It’s one of the many wedding-planning dilemmas that couples come up against time and again: to go child-friendly or child-free? You may feel torn in all directions on the issue, but the decision really is yours.
If you have a family full of nieces and nephews on both sides – or if you have children yourself - you may understandably want to make your wedding day an event for all the family. If lots of your friends have small children you might prefer them to leave the little ones at home so that everyone can really let their hair down - and make an exception for babes in arms, flower girls and page boys.
We reckon we film as many weddings with children in attendance as we do without, so here are some golden tips for accommodating little people on your big day… Or how to make your nuptials a grown-ups only event without upsetting your nearest and dearest.
Childcare and Entertainers
If your reception is being held at a public venue, ask them about childminders and nannies as often they will have a list of preferred people who know the venue and are known by the managers. Hiring one or two extra pairs of professional hands is a great idea for the lull between the marriage itself and the meal or speeches, as often this is where grown-ups like to enjoy a drink, some canapés, and a chat with friends and family – and children can get pretty bored if there’s not much for them to do. An entertainer will do exactly what it says on the tin, whereas a pair of nannies or childminders will entertain and occupy small people whilst also keeping a close eye on their safety and wellbeing.
Props and Games
Summer marquee receptions in gardens and fields are the perfect setting for some good, old-fashioned garden games to keep children entertained. This makes for great wedding photographs, too. Hire in a giant Jenga or Connect Four, set up a croquet lawn and skittles, or provide a large canvas tepee for them to hide out in. If you’re short on outdoor space, fill vintage suitcases and trunks full of fancy dress costumes, wigs and props, and let them go wild. You might find that the adults can’t keep away from all the fun, either…
If you’re having a sit-down meal, a kids’ table is a sweet idea for children who are old enough to feed themselves. It might be tempting to stick all your other guests with smaller children on the same table together but this can get crowded as baby bottles, wipes and plastic cutlery jostle for space with champagne glasses and flower arrangements. Disperse families with babies evenly across your table plans and there will be more hands on each table to help out. Small party bags are a nice touch to keep younger guests happy during the meals and speeches - especially if you’re planning a lengthy sit-down period. Depending on the age of your younger guests, things like stickers, colouring books, masks and crowns, packets of crayons and bottles of bubble mixture make fun – and unobtrusive - favours.
So much can be misconstrued through poor wording, so think carefully about how you’re going to get the message across if you’ve decided to opt for a child-free wedding. Simply printing ‘Adults Only’ is a little blunt, but addressing your invitations to the adults and casually omitting their children’s names could be a little too subtle for some. Here are some ideas for getting it right:
- We are very sorry, but due to restrictions at our venue, we cannot accommodate children.
- As much as we would like to invite all the children of our friends, it is only possible to accommodate the children of close family.
- As much as we’d love to invite all of our friends’ children, we can only accommodate few close family children. We very much hope you will still be able to join us on our special day.
- With respect, we would like our special day to be an adult only occasion
Are you planning a child-free or child-friendly wedding? Either way, we’d love to hear from you to plan your wedding video which you will cherish for years to come. Call us today on 01376 619517