Not all weddings include kids on the guest list, but when they do, parents are often unsure as to whether or not to actually bring kids to the event. While taking young children to a wedding can seem stressful, having the tykes in attendance doesn’t have to be an event.
Planning is a must when parents are considering taking kids to a wedding. For older kids, patience isn’t such a big deal. But for little ones, sitting quietly during a ceremony can be an arduous task of endurance. The trick is to keep small kids happy and busy without causing any disruption. Does it sound easier said than done? Think again.
If your kids have been included on a recent invite, or if you’re including your own kids in your wedding, here are some tips and tricks to help ensure that they are happy…and considerate:
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Little ones love a snack. Don’t depend on the bride and groom to provide event refreshments during downtime. While, yes, some couples include busy bags for young guests, this isn’t a requirement. So be sure to pack healthy and mess-free snacks. Fruit or goldfish are good options. Avoid nuts, in case any guests have peanut or tree nut allergies. And don’t forget a bottle of water.
Sit in the back.
Grab a seat near the side aisle or at the back of the ceremony site. This gives you an easy getaway option, in case your little guests need to head to the bathroom or they get antsy. It happens, so prepare.
Keep them busy.
Some kids are amazed and enthralled at the entire wedding event. Maybe they cannot wait to see the dresses or the flowers. Maybe they could care less about any of it. Be sure to bring along some quiet entertainment for kids who may get bored sitting through a ceremony. Make sure you offer a variety of options, but don’t bring anything that could cause a disruption. Coloring books, small toys, fidget devices or quiet cars may keep your little one busy. Avoid technology devices, as they are often distracting to other guests.
Give them a job.
If your child is in the wedding, then they should know their role in advance. Take a few minutes to discuss what is expected of them and make it fun. If your child doesn’t have a role in the wedding, you may ask if they could hand out bubbles or programs.
Remember spare clothes.
Spills happen. Be sure to pack a change of clothes for your child just in case. Or if you know that the family will stay long into the night, pack your child’s pajamas or some play clothes. You want to make sure they are comfortable!
Get them dancing!
A wedding reception is the perfect place for little ones to dance out energy (and the sugar of wedding cake!). Let them dance the night away and have fun moving on the dance floor!
Remind them that manners matter.
Make sure kids know the rules of the day. Quiet voices during the ceremony, no dancing during special wedding dances, and always say please and thank you. Discuss other rules and manners of the day so they know what behavior is expected.
Kids are often thrilled to be included in weddings and added to the invite. You’ll probably see that your child is one of the first ones to jump up to dance, too! Just make sure that children come to the event with their manners and that they know what the rules are for the day. Pack some snacks, a few toys and a change of clothes for the night and then let the fun begin!