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Keep kids, parents, guests, and the bride happy!

Child with Garden Activity Sak, a great wedding kid's favorTraditionally throughout history, children have always been included on the guest list of wedding celebrations with the entire family attending together.  After all, marriage is a major factor in the circle of life and it is important to be allowed to grow-up participating in these life-changing events.  Only in the past few decades as receptions have become more elaborate, expensive, and lengthy have children been slowly excluded from the celebrations.  They have been given a bad rap as the “spoilers of the day”.  The feared misbehavior so many brides discuss is usually quite innocent and simply brought on by boredom.  With a few “Kid-Friendly” preparations you can still have children attend your celebration and also have the perfect wedding day.  Here are some ideas that you may want to incorporate at your special event.

Kid-Friendly Wedding Ideas

1.       Delegate someone to supervise young wedding guests during the entire event.  If children are sitting with their parents, this will be a simple role involving distribution of activity bags (or books) to kids upon arrival and handling any unexpected kid emergencies.  If you are able to provide a private “kids only” room, this position expands into a much greater role involving some pre-planning.  Activities are only limited by your imagination.  Fill a piñata with wedding treats, play musical chairs to wedding theme music, have a special cinema corner set up with comfy pillows, or play bingo.  Let children express their artistic side. Have a table covered in butcher paper for a gigantic drawing canvas (just make certain to have individual supplies for each child to avoid unnecessary fights and tears). Another idea parents will appreciate is providing sleeping mats and blankets for the exhausted child who has fallen asleep during the evening.

2.       In search of qualified, reputable, babysitting services?    Ask family members or friends for names of trusted sitters.  Hire a reputable babysitting service found in your local phone book, use the country club or hotel’s onsite babysitting service or kids club attendants.  Ask your church for an experienced youth group or nursery staff attendant.  Check out nearby universities for college students studying to be teachers who are looking to earn a little extra money.  Inquire at local day care facilities if any of their teachers are available for hire during your event. Be certain to check references, referrals, and CPR certification before employing any child-care worker.

3.        Predict the possibility of crying infants or young children and secure a nursery during the ceremony.  A nursery representative can then be present as guests arrive to inform parents that there is a cry room available if needed.

4.        If space allows arrange small game tables for the older children.  Puzzles, playing cards, and board games will be popular not only with pre-teens but also keep teenagers entertained for hours.

5.        For a more controlled environment and less disruptions, seat children at their parents table.  Kids are usually more behaved and less rambunctious when seated next to mom and dad rather than other children.  This will also eliminate children from running between their own seats and their parent’s table throughout the event.  The wedding activity bag will keep children quietly entertained and in their seats rather than racing around the reception hall.

6.        Add a juice box, fruit bar, or crackers to each kid’s activity bag or place them in the center of the kid’s table.  Children can become cranky when hungry or thirsty and often do not have the patience to wait until the wedding dinner is ready to be served.  Parents will appreciate your thoughtfulness for providing snacks to hold them over.

7.        Ask about the possibility of having a separate menu for the children.  Many caterers will oblige with special requests and it is often less expensive than having children eat the gourmet meal prepared for your adult guests.  Some popular ideas include: chicken nuggets, mini-pizzas, mini-hamburgers, pasta, fish sticks, and Jell-O created from wedding molds. Remember also to ask for lids on each child's drink to avoid messy spills.

8.        Invest in some fun by hiring a face painting artist, magician, or balloon artist.  The performer can mingle among the tables entertaining guests of all ages.

9.        Encourage the band or DJ to play some songs that the children will recognize and enjoy.  The master of ceremonies can announce a “kids only” dance.  There is nothing sweeter than to watch little ones dancing together in their wedding attire.  It will make for a great photo opportunity that can later be included in your wedding album.

10.     For an outdoor wedding, designate a trusted adult to take the kids on a nature walk around the grounds.  Kids will love the opportunity to get away from the reception and stretch their legs.  Provide each child with their own bottle of bubbles and watch the smiles blossom and delightful interaction between the children.

Share your own "Kid-Friendly" wedding idea with other brides:
Note: This board is limited to "kid-friendly" wedding ideas and is not designed for conversations or unrelated topics. Inappropriate text will not be posted.

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More Kid-Friendly Wedding Ideas From Our Customers

  1. I love this idea of having a bag of activities for kids to work on throughout the reception. Here's another tip: don't buy those little disposable cameras for the tables. At my wedding the kids got a hold of them and I got a bundle of terrible pictures! Save your money on those and buy these books instead!
    -Karen Lemons, Web Designer, Kid Friendly Weddings

     
  2. We are planning on having "kid-friendly" virgin cocktails for all of the children at the wedding reception. This will allow them to not only participate in the wedding toasts but make them feel like they are part of the party!
    -Michelle, Bride to be in Seattle, WA

     
  3. I am going to hire a cartoon caricaturist to sketch fun portraits for each child at the wedding.
    -Darcy, Bride to be from L.A.

     
  4. At our wedding coming up the end of this July we are def. including kids in the mix, and have come up with several fun ways to keep them entertained...wedding coloring pages, there are tons and tons of wedding coloring pages online for free and we are giving every kid a small box of crayons to color with. We are giving each kid there a disposable camera to take their own pictures with and to get involved with the wedding rather than just be there. We are also having a pinata, just for fun. Our reception is actually at a park so we have a playground at our disposal which will def. help.
    -Ali, Bride

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  6. Here is an idea for a "project table".. I thought it would be neat to create masks for the kids...like from phantom of the opera. Just posterboard already cut into templates glued onto tongue depressors and then have the kids color them. I also had the idea of them having a small tube and putting colored sand into it.. Definitely something which will need supervision! I really want something which will make the kids be happy. I am devoting a lot of time to it!
    -Britney, Bride

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  8. While looking through a website, I saw an ideas I'm doing, I'm getting each child a digital camera as a gift (as all but one are in our wedding party) and giving them a list of pictures to take and offering prizes for the best one, (I've told them to ask an adult for help.) Pictures like, a lady wearing no shoes, or a man wearing a flower etc. I had fun coming up with them and they'll have fun doing it..
    -Michelle, Bride

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  10. We are going to have edible bubbles so they do not get all over the carpet.
    -Katrina, Bride

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  12. We are going to have little treats like sandwiches so the kids don't get tired and cranky.  Also for dessert we are going to have cookies for the kids with their names on them.
    -Katrina, Bride

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  14. Along with having a bouquet toss at my wedding for the adult ladies, I also got a small bouquet for the younger girls so they dont feel left out!  My wedding is not for a few weeks yet, so I hope the idea is a good one!
    -Amber, Bride to be in Washington, PA

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  16. I was reading all the great ideas for a Kid Friendly Wedding....I notice Amber was going to have a mini bouquet toss for the little ones..what about a bride/groom teddy bear toss!! It would be great keepsake for the little one that gets it!!!
    -Lisa, Bride

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  18. I loved the idea of the activity bag.  Another idea is having a separate room for the children and having them do their fun activities in there.
    -Loveth, Bride

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  20. I went to a wedding a while a go where the reception had a lot of children. The Bride and Groom played "Musical Chairs" and each child that was "OUT" received ONE Tootsie Pop sucker and the "Winner" received a "bouquet" of them. Pretty cool idea.
    -Donna

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  22. I plan on having a small stage 2 play area. In an area for kids to play on inside.
    -Meghan, Bride

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