Last week I talked about how to navigate around the decision to not have kids at your wedding and the etiquette involved. Not everyone shares the same view of underage guests and some couples can’t imagine their special day without the little ones in their life present. This week I’m going to give you some tips and tricks to plan the ultimate child-friendly wedding!
Tip 1: Activity Gift Bags
What child doesn’t love a good loot bag? These gift bags can be as simple or as fancy as you want….visit the dollar store for an inexpensive gift bag or you could up the ante and purchase coloured bags matching your wedding theme. If you’ve dubbed yourself a Pinterest Princess then why not exercise your crafty side and stamp your monogram onto a kraft, burlap or reusable tote bag (try Creative Bag….they have some really fun options).
Yes, the outside should look “wedding pretty” but more importantly are the items you put inside. The whole point of this bag is to keep your minors entertained with toys and activities that aren’t noisy and require minimal adult supervision. Consider the guests age when designing these bags and avoid any choking hazards for the little ones! Here are some items to consider including:
- Crayons or colouring pencils (I would steer clear of paint or markers)
- Colouring book or activity book (Pinterest Brides….maybe a wedding themed word search or crossword). There are tons of free websites that have wedding themed printables and love the custom creations at Etsy. (I’ll include some links at the bottom of this article)
- A disposable camera. Kids love taking pictures and they are now fairly inexpensive.
- Play-Doh…again Pinterest Princesses can make their own to coordinate your colour scheme!
- A sticker book with stickers. You can find gender specific and popular character options at most dollar stores
- Treats: Goldfish crackers, granola bars, Bear Paws…anything a kid (or adult like me) would love. You may want to consider Nut Free options if you aren’t aware of dietary restrictions.
Tip 2: Child-Friendly Menu
Your care and consideration went into the reception menu and it is important to consider the kids menu too. One trick I have found helpful is to offer a “kids course” with each of the adult courses. For example, if the adults are enjoying a soup or salad starter, then offer the kids some veggie crudité (fancy for veggies and dip) or for the older kids a Caesar salad. If the adults are having a pasta course then offer the kids some penne with marinara sauce or the fav among most kids penne with garlic butter. Simply put, if the adults are having 4 courses then do the same for the kids. One reason is that the kids will be encouraged to stay seated during the meal with new options and secondly if you give them the main course first (whatever you choose) what will they do for the remainder of the meal? This also relieves the parents so they can enjoy their meal.
Tip 3: Babysitter
Depending on how many kids you have attending and their age, why not consider hiring a babysitter (or two) for the evening. I would suggest asking for a referral from one or two of the parents and mention your plans….I’m sure they would appreciate the gesture and they are more likely to feel comfortable if it’s a sitter they know or have used. Another option is a great company called In a Pinch. They offer babysitting services for all types of event and the awesome part is that they come armed with crafts, games and other activities to keep the kiddos busy. See the list of resources below for their website.
Tip 4: Kids Table
Creating a “kids only” table at the reception is a great way to craft a safe and fun area for the kids without having the activities take over all the dining tables. Lay out some kraft paper (you can buy a roll from Michaels or Party City) and kids can go to town colouring. Feel free to get creative with place cards, chalkboards, colourful confetti (you know I’m obsessed with confetti!) and even a fun centerpiece.
Tip 5: Kids Room (should space allow)
If you’re lucky, your reception venue may have a smaller secondary room that you can rent (or if you’re really lucky, comes with your venue rental) and you can create a space to the kids to have fun completely separate from the wedding. Of course, you would have to opt for the babysitting service but I’ve created space like this before and it has been great. We set up a tv/video player and the kids watched movies, played board games, lego, etc. They really had a great time playing together and enjoying themselves.
Etsy Activity Book: https://www.etsy.com/listing/227663734/childrens-printable-wedding-activity?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=wedding activity book&ref=sr_gallery_5
Free Wedding Printables: I Love this adorable creation from “Lovely Indeed”: http://lovelyindeed.com/diy-activity-book-free-printable/
Babysitting services in the GTA: In a Pinch – www.inapinch.ca
Activity Book from www.lovelyindeed.com
Kids Table/Centerpiece and Activity Box from http://www.simplyuniquewe.com