit families together.
Thinking of children at meal times, thinking about what they will and won’t eat is another way to stop the shouting and arguments. Many children can be quite fussy over food and don’t care how much you are spending per plate. They want pizza and fish fingers and they will let you know about it! So don’t waste your money, go with the flow and give them what they want.
If your wedding is in the summer, giant games are a great way of keeping children and adults entertained particularly if the venue has beautiful grounds and the weather holds, but remember this is the UK!
There are lots of games out there to buy and to hire, chess, jenga, giant snakes and ladders, connect four, I loved that game when I was a kid. I noticed a great range on sale in Debenhams when I was out shopping this weekend.
Some games may fit in with your theme as well, I’m thinking Gatsby and croquet. There are some venues out there that have games in their grounds or perhaps a maze, not that I am trying to lose my kids.
Hiring a Childrens entertainer for your wedding
If you have a little more to spend, hiring an entertainer can be a good investment, whether it be a magician, children’s entertainer or bouncy castle, although the adults may take over a bouncy castle, just thinking or a recent housewarming I attended, not a child in sight!
The kids could be the ones who end up on the dance floor instead. But remember that clowns don’t always go down well with the adults and no one wants the bestman cowering in the corner.
If you have teenagers at your wedding, they may even be willing to watch over them during certain parts of the day such as photos and speeches. You just need to make sure their parents are OK with this. However if money is no object, there are lots of options out there for you why not hire a pop up crèche or professional babysitters so someone else does all the worrying!
Please leave a comment below, I’d love to know whether you plan to have children at your wedding. Have a great weekend.