Thursday, February 20, 2014

The 411 on Having Children at Your Wedding

Children, no matter how adorable they are, can be a bit of a wild card when it comes to big events. So do you include them in the festivities or not? And if so, how do you keep them happy through all of the days events?

In this post I'll share a few tricks that may help to avoid near-disasters when it comes to kids and weddings.

Kids in the Wedding Party
  • I understand how much you’d love for your adorable two-year-old niece to totter down the aisle amid hundreds of “awws” from your smiling guests. But the more likely scenario is that he or she will end up a) crying, b) falling, c) coming down with a paralyzing case of stage fright, or d) all of the above. Solution: choose attendants between the ages of four and nine that can carry out the job in a more predictable and mature fashion than tiny tots can.
  • Once they have performed their roles on the wedding day, allow them to sit with their parents in the audience; don’t keep them up at the altar with you and the rest of the adult attendants. This will ensure an attack of “restless child syndrome” won’t be on display for all to see.
  • Incorporate the use of child attendants in the rehearsal to make them as comfortable as possible with their role in the wedding. 
  • If all else fails, don't underestimate the power of sugar. Have an arsenal of sweets on hand in case bribes are necessary to make it down the aisle and to sit still afterward. Just remember not to choose anything messy, like chocolate.
  • Kids in the double digits are probably too old to be flower girls and ring bearers. But they can still be included in your party, either as junior attendants or by handing programs to guests as they are seated before the ceremony.

Kids at the Reception
  • Little ones often have picky palates and might even throw a fit if the food’s not to their liking. Rectify the situation by pre-planning a children’s menu for any guest under the age of 12. Chicken fingers and fries or pizza are always crowd pleasers.
  • Try to have some sort of entertainment for the kids, if possible, so they can eat their dinner, do a little dancing, and then head off to the pre-arranged babysitter to allow Mom and Dad to enjoy a few kid-free hours.
  • If a babysitter isn’t in the cards, put out some small-scale activities at the designated kids’ table. Just a simple paper tablecloth and crayons or other non-messy activities can do the trick.
Most importantly, if you choose to have kids at your wedding, in any capacity, be prepared to roll with the punches. After all, sometimes the hiccups are what make the day funny and memorable.

Source: Washingtonian