Children can be a wonderful part of a wedding ceremony, full of joy and spirit. It does take a little extra thought, planning and accommodation, however, to include them successfully. We’ve compiled a list of helpful tips and things to consider, to make your wedding celebration a kid-friendly event!
- Consider their ages. Young children are adorable, to be sure, but their behavior is unpredictable (to be sure), so if you do include them, be prepared for the unexpected. Imagine a three-year-old tugging on your dress during the heart of your wedding ceremony and asking in a loud, clear voice “are we done yet?” Does this fill you with dread, or make you warm and fuzzy? Do what feels most comfortable to you, taking into consideration your personalities, your families and your wedding style.
- Ask in person. For older children, ask them in person to be a part of your wedding (after running it by their parents first.) This makes them feel involved, important and honored.
- Spend time with them. Try to include them in pre-wedding events and activities, and just generally spending time with them before the wedding so that they feel connected and involved. Again, this is more important for older children, and is certainly dependent on their age, interest and hometown (whether they live near you or not.) The point here is simply to make sure they don’t just feel like a ‘prop’ in the wedding, but instead, a valued and important participant in this honored event.
- Rehearse! Be sure to include them in the rehearsal, so they feel more comfortable with what is going to happen, how and when. Even young kids will benefit, by making everything feel more comfortable and familiar.
- A special gift. Consider making or purchasing a special gift for them, to honor their participation. This will also help them remember this special event and their involvement. Gifts will vary widely by age; some ideas are in the article below.
- Keep parents close. For younger children, keep parents seated up front. It’s ideal if young children can walk down the aisle with someone (a parent, bridesmaid or groomsman), and then sit down immediately with their parents in front. It’s way too much to expect a young child to stand quietly up front during the whole ceremony!
- Oh goody, goody bags. Goody bags at the reception (or even during the ceremony, if they’re filled with non-messy, quiet items) for kids are a great way to keep them entertained for awhile. Babysitters, special kids’ meals, art supplies on a table in the corner, and videos playing in a corner or adjoining room – these are all good ideas if children will be participating in your Big Day.
- Need a nap? For young children, be sure to take their nap and bed times into consideration! Tired children are impossible, trust me on that. . . If your rehearsal or wedding will take place after their bedtime, or during their nap time, you may want to reconsider the extent of their involvement. Perhaps instead of walking down the aisle as a flower girl, they could dress up in a special outfit, and be carried by Mom or Dad, with a trusted babysitter nearby ready to take them home when necessary.