Your wedding: Mastering the art of child management
The debate that swirls around whether or not to invite children along to a wedding is a timeless one – as heated as it is controversial. Undoubtedly there are challenges involved – and the possibility that your service, speeches or first dance may be compromised by energetic kiddies looms large on the horizon for any bride that’s committed to painstaking planning for the perfect day.
If you’ve decided to forge ahead and include the kiddies in your big day, then you’ll likely need a little forward planning if you’re to limit the prospect of tantrums, tears and squeals throughout the speeches.
Involving kiddies in your big day
If you’re involving children in your wedding then you’ll need to think about how events will flow and who’ll be looking after the children throughout. Consider their ages, what they may be expecting and whether their parents will have any helpful input.
It’s also worth thinking carefully about the outfits that your page boys and flower girls may wear – there’s a balance to be struck between style and comfort (and any girls’ hairstyles need to be resilient enough to stand up to a full day of enthusiastic play!).
The ceremony – Beautifully emotional for you, potentially traumatic tantrums for the children
Let’s face it, for the majority of children, the ceremony can be the most uninspiring part of the day (despite it being the most important for you!). As a golden rule, you should try to seat parents with young children at the end of the seating rows, so they can quickly and quietly exit should their child begin to cry.
You can also include children in the ceremony, here are some ideas for doing so:
– Give out wedding programmes before the ceremony commences – this job is idea for any mini-best men
– Involve your children as ring bearers – a job reserved for those closest to you (although this one also needs diligent supervision, with the rings handed over at the very last minute!).
– Ask the officiant/priest to make a mention of any children who are especially close to you and your family (an excellent way to keep the kiddies’ attention as they’ll patiently await their names).
– Declare some children as confetti managers (this part of the day always proves a hit with children, so there may be some competition for this role!).
Your reception – some rules to live by
First things first – make sure they’re fully fuelled up on food. Reception food often over looks children’s meals, and kiddies are left with adult dishes that aren’t to their taste. This can result in kids that get hungry, quickly, and cranky, super-fast.
You should also consider your seating plan – half the reason children get bored during the reception is because they’re unable to join in with all the ‘adult’ conversation when sat next to their parents. Sitting them all together makes it all enjoyable for all – although you should avoid lumping in any teenagers with the small children – they’ll likely not thank you for it.
Keeping the little ones quiet(ish) during the toasts
There’s no need to leave the children out for the toasts – why not purchase some plastic champagne style flutes to be filled with milk so they can join in with the ‘Cheers’? You may also want to couple those glasses with a chocolate cookie or too to distract them for a little while.
We can’t promise that this will keep the kiddies quiet throughout the speeches, but hey, even ten minutes of relative silence has to be a good thing, right? For a few more stolen minutes of quiet, you can cover the children’s tables in craft paper, and then hand our crayons so that they can create a collaborative masterpiece!
Alternatively, if you’re opting for a soft play area (which is a great idea if there are plenty of toddlers down on your guest list) you may want to consider a little hired help in the form of a professional child care assistant (or assistants if you have quite a few children to supervise).
Pro-tip: Have a kiddy boredom basket
The devil makes work for tiny hands and it can be tough for parents to fully enjoy a complete wedding day and entertain their child adequately throughout. To help your mummy and daddy guests, why not put together a kiddy boredom basket? Consider purchasing colouring packs, mini-games and sweets.
That’s the children organised, and if you’re yet to find ‘the one’, now may be the time at Proposals in West Sussex. Feel free to pop into our bridal shop without an appointment, or you can contact us beforehand for professional advice – call us on 01293521635 or send the Proposals team a message via our contact page and we’ll be right back in touch.