Your wedding day is one of those days you’ll remember forever. That being said, it’s natural for you to want everything to go perfect (or as close as it gets). It’s difficult to juggle many things that make up the ceremony and the reception and, of course, there are things out of your control (like the weather or minor accidents).
However, the things you do have some control of should be planned as good as possible. That includes attending to ALL of your guests. Of course, kids make one part of the crowd (including, possibly, your own kids). They can be a tough crowd as they get bored pretty easily and have their own special ways to entertain themselves. To allow them to have great fun at your wedding but to prevent them from ruining a special moment or breaking anything, check out these ideas which will keep them occupied most of your special day.
1. Outdoor games
If you’re pretty sure that it’s going to be nice weather on your wedding day, then one of the easiest tricks is to allow kids to play some great games outdoors. There is the least chance of anything getting broken and the kids will be free to roam around, caught up in their games.
There are many lawn games that most kids are familiar with, like Twister, hopscotch, skipping ropes and hula hoops. You can even try something more unorthodox like lawn bowling – even the kids who haven’t tried it will think it’s fun to learn something new. On a mildly windy day, they could fly simple kites prepared for them. Finally, a simple game of tag will be enough to keep them occupied for at least an hour. A bouncy castle is also great fun, just keep in mind that you can’t really mix 12-year-old kids with toddlers, so there will have to be someone watching over them.
2. Bad weather alternative games
If the weather isn’t going to allow outdoor games, then you have to have an alternative ready. You can set up an area in the reception hall or in another place where the kids can play various board games and jigsaws. There isn’t any better than the old ones like Monopoly, Guess Who, Hungry Hippos and Operation. They will encourage kids to get to know each other and mingle freely. Even older kids love strategic games that are not too complex but are fun enough.
3. Time for a tea party!
So many weddings are not kid-friendly but you can show you thought of them, too, by preparing them their own tea party in a designated corner on a separate table. Prepare the foods they like, for example, pizza slices and sausage rolls. They will be full and happy for quite some time. A sweet station next to the table is a lovely addition. Install a stand with various popular sweets and allow each one of them to fill their bags with sweets they love. Just make sure they are limited with one bag only!
4. Art and crafts
Kids simply love making things with their own hands and decorating them. That’s why a mini art area would amaze many of them. Fill it with a lot of crayons, pipe cleaners, stickers, playdough and whatever comes to your mind and let them be creative. You could even have something connected to the event – get the wedding-themed crafts, for example designing a wedding dress, decorating small cakes or making cards for the lovely couple. You can even provide them with material for making their DIY masks which they could use in the photo booth – they could spend hours creating a perfect mask for the photo booth pictures.
5. Set up a kids table
Even during the wedding dinner, kids don’t have to sit next to their parents. If they are old enough, you could group a couple of kids of the same age together and organize one dinner table just for them. That way, they could have fun chatting instead of sitting and getting bored at their parents’ table. If you add a game or two to the table, that would be perfect.
6. Promise them treats
Kids love the feeling of expectation. If some of them start acting up at the very beginning of the ceremony, tell them a little secret – there is a treat waiting for each one of them at the reception desk if they behave the rest of the ceremony. It will motivate most of them to change their attitude. You can even make a small competition out of it (many kids love that, too) by promising a special treat to the one who is the most well-behaved.
7. Babies and toddlers
Having babies and toddlers at the wedding is especially cute – they look adorable wearing their special clothes, sitting on their parents’ laps or wandering around on their weak little legs. You don’t want them to get impatient or uncomfortable, so it’s necessary to provide the mothers an area where they could change the baby’s diapers without being disturbed, change their clothes or feed them. Fill the area with items they could need, like baby wipes, extra diapers of different sizes, teething remedies for those who need to occupy themselves and a couple of soft toys.
8. Professional entertainment
If the wedding reception venue allows it, you could hire professional entertainment for the kids. If the weather allows it, the easiest solution would be to have them entertain kids outside. If not, try to find a room or an area where the kids could enjoy watching magic tricks, laugh at a clown’s gags and jokes or watching balloon modelers do their own magic. It’s not something many kids can see very often, so it’s guaranteed a good portion of their time will be spent watching some kind of a show.
9. A movie room
Again, if the venue allows it, you could install a movie room for the little ones. Fill it with soft cushions and pillows, throw a couple of kids chairs and bean bags. For the final touch, add small packages of popcorn and prepare two or three animated films. Kids will love it and it will be very useful in the evening – an hour and a half watching a movie will calm them down just before putting them to bed.
10. Professional care
If you don’t really want the parents (including you) to go and check out the kids every now and then, the best thing is to hire professional childcare who will attend to kids before and after the dinner time. The parents will have no worries and could enjoy their meal in peace. A professional babysitter will keep them occupied but will also make sure no one gets hurt or lost somewhere on the venue.
It’s beautiful to have a lot of kids at your wedding – they lift the atmosphere and make everything more magical and beautiful. So, make sure their needs are attended just like every other guest’s. They will always remember your wedding day as the time they had great fun, too, which is the point – for everybody having great fun on your wedding day.