Children can be a lot of fun at weddings, especially when they are busting their cute little moves on the dance floor. However, long periods of sitting still and being quiet can be difficult for young children who naturally have very short attention span and a lot of energy. At some point, boredom kicks in, they may become restless, hungry and overtired which can lead to tantrums, tears and frazzled parents.While many couples feel strongly that their wedding should be an adults-only party, many others can’t imagine their wedding without all the little ones in their lives being present. If you’re inviting kids to your wedding, here are six tips from Vatican Banquet Hall that will keep any group of young guests happy — and keep you calm, cool, and collected.
Have a morning or early-afternoon wedding
Turns out, kids go to bed super early. Having a brunch wedding will make life easier on parents and will mean you won’t have a bunch of cranky kids in need of a nap at your reception. In addition, breakfast and lunch foods are very kid-friendly.
Skip the place cards and set out a bundle of fun activities for them instead
It’s usually best for kids to sit with their parents at the reception, but see if you can have a few quiet activities for the children, such as crayons and paper cards they can decorate for the bride and groom. You can also cover the kids’ table(s) with white butcher paper and put out a pile of crayons. Let kids cover the table with drawings. They’ll be so busy, they’ll forget they’re still actually sitting at a table.
Consider hiring a babysitter for the reception
This is especially thoughtful if most of your guests are coming from out of town. You can have the sitter corral them at the venue or sitter set up in a nearby hotel room and invite the kiddos to a slumber and pizza party during the wedding. Either way, it gives people the chance to enjoy themselves as adults, not as parents, and will keep other guests from getting annoyed with those obnoxious kids whose parents always seem to have magically disappeared.
Set up a kid’s area for the reception that has fun activities
Think age-appropriate activities (word searches, coloring books) and games (hot potato, checkers).
Include kid-friendly music at the wedding
Even if you have a band, you might also consider hiring a DJ for the kids. He or she can entertain between sets. Inquire about a team of dance instructors – another kid-friendly method of entertainment. By providing music and dances targeted at a younger age group, you’re allowing them to participate in the wedding in a way.
Work with your venue
Ask your venue if they have any recommendations for kids; you may learn that they have a side room that’s perfect for setting up a kids’ table or hosting some kind of kids’ entertainment.