Bride & groom console son Tips for Children at Weddings         Tips for Children at Weddings

How to include kids at your wedding without the stress!

Part 2

We’ve already covered a lot in our previous blog on tips for having children in your wedding, but there’s still some really important points we have to share with you that you might have missed in your search for all of the best wedding planning tips out there.

Bride & groom kiss daughter Tips for Children at Weddings

Tips for Children at Weddings

Say Cheese!

As wedding photographers, it’s probably no surprise to you that we’ve got a thing or two to say about how to coordinate your children when you want their photographs taken on the big day!

The best possible advice we can give you is to embrace the imperfections. It’s an intense day for kids, after all! Children are always going to be notoriously difficult to get settled for a session of photos, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get some dazzlers out of all their cheeky shenanigans regardless. You’ll end up treasuring these moments being caught on camera, even if they aren’t Pinterest Perfect Moments.

If the children are the bride and groom’s then we suggest setting aside ten minutes at the end of the couple portraits to do a mini family shoot to commemorate you joining together as a family, too. Just remember that this will be a short little shoot – only about 5 minutes. So remember that the photos during this time will be fun, lovable and authentic – but possibly not “perfect.”

Runaway flower girl during photos Tips for Children at Weddings

Tips for Children at Weddings

Say Cheese! – Continued

As for the family formal photo session, we recommend having the very young children (five years old and under) in as few photos as you can be happy with as they will generally get fed up very fast and will be slow to settle into the session due to all the excitement.

During the wedding and reception, we’ll generally be focussing on the main events, so if children are taken to the creche or away from main areas you will end up with less photos of them. We won’t deliberately seek out a child for a photograph as we wouldn’t want to disturb them if they’ve conked out for a nap somewhere. If they’re near the main goings on however, it’s like shooting fish in a barrel!

Kids being helped up a fireman pole Tips for Children at Weddings

Tips for Children at Weddings

Entertainment

Can you remember the first wedding you ever went to? The bride was maybe your mother’s cousin or something like that, and you were about five or six years old, strapped into your Sunday best that you’d already stained…and as the ceremony droned on, you were probably the most bored you’d ever been in your very short life!

This is why specific entertainment has to be provided for your littlest wedding guests. Almost all of your activities are going to be aimed at entertaining the grown ups, and while children can attempt to participate in some of them, they will likely cramp the vibe of the adults who are probably three glasses of champagne down by that point. Having them hang about while you catch up with mates from uni, and talk to grandma is going to end up with some very bored children. And bored children equals children who act out. Yikes.

Girl playing hula hoop in sunset Tips for Children at Weddings

Tips for Children at Weddings

Entertainment- continued

But don’t worry because there are lots of ways to keep children entertained! Activity boxes at their seats are always a good choice, they should include crayons, colouring pages, small games, bubbles, etc. Most kids will plough through these toys fairly quickly though and will be trolling for something new to do in an hour or less. You’ll need game options that get them and moving around and burning off some of that excited energy. Hula hoops, hopscotch, giant jenga, skipping ropes, as well as the old playground favourites like sack races, tug of war – there’s plenty for children to get up to so that they don’t get grumpy and idle.

Looking for entertainment ideas? We suggest reading this article by Wedding Ideas Magazine.

It might be a good idea to consider a creche if many of the children attending will be very young (five years old and under). You can hire a mobile creche service where you don’t have to opt for a full day coverage (if budget is the issue). A creche service covering just from the end of the meal through the evening will usually be enough of a break for parents and families so that they can do a proper turn around the room, and catch a boogie or ten without worrying. If a creche is absolutely not an option, you could also consider a registered babysitter who can help watch up to two children at a time which will usually cost about £15 per hour.

Bride, groom and flower girl all making silly faces Tips for Children at Weddings

Tips for Children at Weddings

Catering

Hopefully you will know early on in the game how many children will be attending. If so, you will be able to check with your caterer about child friendly food options. Make sure to have a little sample yourself to double check that it’s worth what you’re paying. The usual hits with children are things like mac’n’cheese or chicken goujons, but nobody wants to pay £30 per plate if it’s little more than your cheapo Iceland 2 for 1 deal.

If you’re going for a “blank slate” venue like a barn wedding or tipi wedding, you should ask the caterers to see if child friendly food can be provided separately. You can then source your own food such as pizzas or sandwich platters and make a little buffet table for them, which will set a much more purse friendly price tag, and allow for a greater range of choice for the kiddos on the day.

Flower girl with kiss on her cheek Tips for Children at Weddings

Tips for Children at Weddings

Catering – Continued

But keep an eye out for the sugar snafflers! With sweets, fizzy drinks and cakes flying around, it’s not usual to see kids acting out and melting down as their poor little bodies attempt to deal with all the sugar they keep getting their hands on. Giving your kids too much access to caffeine and sugar is only going to give you a harder time as they go through sugar highs and crashes. Try to be careful to not get caught up in the party mentality when it comes to making dietary choices for them. A good, fun option for children is to have a cupcake station where they each get one cupcake to decorate with sprinkles, etc. This gives them a special sweet but at the same time limits their indulgence to one treat. If you are having a Sweets Station, consider not opening it until the evening party starts and that will save the children from grazing on it all day.

Baby smiling during wedding ceremony Tips for Children at Weddings

Tips for Children at Weddings

Mission Escapable!

Finally, we come to one of our most important points! If you are allowing young children as guests during the ceremony, make sure to reserve them (and their parents) a place near the back of the seating area or in another area with an easy escape route.  Not just because babies might make a huge stinko and it’s better if they’re upwind, but because it’s easier to fit in prams, to whisk away young children if they start to get fussy or if babies start crying, or if a mother prefers to nurse in private. It’s good for the parents to know they can inconspicuously make a break for it in a way that creates the least disruption to your nuptials. Have the usher let them know where the escape area is, whether it’s an adjacent room, or a breakfast room should they need to take their children somewhere else.

Flower girl crying Tips for Children at Weddings

Not all tears are tears of doom! This little flower girl was JUST. TOO. HAPPY. And it all came out in tears.

Well, that’s all from us for now, we hope you’ve found some good tips for children at weddings!

Do you think we missed anything off our list? Let us know in the comment box below and we may make an update in the future!

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