5 Ways to Welcome Kids at Your Wedding
Have a special niece or nephew that you've been dreaming of having as a flower girl or ring bearor but not sure if they'll make it make it through the wedding – let along a flight? Your wedding can create a relaxed and family-oriented environment for all invited (especially the kiddies) to have a wonderful time. While your nieces and nephews will be excited to attend your wedding, you don’t want their excitement to be short lived halfway through the wedding (or the flight!).
Kid-friendly destination wedding bonus: friends who may not have been able to travel because of young ones get a chance to plan a family vacation around your nuptials!
Here are 5 ways to create a kid-friendly wedding:
(Photo Credit: smartbrideboutique.com)
- When sending out your invitations, include a kid’s invitation along. Your “kid-vite” can include a colorful card with an rsvp request and a short message to their parents letting them know kids are more than welcome and that there will be kid friendly activities for them at the wedding if they will be attending. You can also include a kid menu, but we’ll get to this later.
(Photo Credit: beach bum photography)
- A kids’ table with individual place settings and placards with their names on them is a wonderful way to convey the message “you’re welcomed here.” The kiddie table gives the kids a chance to socialize much like they would at school with other kids, many of whom at the table they might be related to anyway. It also provides mom and dad with a little break to enjoy themselves without being distracted by choruses of “I’m bored!” Depending on the age group of children attending the wedding, your table can contain fun items (think blowing bubbles, coloring books, mini puzzles, glo sticks, candy etc) to entertain them while the festivities go on around them. Instead of your original centerpiece, you may want to add things like balloons and flowers to your table. Avoid using candles or anything particularly breakable as your centerpiece for your kiddie table. You can use kiddie fun boxes to bring some excitement to the table as well. Another good idea would be to cover the table with a tablecloth that kids can draw on (a nice keepsake). Be careful with adding preteens and teens at the kiddie table, they may resent having to sit with the younger kids and may feel regarded as “babies” -which is unpleasant for all!
- Have a small arts and craft station set up (away from the dance floor!) for your kiddie guests to be able to frequent during your reception. Much like a candy bar, a craft station is sure to go over well with your little guests. This way, kids get to make their own little keepsakes or memories from your wedding, or they can make little cards to say congratulations! Keeping in mind that they will be in “formal” wear it may be a good idea to replace items like glue or paint with stickers, tape and crayons. However with kids the hazard of spills is always a risk no matter what they’re doing. Don’t sweat the stains if they happen, once they had some fun it’s all worth it. Having an adult attendant at this station is an idea you may want to consider.
- A rousing game of musical chairs is a fun way to involve your kiddie guests in your wedding (and eventually tucker them out). Have your DJ play a few upbeat tunes to get them going round and round their chair set-up. You may also want to try a "limbo" dancing game for kids as well. Having a specific event set aside for them during your reception makes them feel like important and dear guests to your wedding instead of just “tag-alongs”. Invite them back onto the dance floor while adults are out “cutting a rug” to dance and jig in their special little kid way, we promise they’ll be asleep before the last dance.
(Photo Credit: family kitchen blog)
- A kiddie menu may actually be less of a hassle then the adult menu at your reception. It’s not hard to figure out what kids eat and they tend to pick through meals anyway. Meals such as chicken fingers or cheeseburger sliders may go over well with your mini guests. If you want to go the extra mile you include a kiddie menu in your invitations and ask parents to give you a heads up when they rsvp if there are any particular allergies or issues with food for their kids.
These are just five ways to make your wedding more kid friendly; as always we love to hear from you! Are you planning on having kids at your wedding? What other tips would you include?