children at the wedding?

The ‘no-kids’ dilemma at your wedding is a tricky one: kids could really add to your day, or they could ruin it. Some couples wish to keep the occasion more sophisticated and mature while others wouldn’t think twice of inviting the children of their friends and families.

If you decide NOT to invite them, treat parents with courtesy:

– Word the invitation clearly and politely. Leave the children’s names off the invitations, and follow with a phone call or add a personal note to clarify, and check that everything is OK.

– Give them plenty of warning.

– If your wedding is far from home, they may not be comfortable relying on a local babysitter that no-one knows, so don’t push them into it.

– Think before you present your decision not to invite children as a benefit to parents. It could strike the wrong note.

-Decide in advance what you’re going to do if people ask to be made an exception. Work out the most tactful approach for your friends – and what you feel most happy with.

If children ARE invited make sure to keep them happy. It’s a simple formula: happy children equals happy parents. If the parents are the two of you, it’s even more important.

– Appoint someone who isn’t a guest to keep a very close eye on them: younger children and toddlers need a higher proportion of adult care than older children.

– Lay on entertainment if you can, and schedule it to take care of the most child-unfriendly times, such as during the meal and speeches.

– Give children jobs and games to do: keep them busy with disposable cameras or confetti to hand out and use; a treasure hunt; a quiz about the day. Set up a DVD room if possible.

– Wedding crèches are an additional cost, but can be well worth it. Some will even bath children and put them to bed so parents can stay on and party! Before booking, check directly with parents to find out what’s suitable for their children.

– Do a children’s table serving familiar food like sausages or pasta, and follow with sweet tea-party treats and children’s cake. Decorate chair backs with balloons, and pile up colouring books, crayons and comics on the table.

– Be age-sensitive: don’t lump teenagers with young children. They’ll soon join in on kids’ stuff if they feel inclined.

And here are a few lovely child friendly treats that will keep them occupied and entertained while the adults celebrate your wedding in style:

Little Wedding Goody Box For Children by YoYo-Me

Children’s Wedding Activity Book by The Wedding of my Dreams

Decorate Your Own Princess Doll by Little Butterfly Toys

Wedding Activity Set by The Jollybox Company

Children’s Discovery Kit by Robin and Rose

Pirate Treasure Chest by Junior Geo is ideal for filling with Party Sweetie Bags or retro games like Spinning Tops and Pinball Games.

Animal Or Monster Hand Temporary Tattoos by The 3 Bears One Stop Gift Shop

Image by Little Bevan

Featured from Your wedding, Your Way by Sophie Vincenzi pp. 261-263