September 28, 2016
If you ever browse chat forums on websites such as Mumsnet you may well be aware that the question of inviting children to weddings – or not – is a thorny issue and has a habit of dividing opinion.
Some think that the presence of children is an absolute no-no, others feel they should be an integral part of a special celebration. Indeed, if you have younger bridesmaids, flower girls or page boys it can actually be better if there are enough children invited to create a sub-party of sorts.
If your invitations do extend to children, the two biggest things to consider are what they’ll eat and what they’ll do. Get these right and you’ll limit the risk of tears and tantrums – and their parents will be able to fully enjoy your wedding celebrations without getting stressed!
Cater for less sophisticated palates
When you’re planning what will be served at your wedding breakfast and/or evening meal, make sure your caterer is aware of how many children there will be and their age range. Depending on the menu, under 10s will probably prefer a simpler meal – this doesn’t have to mean serving up frozen chicken nuggets and chips, a good catering company will have plenty of nutritious and tasty options that children will enjoy. Older children may prefer a scaled-down version of your main menu, but it’s something worth discussing with parents – we all know that kids can be fussy eaters!
The best tip has to be to control the sugar content! Provide unlimited access to fizzy drinks, combine with the excitement of the day, missing a nap or staying up later than usual, add in the fun of playing with cousins and newly-made friends, and you may see multiple meltdowns on the dancefloor! Make sure that water and juice is available for your younger guests, or go one better and supply delicious alcohol-free cocktails that will make them feel special. Speak to our recommended caterers, or bar suppliers to get more tips!
Guarantee a stress-free meal
High street restaurants know a thing or two about kids and mealtimes, and you can easily take a leaf out of their book! If the children are old enough to eat unsupervised, you could create a child-friendly table and sit them all together. Rather than using linen tablecloths, cover the table in paper, supply lots of pens and crayons and let them get creative. Or create a centrepiece full of Lego bricks. Having things that will keep them occupied will mean that your wedding breakfast and speeches are far more likely to run smoothly.
Keep them entertained!
If the weather is going to be fine, you could set up outdoor games such as giant Jenga and Connect 4 (check with your venue if they have anything available). Skipping ropes, hula hoops and balls are also useful to have available. A bouncy castle can be good, but it will require adult supervision and don’t forget that toddlers and teens bouncing at the same time is a recipe for accidents. If the weather is not so great, how about creating a kids corner inside the marquee and get a stock of board games and jigsaws. Arts and crafts also go down well – search the internet and you’ll find all sorts of wedding themed craft ideas.
If you can stretch your budget, you might consider hiring a professional children’s entertainer for a few hours – let’s face it, the grown-ups may also enjoy a bit of magic or balloon modelling! There are also plenty of professional crèche services that will mean children are fully supervised and entertained.
And why not get your band or DJ to dedicate a small part of their set to the younger crowd – no matter what age they might be, every child seems to know how to dance to the Macarena and The Birdy Song!
Black and white images courtesy of Two Many Cooks
Inside Outside works with experienced suppliers who know how to keep guests of all ages happy. Why not give us a call on 01372 459485 for a chat about what you want for your wedding.