Planning your wedding is a challenge in itself but adding children into the equation gives you a whole other set of concerns if you want your wedding day to go as smoothly as possible. So we’ve put on our thinking caps in our new blog ‘Top 10 Tips for Planning a Child-friendly Wedding’ to help ease your stress when accommodating children on your big day. Whatever venue you choose we believe in creating a welcoming environment for young and old, and these tips could mean that you and your grown-up guests will be happily kicking up your heels not tearing out your hair!
Here are our 'Top 10 Tips for a Child-friendly Wedding Day'...
1. Childcare at the wedding venue: If you have kids yourself or are expecting youngsters with guests at your wedding, a great idea is to arrange for someone to watch over the kids and organise activities which can keep young ones in a good mood on what can be a very long day. If you are concerned about children disrupting the ceremony then this is an ideal option to take the pressure of parents.
2. Make the kids feel at home: especially at outdoor weddings it’s sometimes a bit confusing for children to know what’s what in terms of what to do where, so when planning your wedding day signage try to make them as child-friendly as possible by including easy-to-understand images rather than just words. This can be a simple yet effective way of helping children to feel at home and not be overwhelmed by the wedding day festivities.
3. Kids menu choices: whatever catering you have chosen for the main wedding meal, remember that dishes that may appeal to our more mature palates might not be the average favourite food of the fussy five year old! Arrange for simple child-friendly options in advance or if it’s buffet style food, then be sure to include lots of tasty finger food and fruity treats for the younger guests.
4. Roles for the children: depending on the number of children expected at your wedding, assigning specific roles and responsibilities to younger guests can be a great way to help them feel involved in the big day. Children who feel wanted and needed during the day will feel more special and hopefully will be on best behaviour so they make a good impression. This might not be so easy if there are a lot of kids at the wedding and in this situation maybe you could organise them to hold balloons and accompany the bridal party or maybe be the ones in charge of confetti distribution and showering!
5. Kids’ entertainment: a few easy and low-cost options for entertaining the little ones could be face-painting or an arts and craft area, especially suited for outdoor weddings where there is enough room to set up a dedicated kids area. Maybe you could even include special entertainment for the kids such as a puppet show or circus skills workshop both of which would also offer great natural and candid photographic opportunities of the important little people.
6. Games for all the family: outdoor wedding venues like Tournerbury offer the perfect backdrop for serious amounts of outdoor play for guests young and old. You’re never too old to enjoy traditional lawn games and kids like nothing more than getting the grown-ups to run around and have fun, and it’s a sure fire way to keep them entertained and active with lots of laughter too!
7. Table activities: when seated at the table (which could be a special table just for the little ones) make sure they have some lovely paper and colouring pencils for doodling and artistic expression. Maybe suggest that the kids draw a picture of the bride and groom to give them at the end of the day or even supply each child with a disposable camera so they can have fun taking photos during the day...both these suggestions would go down well with younger guests and help keep them busy during the long day.
8. Kids’ disco time: before the main dancing gets started, why not ask the DJ spinning tunes on the day to have a playlist ready which is aimed at the children? Give the children half an hour to dance their socks off and you’re less likely to hear them whining about being bored - active kids are happy kids and everybody wants to party at a wedding whatever their age!
9. Movie night and popcorn: another practical child-friendly suggestion for weddings held later in the day would be to set up a movie evening with popcorn for the kids under supervision where they can cosy up and watch their favourite movie or drop off to sleep on a comfy bean bag whilst the parents hit the dance floor until the wee hours – and maybe even a few of the grown-ups might end up here too..
10. Going home bags: instead of traditional wedding favours, why not give the children a personalised goody bag to take home with them at the end of the day with specially chosen age-appropriate treats – a few sweet snacks, toys, puzzles or other fun items won’t break the bank and will certainly delight your younger guests.
We hope you’ve been inspired by our ‘Top 10 Tips for a Child-friendly Wedding’ and would welcome any ideas you may have to make a wedding day as welcoming as possible for children. Thank you for reading!