The way I see it, you have two choices when faced with children at your wedding. The first is to adopt the Victorian seen, not heard mantra, shoving them on a table in the corner; warning them or their parents that there better not be any messing. The result of this approach is generally bored, cranky little people who will most certainly mess and generally wreak havoc on your sophisticated event vibes. On the other hand, should you decide to welcome your smaller guests with open arms, you might just discover the joy that their presence will bring. Indeed, with more couples having their own offspring as part of their wedding, it makes sense to fully include them; making the event a celebration of the whole family, rather than a traditional day of romance, for two… which is really just icky (according to Alfred, aged 5).
So, without further ado, ten steps to a gloriously child-friendly wedding…
1. Furnish every child with a personalized activity box, on arrival. Bubbles to blow and something sweet to keep little mouths busy, will benefit all, during the ceremony.
2. Give them meaningful parts to play, beyond flowergirl and pageboy – there’s little cuter than a little bowtied fella with a cheeky sign and responsibility breeds good behaviour.
3. Offer child-ised versions during pre-dinner drinks – little’uns love nothing more than a bit of adult imitation.
4. Do a kids table that children will actually want to sit at. Adapt your colour scheme, using brighter tones to create a fun atmosphere that keeps their attention, with name tags that will sure make them feel special.
5. Tailor-make their place settings, swapping the menu for colouring pads, or the favours for disposable cameras – wee people love taking pictures and the results could end up being pretty special.
6. Chillout tents, complete with storybooks, not only offer some quiet time to the potential crankypants, they can also make gorgeous additions to your décor.
7. Same goes for interactive murals – why not have your littlest guests customise the photo backdrop?
8. A dressing-up box could be the perfect solution to waning spirits; charging the teenagers with directing a play of little stars will entertain adults as much as kids.
9. If all else fails, a load of rabbits always does the trick.
10. And when the sun goes down, set up a movie screening, with hot chocolate and popcorn… with a bit of luck, they’ll all fall asleep so Mom & Dad can squeeze in one last glass of wine.
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