Many bridal couples and families are keen to involve young guests (including their own kids) and it can be a challenge keeping them all happy on your wedding day. There are many strategies used by couples to embrace their pint-sized guests and we all know that if the kids are happy, the parents are happy too!
So, we’ve put our thinking cap on, done some research and come up with some great ideas on ensuring that everyone at your special day has a great time! And remember – it is just not the “little” kids we are talking about “big” kids love having fun too!
Are they the bridal couple’s children?
It is quite normal these days for brides and grooms to involve their kids in their ceremony and wedding day. That will be a whole other blog (!) but certainly involving them in some special ceremonies as you join the two families together can be a great way to keep your kids happy on your wedding day.
Consider a “kids” coordinator
You may want your smaller guests to sit with their parents and a great idea is to think about putting together some activity bags or books for each one. Depending on the age, this can range from colouring in to some craft activities and have a roving “coordinator” to ensure the kids are giving their parents a break can be a thoughtful choice.
If you can organise a kids room – this could be a great option where the activities are only limited by your imagination. Think:
- dress up boxes, (make sure you have some cameras/a camera booth handy!);
- I spy (again with a camera and get the kids to take the photos of a list of fun photos that you have prepared earlier (ie. Grandma dancing, bridesmaids shoes, someone with a milk moustache – clue any “targets” up before hand though!);
- pinata; and
- kids games (musical chairs, pass the parcel, pin the bouquet on the bride).
These can be all themed around “wedding” prizes enabling the kids to participate in some great fun activities throughout the wedding.
The kids coordinator will run this all for you and it will be a great bonus to you day to get all the kids involved!
Set up a corner with some comfy cushions for those who want some quiet space, source a range of kids books (raid your local charity store or library) or think about a special kids dvd or two to keep them entertained.
Another option is a craft/drawing table covered in butchers paper (yes, like they do in some restaurants), or even some puzzle/games/card tables for the older kids.
Games consoles can be a hit as well – though be mindful where you place it and a kids coordinator (see above) may need to be on hand to ensure everyone gets a turn – I know – YOUR kids don’t fight do they!? :-). Get the parents to bring some favourite games if you don’t have any.
Plan your activities so that the more energetic ones are at the beginning, with opportunities for rest time/books/dvd as the night gets later…
…and don’t forget some sleep mats for when the little ones eyes start to droop (or ask parents to byo)…
For a Destination Wedding – maybe a babysitter?
Use your contacts to find a reputable babysitter who, if you are at a destination wedding, can care for the kids in their own room/s. Do this for your guests and they will be forever grateful! Also, if you REALLY don’t want the kids at the reception, a contribution/paying for this cost could be a great way to encourage the parents to agree.
Caring for the really little ones (and their mums)
This is hard for everyone and can really distract guests during your ceremony. Think about whether you have a special area set up for the youngest kids, and hire a nanny to ensure that they are well cared for.
Also, maybe a special area just for the really little ones – and maybe a nice lounge area for the breast feeding mums. There is nothing worse than trying to breastfeed and feeling that you are “stuck away” in a drab room somewhere and not having the time to peacefully relax in a nice space. Stock up a fridge inside the room with water and a few treats and the Mums will be forever grateful!
A kids’ snack box
Kids meal and snack times rarely coincide with wedding schedules. Think about some healthy snacks and drinks for the kids and have them ready and on hand for during the ceremony and in the breaks between when food is served. Avoid loud crinkly wrappers during the ceremony (and things that can spill easily or make sticky fingers) and ensure that it is all easy to get to – you’d hate a spillage to spoil your day!
Some parents insist that their kids eat the same menu as they do. Others are keen for their kids to have their own “kids meals”. Chat to the parents beforehand about their child’s favourite food and speak to your caterer about a menu which suits all their needs. Not only will the parents thank you for being so considerate, the kids will be keen to eat their food (hence saving the caterers too)!
Hiring entertainers such as magicians, face painters and activity creaters (ie. canvas art, crafts), can be a great way to mix up your activities and keep the kids entertained. Sure, it is an extra cost, but if there is a group of kids to keep amused it could be the best way! We have also heard of hiring jumping castles and other inflatable activities and you would be amazed at how many “big” kids join in!
Have a special kids “time” for dancing
We really don’t want to lock the kids away during the whole reception, so a great way to involve them (and to get the dance-floor jumping!) is to have some fun competitions/dancing for the kids during breaks between courses. Get the DJ/Band to strike up some old-favourite fun dances (ie. Nutbush, Macarena, Chicken Dance), but mix it up with some “dance with Mum/Dad/Grandma/Grandpa/Bridesmaid/Groomsman” dances with the kids to get everyone moving. Again, make sure you have the camera handy – we adults know all the old favourites and it is time to pass on the traditions to the kids!
Outside games and activities
Don’t leave all the activities indoors – think about some outdoor fun activities/sports which can keep the kids happy between the ceremony and reception. Everything from croquet, boules, quoits and hide and seek can be a great idea. Nothing like a dose of fresh air to tire the kids out for some quiet time later on…
Other references (we just couldn’t fit everything in!)
We found a couple of other posts from other websites which may also inspire some activities too. Check out:
and for some food ideas:
So, we do hope the above is helpful in your wedding planning.
..and remember… At La Maison Pacifique, we specialise in Wedding Accommodation for brides, grooms and families in Casuarina NSW – 1/2 way between the Gold Coast QLD and Byron Bay NSW. A great alternative to a 5-star resort accommodation and honeymoon choice (and yes the main bedroom has its own private wing)!
Happy wedding and happy holidays – dream about what is possible; believe you can do it; make the most of your leave; plan, book and enjoy your holiday; then dream about where you will go next! It is your turn!
…and… if you are looking for a resort-style luxury beachfront holiday home for your family holiday, romantic break wedding accommodation, (watch our video here), or a girls getaway contact us at La Maison Pacifique for availability and a quote…. Remember, our rates compare really well with local 5-star resorts – and La Maison Pacifique is private – on the beach – walking distance to cafes at Cabarita Beach – perfect spot for whale watching (June to November each year) – children optional!
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Until next time – enjoy your day wherever you are from La Maison Pacifique “The Peaceful House” and your boutique designer luxury holiday home vacation rental in Casuarina, New South Wales, Australia – half way between the Gold Coast QLD and Byron Bay NSW, Australia.
Property Consultant & Interior Designer
La Maison Pacifique
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