An adults-only reception is still common and well within the bounds of proper etiquette, however, weddings with a focus on family are becoming the trend. Since families are growing, couples want to be able to include the children and the cousins in their special day. Moreover, cousins, nieces and nephews and even the children of the bride or groom are participating in the ceremony and also staying during the reception. Having it all work out is child's play...when you plan ahead.
It is not always an easy task for parents to find reliable child care, especially if they are coming from out of town. Having one or two paid babysitters at the reception and even the ceremony allows for the parents to enjoy and participate in your day, while the kids are safely attended to in the next room. Everyone is happy – and parents are secure because they know their children are being taken care of and close by.
Attendance in the kids room should be optional and at the parent's discretion. To make the experience much more enjoyable for all, stock the room with age appropriate videos, toys, games, snacks and even blankets and pillows for when little ones get tired.
Give Them a Job
To enhance the wedding-attending experience for all, give the kids a job. They want to be helpful and love the praise! Kids love bubbles, right? Put them in charge of blowing bubbles as the newlyweds leave the ceremony or as the bridal party enters the reception. This is a nice touch – great for capturing some really fun photos, and everyone enjoys the day! You can also provide children with disposable cameras so they make some memories, stay occupied and have fun. Kids feel a part of the event, and love to take pictures because it makes them feel a bit more grown up.
Invest in Some Fun
Another way to ensure the kids are enjoying the special day as much as the adults is to relax and hire entertainment especially for them. A clown, magician or puppeteer can keep the little ones occupied for an hour or two while their parents socialize.
It's best to ask parents ahead what their preference is here but a special table can be a fun way for older kids and their younger siblings to spend the dinner hour. Consider having your caterer cover this table with white butcher paper and place crayons in cups for a pre- and post- dinner activity. Fun place mats and napkins can make it even more appealing. In addition, kids sometimes prefer sitting with their peers so they can socialize in their own way.
Kid Friendly Menu
Arrange to serve foods that kids will like such as chicken fingers, pigs in a blanket, pasta, fruit skewers and veggies with dip. Having a special punch made with sugar free juice, fizzy water and garnished with fruit will also be a big hit with kids.
Kids love to be out on the dance floor with the adults. You may want to encourage the band or DJ to play some songs the kids might enjoy early in the evening to work off some extra energy.