Whether you’re walking down the aisle or want to renew your vows, you undoubtedly want everything to go off without a hitch. While many couples account for influencers like the weather, one overlooked element that can change the entire tone of the event is the presence of little ones.
Children at weddings can be oodles of unbearable cuteness or they can be just plain unbearable! Which one they are is a very fine line drawn simply by a little bit of forethought. If you do your due diligence to make sure they’re entertained, they can be adorable addition to the photographs and dance floor. However, if the kids become misbehaved, you can expect for centerpieces to be knocked over and tantrums to ensue. Keep reading for tips on how to accommodate children at your wedding or vow renewal:
Kid-Friendly Food and Beverage Tables
Unless the youngsters have a highly developed palate, there is nothing more disappointing for a kid than a table full adult food. A table dedicated to the munchkins can keep them meltdown-free and occupied. Load it up with the kinds of things kids love, such as French fries, mini burgers or little mac and cheese pies, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Making the food look like what you are serving the adults makes it even more enjoyable and special for the children. We found some adorably fun-filled examples on Lil Sugar, such as French fry cones, peanut butter and jelly “sushi” roll-ups, and creative spaghetti and meatball appetizers. For drinks, put some grape, apple, or sparking juice in small plastic wine goblets and champagne flutes so the kids can be a part of the toasting ceremonies and celebrations.
Jobs for Kids at Weddings
Many kids really take enjoyment out of working. Not only is it helpful to you, but giving kids wedding jobs also keeps them from getting bored (and hopefully burns off any excess sugar consumption). If you are going to give children jobs at your wedding, make it known to them that their contribution is valuable and that you take it seriously. Giving them this sense of responsibility makes them feel important and valued so they’re less likely to turn to attention-seeking behavior.
Flower Girls (and Boys) (ages 4-8)
This is one of the most popular jobs for younger kids. It is important that they are dressed both stylish and comfortable for their role, or else they will quickly become fussy. Make sure shoes are flat and don’t pinch; make sure the hemline of any dress falls above the ankle so you don’t have to worry about it dragging on the ground or tripping them up. If you’re the flower girls is your child or a close family relative, consider making her feel especially integral and special to the vow renewal by giving her a garment to match your own wedding dress. David’s Bridal offers flower girl outfits that are “mini bridal gowns”, so mother and daughter alike can wear classic white.
Pages and Little Ladies in Waiting (ages 8-14)
These kids can help out with running small errands for the bridal and groom parties, such as running notes or messages back and forth or getting bottles of water and snacks. Many kids are happy just doing the smallest of errand favors.
Gift Attendants (ages 12-14)
Depending on the size of the wedding, you can use as many kids as you need for this job. Have them be responsible for watching the gifts during the reception or making sure the gifts are tagged with the name of the giver.
Guest Book Attendant (ages 14 and up)
This person is responsible for asking people to sign the guest book. Give this job to someone who is not afraid to be outgoing and friendly and not to someone who would rather be hiding behind mom’s skirt.
In general, it is probably for an older, more responsible child; but, if you have a lot of kids who want to do little jobs, you can always have an older child lead the way and a younger child to take the hands of the guests and walk them to their seats.
Bubble Blowers (all ages)
No need to explain the value of this job. Seriously, wouldn’t the world be a better place if we all blew more bubbles?
Activity Directors (ages 13 and up)
Think about kids who end up becoming camp counselors in high school. These pre-teens love to be role models for younger children and not only do they make great sitters and caregivers, but they can also be really good at keeping kids occupied.
Crafty Kids’ Corners and Cool Chill-out Spaces
An activity table is a big hit with kids at weddings. You can always make a quick run to Toys”R”Us, and provide coloring books or canvases, puzzles, games, sticker books, and crafts such as box decorating or fabric painting. If your budget allows for it, you can have a separate room designated for the children (where they can throw down or melt down as needed). You can set up pillows and blankets for movie time or have games such as bingo or musical chairs. For kids who like to read or be quiet or for those who have fallen out from the day, have a dedicated space for them to chill out or lie down and rest.
If you do not have a young person available to serve as an activity director, there are now freelance floating nanny services that can come to your event and take care of the children and all of their activities.
By giving children and adolescents their own place and space at a wedding and reception, you allow them an opportunity to expend their energy being kids as well as given them a chance to take part in what the adults are doing, something which teaches them valuable lessons in good social behavior and responsibility.