Children at a wedding? I hear you ask the question. But let me ask you this………why not? I think there is a couple of factors here. Firstly if the bride and groom have kids, of course, they are going to want to include them in the wedding, so it makes sense to invite other kids to help entertain them.
Secondly, some of your guests won’t come if they can’t bring their kids. Not everyone has a family support system to look after the kids while they attend and also there is a trust issue of hiring a babysitter that they have never met. Especially for young babies and toddlers. I know that all your guests would love to come to your wedding, child free. Let’s be honest that most parents want to enjoy themselves as well, but the practicality of it all comes into place.
I know that we have been invited to a wedding next year that is interstate and it has been stated that it is a ‘no kid wedding’ which I respect the bride and groom in this decision. But it doesn’t make it any easier for me to arrange or even attend. I have young children, who will be aged 4 years old and 2 years old at that stage and even though I have great supportive parents that live close, my mum doesn’t drive. So for her to look after the kids for a couple of days is a big feat. We also have the option of hiring accommodation and taking mum with us to look after the kids for the night, but it starts to get a bit expensive. The bride and groom are good friends and we would love to attend and have a great time, but the reality is that it may get put into the too hard basket.
In this blog we are going to explore some activities you can include at your wedding to keep those little ones entertained.
1. Movie Area
Setup one corner of the venue with a tv and some beanbags. The venue would even be able to supply these for you. Once bedtime hits for some of the kids push the play button on their favourite movie and I can guarantee that they will be out of the way for hours.
2. Bubbles, Bubbles, Bubbles
All kids love bubbles…..well until they hit the teenage years, but that’s another story. Ask them to blow bubbles everywhere. When you arrive. When you leave. During your photos. And at each other. Bubbles are cheap, environmentally friendly and safe.
You could even hire a ‘bubble guy’ to come out and do those huge bubbles to keep the kids entertained during speeches or even during the ceremony.
3. Setup a Kids Area
There are endless ideas for this point and it also depends on the ages of the kids. Setting up some sort of kids table with colouring and lego etc is what most people opt for. However what about a teepee kids corner? That way if one of them is feeling sleeping, they can just head over to the teepee and have a few zzz’s.
Or what about a jumping castle. These days you can hire them pretty cheap and once the kids have gone to bed and after a few drinks, the adults might even have a go.
You could even have a table of glow sticks so the kids could make bracelets and crowns and run around crazy once it gets dark.
4. The Kids Can be Little Helpers
Most kids will thrive on being given a task at the wedding and feeling important. There are the obvious tasks of being flowergirl and pageboy. But what about the other kids that are not part of the bridal party?
Ask them to hand out programs if you are having a church wedding. Hand out thongs if you are having a beach wedding. Give people directions. Greeting people and showing them where to sit. If they don’t want to do it out of love, I am sure they can always be bribed.
5. Hire a Babysitter
This is something that is becoming more and more popular. Bride and grooms are hiring a babysitter to stay at the venue and look after the kids. Obviously it would depend on the number of kids on the number of babysitters but it helps your guests come to the wedding and enjoy themselves.
A kiddies corner is set up and the kids can come and do activities with the babysitters during the wedding. I have even heard of the parents of the children paying for this service (because some of them would pay for babysitters anyway).
At the end of the day, maybe I am biased because I am a mum to two kids. Maybe it is because I have heard other mums say how difficult it is when they receive an invitation to a ‘no kids’ wedding. Or maybe I just think children bring so much joy and magic that only a child can bring to a wedding.
Main photo by Sam.L photographie