The subject of children at a wedding is always very delicate. As many of us do, you probably have a select group of friends who have kids, and are of the mindset that children can and should be taken everywhere. You enjoy these friends’ company and wholeheartedly wish to share your special day with them, but maybe not at the price of having the unpredictability of children at your wedding. If you know you don’t want the added stress and financial burden of pint-sized guests, that’s perfectly acceptable. This is your day and you don’t need to feel compelled to include them. But including kids at your celebration does not have to be an experiment in choreographed chaos.
There are many steps and ideas you can incorporate to ensure you and all your guests enjoy the day. When you’re working on your seating chart, try to sit children and parents together. While you may think it’s a good idea to seat adults with adults and kids with kids, a 5-year-old may not be ready to be separated from her mom and dad for an entire evening. You don’t want your joyous celebration to be overshadowed by a sad and sobbing mini guest. Also, it’s best to seat all parents with children together. They tend to be more understanding of a restless or unhappy child.
But if you’re really sold on the idea of having a kids’ table, make it the “go to” destination for the kids. Talk to your caterer about creating a kids’ menu, which they can set-up family style at the kids’ table. Fun foods like mini pizzas, chicken fingers, and hot dogs will please most children and make a much smaller dent in your budget.
Children have very short attention spans so you may want to arm them with supplies to keep them entertained and allow the adults to enjoy adult company. Technology is your friend. Enlist the help of the parents by asking them to come with their tablets and personal video game consoles. Go on a shopping spree at an arts and crafts store and provide them with markers, crayons, paper and whatever else you find that you think they’d enjoy. With the right amount of goodies, you could keep them happy, engrossed, and entertained for hours.
Ultimately, the decision to include children or not belongs to the bride and groom. If you decide to make it an adult-only celebration, be pro-active by explaining your decision to your friends with children. If you do decide to invite children, keep a sense of humor about your little guests. After all, a time may come when it’s your child who may or may not behave at a wedding.