Most wedding receptions tend to be adults only, but many couples do want the little ones to join in the fun. Here’s how to make it easier on the kids (and the grown-ups).
Keep Them Entertained
Quiet activities, like colouring books, word searches, reading books and simple games are a great solution. If you want to take it a step further, create your own colouring pages and word searches, with a personal wedding theme. You can also have personalized crayons made for the occasion.
Have a Kids Room
Ask your venue if there is an area where kids can hang out, watch movies, play boardgames and generally get out of the way of the adults. There may be a large bridal party suite, or even a hotel room above the reception area where the children can go (with a responsible sitter or two, of course).
Make a game out of all the “lame” stuff, like a scavenger hunt or bingo. Kids can be on the look out for “boring” speeches and “weird looking” food. Be sure to have plenty of prizes on hand.
Have Food Options
Be sure there is a kid-friendly meal for picky eaters. Kids can get hangry real quick. Cute goodie bags are a great idea, too.
Kick Them Out
Tell parents that children are welcome to come to the ceremony and dinner, but must go home before the real party begins. Organize rides beforehand. Be very firm that all children must leave.
Lay Down the Law
Don’t be afraid to get tough, or assign the “bad guy” duties to someone else. If children are misbehaving, don’t let it ruin your big day. Someone has to be able to take control of the situation, talk to the parents, and rein in the kiddos.
If there is room, have a craft table (no messy crafts!) to keep busy hands occupied.
Originally published in Today’s Bride magazine, Fall/Winter 2018.