Skip to main content

What's Up Weddings

Friendly Ways to Include Children in Your Wedding

May 17, 2018 04:59PM ● By Brian Saucedo
For many couples, the decision to include children on the guest list can be a tricky one. With no hard and fast rules for whether or not to include kids, the decision often involves working around expectations from friends and family, head count limitations, and the overall wedding day vision. For those who land on the “children are welcome” side of the coin, capitalize on those little invitees with a few simple, sweet, age-appropriate ideas that guests of all ages will be sure to love. 

Children’s Parade
For parents, a wedding ceremony can feel like a daunting task. One way to put parents and children alike at ease is to include the special kids in your life in a children’s parade. Have the children attending your wedding march into the ceremony as part of your processional with ribbon wands, pinwheels, confetti, or anything else they feel comfortable waving around. They will enjoy playing with their new toy at their seats during the ceremony and the parade sends the message to your guests that these children are loved, welcomed, and joyful participants in your wedding.

Games and Entertainment
Cocktail hours may not inherently seem kid-friendly. Lighten up the time period in between your ceremony and the meal with lawn games, room to dance and run around, and a non-alcoholic “kid-tini” such as a Shirley Temple or a fancy juice concoction. If your wedding will take place over evening hours, invite parents to pack pajamas, stuffed animals, and even a pillow or sleeping bag for a G-rated movie. Many venues will have a small room available where you could set up a movie for the littles who are too tired to keep dancing on the dance floor. If you’ve chosen not to hire babysitters, consider comfortable seating and tables in this location for parents to socialize during the movie.

Kid-Friendly Snacks
Children are notoriously picky eaters and sometimes even parents can’t guess what their own child will eat from one meal to the next. That said, there are a few crowd pleasers that are bound to excite guests from one to 100. Ice cream trucks, candy bars, and cupcakes will certainly make little eyes glisten. However, to avoid major sugar crashes be sure to offer fresh fruit, approachable vegetables, cheese, and crackers. Your caterer will have a selection of children’s meals to choose from. If possible, provide parents with each of the meal options up front. 

On-Site Babysitting

Sometimes a couple cannot leave their little ones at home to attend your wedding. If you are including children and have the budget, consider hiring a babysitter or two that can be on hand to help out families at your wedding. You can set up a kid table for dinner where your babysitters can sit. Don the table with coloring books, puzzles, and simple crafts that the children can do with the sitter or their parents. Some children may still prefer to sit with their parents so be sure to include them in your table counts, but offering an optional kid-friendly spot can give parents a breather for adult conversation and children a place to play. 

Put Them to Work

If your little guests are of the right age, ask them if they would like to have a more active part in the wedding. For example, allow them to set up a lemonade stand serving water and lemonade next to the bar. You could also have them pass out favors, snap photos with their own camera, or sing songs during the ceremony. Our favorite idea?  Send them to the dance floor after dinner to boogie the night away! Even your stiffest of guests will find it hard not to join them cutting a rug!