Getting that photo of the ring bearer and flower girl dancing is priceless and adorable, but for their parents, attending a wedding with kids in tow is the stuff nightmares are made of.
Here are a few tips that will go a long way toward making your special day a bit more special for your favourite little people (and their caretakers):
1. Children do not need bags full of sweets
First things first: Children do not need bags full of sweets. No one wants this to happen, trust me. Not you, not your guests, not the parents of the little ones there.
2. Plan some child-friendly activities
Instead of handing out candy, plan some cheap, easy, kid-friendly activities. Place a basket at the reception that’s stocked with books, colouring pages, crayons and simple card games – all of which can be wedding themed if you’d like!
3. Create a wedding passport
For out-of-town guests with kids, create a ‘wedding passport’ that they can stamp at each wedding-related event they attend during their trip: rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, ceremony, reception, sightseeing destinations, etc.
It can become a souvenir of their trip!
4. Get the children involved
Have a special dance at the reception that’s just for the kids; make a toast at the rehearsal dinner that’s geared just to them; give out jobs, like distributing party favours, to those who are able to help.
Kids love to be included!
5. Think of the children (and their parents) when you plan your menu
The children will be out of their routine, and their parents will be busy. Plan snacks, meals, and drinks that kids will enjoy and parents will appreciate.
A ‘goody bag’ with a juice box and a healthy snack (no sweets!) for after the ceremony will help improve morale before the reception starts.
Plan a dinner menu that accommodates the children attending. Serve a kid-friendly (non-alcoholic, obviously) cocktail – one little cocktail umbrella can go a long way toward making the evening memorable for your youngest guests.
6. If the venue permits, designate a space for children to get away from the wedding hustle and bustle
Are you able to find a space for a quiet room for babies and toddlers? A place with a few toys, where parents can put down their little ones and let them crawl around quietly for a few minutes? This could provide a much-needed break for the frazzled parents who really just want to have a good time at your wedding.
Or better yet …
7. Hire a babysitter
This is the ultimate step in truly having a parent-friendly wedding. If your budget permits and venue space allows it, consider hiring someone to be available to supervise the younger children and babies as they play or rest.