Whether or not to have children at your wedding remains one of the big wedding controversies. Personally, I had a Sunday afternoon wedding and a lot of children in my life, so it made perfect sense for me. One of my favorite pictures of the day is of my Goddaughter and her little brother completely passed out on chairs. But, if I'd known what I now know about kids back then, I probably would have done a little more to occupy the kids at my wedding.
That's one of the problems for couples planning a wedding. Even if the couple loves children and spends a lot of time babysitting, they still might not completely understand how children do (or don't) handle an event like a wedding. There are a lot of things you can do to make sure your smallest guests have a great time at your wedding.
Seating and Food
If your minor guests are primarily eight and under you'll most likely want them to sit with their parents at the meal. However, if most of your young guests are eight or older, you might want to have a kid's table. Either way, talk to your caterer about kid friendly meal options. It may be true that your young guests are sophisticated and used to eating whatever their parents eat, but do you really want to pay full price for a meal that a child will only eat half of? You might want to consider special goody bags or activity boxes for children as well. Pinterest has great ideas, or this article from Bridal Musings, has great ideas as well. Did you know there's a site called Kids' Wedding Fun that specializes in wedding favors for kids? Me neither until just now!
Some people like to hire special entertainment for their child guests. Magicians, clowns, even bounce houses all make great additions to your normal wedding day. However, if none of those seem like they're a great fit for your wedding, you can probably make do with the entertainment you already have planned. Kids LOVE photo booths and music. Talk to your DJ or band leader about the kids in attendance and make sure he or she plans some special songs for them. Depending on the age of the kids, this could just mean a higher dose of teeny bopper music than you would normally have or some classic kid songs that aren't out of place at a wedding. Let your photo booth operator know that you're expecting kids as well. He or she can keep an eye on the supplies.
Hiring a babysitter for a wedding is a great idea to keep the kids occupied, and give the parents a little peace of mind and the chance to cut loose. You can have the babysitter at the wedding and wedding reception, or ask your venue about another room to use.
What are your favorite ideas for keeping kids busy at weddings?