As a wedding planner, I get this question A LOT.
Do I or do I not invite children to the wedding?
And if I do, how in the world do I keep them occupied throughout the night?
First, let me preface this by saying that I love kids. They are adorable, sassy, energetic, honest, and bring joy to celebrations………….. when they are having fun.
Oftentimes, some couples opt to have an adult-only reception, not necessarily because they don’t like kids, but sometimes in the best interest of the children because… well, it could be long and boring for a little human that barely knows what is going on (Why is everyone laughing at the well-dressed people speaking into the microphone?! And why is it so LOUD?)
But if kids are definitely part of the plan, then here are some ways to also make it enjoyable for them, even if they will only remember it as “Auntie So and So’s big dinner party” in years to come.
1. Make a mini reception for them in a separate space. This may be only worth it if you have more than 5 kids attending (and an additional room on the property) but hiring babysitters, throwing on a movie, and providing a bunch of interactive activities for the critters may very well be a solution that parents and kids will enjoy. Parents can drop their kids off after they’ve eaten, and then pick them up upon leaving. The sitters would make sure they are occupied or even have an opportunity to nap and get away from it all if it’s too overwhelming.
2. Put together activities at their table. Loot bags are amazing in this instance. You’d be surprised what a colouring book, some crayons, a puzzle, or even some bubbles can do to keep them entertained.
3. Give them some time at the photo booth. Make sure they’re utilizing the props and make it silly for them!
4. Put the older kids at one table. Provided they can eat and socialize (relatively) unsupervised, having kids in the same age group at one table can make things a little more interactive for them. We usually recommend this for kids over the age of 6. And with some age-appropriate games, you can also put at the table, they may not even care to be away from their parents - but also seat the parents close by just in case!
5. Provide a candy station or another interactive dessert during the party. I don’t know a kid that wouldn’t love a good chocolate fondue or bag of candy, and adults can also indulge in this too.
Ultimately, it’s great to have little ones join their parents for such a big celebration, but in the end, let’s make sure they are having just as good of a time.
Wedding Photographers: Ryan Chan Photography