Planning For Kids at the Wedding

Planning For Kids at the WeddingIf you take a minute and imagine what your wedding is going to look like, gliding down the aisle towards your husband, who is smiling at the sight of you in your beautiful dress.   You’re close family and friends are here to celebrate your special day with you,  you’re at the reception and everything is beautiful until…a dozen screaming kids go barrelling across the dance floor.  Almost every wedding you’ve ever been to has involved children, there are kids in every family after all.

Planning for Kids at the Wedding Reception

This is an aspect of wedding planning that many brides overlook, but you need to plan for the kids.  Put together a separate section just for them, kids get just as excited as grownups and have a hard time keeping still.  Create an area where they have some toys and things to do.  They are going to need adult supervision and you might even consider some entertainment such as face painting or a magician.

Parents want to have a good time at the wedding reception so some collective baby sitters might not be a bad idea either.  Wedding parties tend to go on fairly late into the night long after little ones should be in bed.  Someone who can take them home or away from the reception area allows the adults to have some adult fun.  You don’t want to trip over children when you toss the bouquet.  Here are some ideas to help the reception go smoothly.

Children in the Wedding Party

Traditional weddings have a ring bearer and a flower girl as part of the ceremony and it is beautiful to make children feel part of the celebrations, but transportation is also something you need to consider as you go from the church to the reception hall.  Strapping even the very best baby car seat into the back of a limo is no one’s idea of fun on a wedding day, but kids still need to ride securely in the car, limo or not.

The Older Kids

Young kids aren’t the only ones to plan for there will also be tweens and teens attending too.  Most of the time they will congregate together and while they aren’t likely to be running under foot, they won’t get into the festivities as much either.

Create a separate seating area for them with food and drinks they like, serve finger foods there that teens are into, the usual chips, popcorn, nachos and salsa will usually suffice.  Make sure that a waiter pays attention to their area too, it makes them feel included without it being forced or awkward.   Most importantly let them enjoy the party without turning them into babysitters.

Don’t be Afraid to Elope

Don't be Afraid to ElopeLet me start by saying I am a wedding planner, the keyword there being wedding, so I don’t exactly encourage couples to elope very often.  That being said, I am a busy wife and mother and I can understand the appeal of slapping the kids into their baby car seats and heading to Vegas to find Elvis and the Little White Chapel.

Most of the couples I have met who did end up eloping were those that typically had been living together awhile, already had a family and didn’t need anymore tea towels or toasters.  For some it was a second marriage and they had already gone through the big wedding the first time around and didn’t see the need of the fuss for the second time.

Don’t Be Afraid to Elope

There is no shame at all in eloping, couples today break with tradition all the time and look for non-traditional ways to get married.  Eloping and destination weddings have become popular ways to get married.  There are plenty of perks in avoiding the big ostentatious ceremony.  Let’s start with stress, no wedding no matter how carefully planned goes off without a hitch.  What should be a time of joy can turn into a stress filled nightmare with relatives getting on your last nerve.  Eloping can be seen as an adventure, something you and your spouse have shared memories of that are just yours.

The cost of a wedding can run into the tens of thousands of dollars.  I plan big traditional weddings and I KNOW how much they cost.  That may not be in the cards for some people and they would rather spend the money on a small intimate vacation to get married as opposed to the big wedding ceremony.  Again that is completely understandable.

Family is also an issue, I have met many a bride and groom that just didn’t come from big enough families to justify the big wedding.  On the other hand there are some where putting a large family into one space could cause World War III and they’d rather not spend the night playing referee on what is supposed to be their special day.

This is YOUR day

Remember the most important thing is that this is your day and you have the ability to spend it however you choose.  If a small private ceremony that is just about you and your new spouse is what you want, then pack up the car and don’t be afraid to elope!