There was a really cute video montage going around facebook not that long ago, of kids involved in weddings and how they were acting. One of my favourites was the proud flowergirl, spreading her rose petals down the aisle one by one, only to have the pageboy come along behind her, clean them up and put them back in the basket! I thought it was cute, but others might not. It’s a question that often gets asked when planning a wedding, should we have kids involved in the wedding, and should we even invite them at all?
This is a completely personal decision and a lot of it comes down to who the important kids are in your lives, and whether you are ‘little kid’ people and your guests are too. Some aren’t – which is completely fine, just let everyone know on the invitations that you’re planning a grown ups only day. If you are inviting families with kids, why not find options for baby sitting in advance to make it easier for your guests who can’t source their own or don’t have family in the area?
For those brides and grooms who want to have kids at their ceremony, but perhaps not the reception, you can state on the invitations that you would ‘love the kids to share in our love at our wedding ceremony if you’d like to bring them along.’ This shows they are invited to part, but not all, of your wedding. Being able to take care of the kids for part of the day might make it easier on mum and dad to leave find a babysitter later that night.
If you’re inviting kids along to the wedding reception as well as the ceremony, we recommend providing some activities to keep them entertained during the formalities of speeches etc. A great way to do this is colouring books on the tables with plenty of pencils, and puzzle books for the slightly older kids. For the quite older kids, give them task of ‘papparazzi’ and a digital camera, and you won’t see them again that night, but will end up with a range of fantastic photos! Ask the children’s parents whether they think the kids will be okay on their own table together, or whether they’d be better off sitting next to mum and dad. Remember that not all kids are fancy eaters like the rest of us, so save yourself some budget $ and organise them some hot chips and nuggets – but make sure there’s plenty of dessert for them! Then be ready to kick start the dancefloor with some toddler breakdancing moves – nothing gets people quite in the mood for a boogie than the kids having a great time grooving to the music!
When considering involving kids in your wedding party, take into consideration their age and needs, and how long you’d like them to be around for. Toddlers look too cute in suits and princess dresses, but probably need a nap while you’re off having bridal party photos, or could be too afraid to walk down the aisle without someone they know holding their hands. A lollipop sticking out the groomsman’s pocket usually is enough to persuade most kids! Older children tend to understand how important the role is, and will be very thrilled at being asked to be a part of your wedding.
As for whether kids at a wedding mean delight or disaster – this comes down to your attitude towards them and the behaviour you expect of kids who don’t have adult minds! If it stresses you out to think that of the trouble possibilities of involving kids in your wedding, save yourself the hassle and keep the party to adults only. But if you couldn’t imagine your wedding without all your nieces, nephews, or best friends kids, just put these plans into place to avoid misadventure. And when something seems to go ‘wrong’, like a child screaming out EWWWWW as you share your first kiss as husband and wife, laugh it off, and everyone will laugh with you….just note it down in your memory bank to bring up at the kids 21st!