Children in weddings« Back to list24th March, 2014
The decision to include children in wedding celebrations differs for everyone. They add a sweet innocence and vibrancy that can truly enhance your day. Yet, acknowledging that children are unpredictable means theres also an element of uncertainty that can be quite daunting. Planning ahead is the key to success.
Young guests are most likely to be mischievous when they are tired and bored. You may decide that you would like to include children in the ceremony, but not the reception. Selecting a venue, a time of day and a level of formality suitable for young guests, such as a casual celebration in the afternoon, may be more appropriate than a black tie dinner lasting long past their bedtime.
If children are a part of the ceremony as flower girls, candle lighters or ring bearers, discuss the idea with the children along with their parents. Children tend to be more enthusiastic if they feel included in the decision making process than if they are ordered to perform by adults. Assure the child shortly before your wedding day that it's okay if they change their mind about participating.
No matter how mature you think your young guests are, don't forget that they are children, with individual levels of patience and tolerance. Children are not interested in adult's etiquette, conversation and behaviour, and expecting them to behave like little adults all day is unrealistic. But with a little forward planning, children can be an angelic addition to your day.
AT THE CEREMONY
Having children go down the aisle in pairs can make them feel more comfortable,
Assign a guest to distribute small bags to the children just before the ceremony. Bags containing a small box of sultanas, and perhaps a puzzle, small crayons and a colouring book can keep young ones entertained during your vows.
Immediately after the ceremony, arrange with the photographer to take a group photograph with all the children. Make sure you notice and acknowledge their good behaviour.
AT THE RECEPTION
Children are not very patient when they are hungry and tired, so consider having the staff serve the children their meals first, even while the adults are standing enjoying entrees and drinks. Don't serve high sugar treats and avoid artificial colours and preservatives for children as it may make them hyperactive.
Break the boredom for children by creating specially designed spaces for them.
Set up a large table for the children filled with inexpensive toys and activities. Cover the table with white craft paper and add a centerpiece of a basket with items such as: crayons, non-permanent markers, paper, glitter-glue sticks, playdoh, playdoh utensils and bubbles.
On the paper tablecloths, draw empty noughts and crosses and hangman templates to encourage the children to play.
Bring in board games such as Trouble, Snakes and Ladders, Twister, Checkers, cards such as Uno and even packs of different beads for beading necklaces and bracelets.
If you have older children, consider a small room which you can set up with cushions or beanbags. To keep them entertained bring in a television, nd a Nintendo or Playstation console and games.
You can give teenager guests a disposable camera and ask them to be your photo-journalists. Give them instructions to move around the room taking candid shots.
Photograph by Blumenthal Photograhy