Children at weddings-as in all places-can be dazzling angels and cute little wonders, or nightmarish monsters and screaming terrors. Keeping a wedding peaceful and enjoyable with youngsters can be a challenge, but it is achievable with the right tactics. Keep in mind the three “I”s when keeping children on their best behavior during the wedding.
One of the best ways to make kids realize the importance of the wedding, while simultaneously making them feel loved, significant, and entertained. Make sure to include children in the wedding, whether through planning it out, running errands, or being a part of the ceremony itself!
While planning your wedding, ask kids and teens for help and suggestions on colors, dress styles, flowers, etc. A child can feel proud and included when they can tell everyone that they picked the fun song, or the balloon bouquet, or the necklace the bride is wearing.
If a child has musical talent, invite them to perform at your wedding! Even a youngster bleating on a trumpet is an adorable hit. Before and after the wedding, have kids help you open presents, keep lists, and write cute thank you notes.
The most popular way of including kids is to have them as part of the ceremony. Flower girls are usually young girls of 4-8 who walk in the ceremony after the maid or matron of honor. Ring bearers can be boys or girls who carry either the real or imitation wedding rings on a pillow to the altar.
For older children, it is possible to ask them to stand as junior bridesmaids or groomsmen or stand as attendants during the ceremony. Mothers with sons can opt to have their sons give them away instead or in lieu of fathers. When kids are included they feel essential and take their roles seriously and with pride-not to mention the charming touch they give to the ceremony!
A kid hates nothing more than to be forced into something. A wedding can seem drab to uninterested and younger children, and being forced to go is bad enough. Giving children a little bit of leeway and consideration goes a long way for their temper and behavior.
If you have older kids going to a wedding, give them the color scheme and let them pick their own outfits. You may disagree over modesty and style, but kids, especially teenagers, would rather wear an outfit you compromised on than something picked out for them.
Everyone wants a picture of their darling on the wedding day, but kids with little patience don’t want to stand around and wait for them. Let the photos of the children be taken first, before the grass stains and tears start to show, and then let them off the hook while the more patient adults take photos. Also, remember to introduce kids to the photographer so that candid photos are of cute smiles and not blank stares.
Keeping children entertained also keeps them on hand for good photos and inclusion in the festivities!
Activities at a children’s table are a good way to keep avid minds engaged. Coloring books provide entertainment for a range of ages. Giving kids disposable cameras keeps them part of the action and can result in cute, candid, surprising, and hilarious photos.
If the venue allows it, bubbles and confetti provide endless entertainment and aesthetic appeal to young children through teenagers. Board games, jigsaw puzzles, pinatas, and all sorts of entertainment aimed at kids is perfect for keeping their young minds busy and out of trouble.
Favors are also a huge hit with kids! A small bag with some toys, juice boxes, or snacks can keep kids happy. Other gifts will provide joy and fun that children will greatly appreciate.
With these tips in mind, your wedding may well be remembered by the kids as a really fun time they had, instead of the boring ceremony they might have dreaded!