If a good number of your guests are 18 and under, you may want to consider taking steps to planning a kid-friendly wedding. Having a lot of kids at your wedding can be fun and endearing, but in order for things to go smoothly you'll need to get things in order. You'll want to plan to keep kids occupied and make their parents feel welcome. Follow some of the suggestions below to make sure everyone is happy at your wedding.
Offer On-Site Babysitting - Having a babysitter available to parents can be a godsend, for some. Many parents will want to take advantage of free childcare! Others will politely decline. Either way, hiring someone to keep the kids occupied and to supervise kid activities will not only make parents feel relieved, it will ease your mind as well.
Organize a Children's Processional - What's the saying? If you can't beat them, join them? Or at least ask them to join you. If you'd rather not say your vows over a screaming two-year-old, ask them to participate in the ceremony with you. Often when children are included in the fun, they'll take matters more seriously and stay on their best behavior. Of course there is still no guarantee that they'll act like little angels, but it's worth a shot. If a large group of children will be at your ceremony consider having a children's processional before the bridal party members walk down the aisle. You can have the children drop flower petals, hold each other's hands, or carry a single flower. After the children walk down the aisle have their respective parents meet them at the altar and direct them back to their seat. They'll feel proud that they were a part of the ceremony and your guests will get a kick out of the kid parade.
Performance/Song/Blessing - Similar to the children's processional, having the kids perform a song or recite a blessing at the reception is a great way to include them into the day. Most often kids who are acknowledged and included in the event tend to have more fun and will more likely stay out of trouble. Not to mention how cute and entertaining it will be to watch your favorite kids sing a special song or play an instrument just for you.
Plan a Kid-Friendly Menu - It's nice to offer a kid-friendly meal to make sure the evening goes as smoothly as possible. Avoid food-related power struggles between parents and children by offering something that all kids will love to eat.
Arrange a Kid's Table(s) - Consider placing the older children together at a kid's table. This is especially a good idea for teens. They'll have fun together and their parents will welcome a nice dinner with adult company as well. But do place the table near a group of parents to make sure dinner is somewhat supervised.
Play Kid-Friendly Music - Ask your DJ to intersperse the evening with kid-friendly music. This will get them all out on the dance floor and having fun.
Plan Activities They'll Like - Stay tuned for of this series for a list of fun activities to offer at your wedding. The more you have to keep them occupied the happier everyone will be.
Offer a Separate Quiet Area - Designating a quiet area for nursing moms, parents with babies, and for tired, cranky children is a good idea. If possible, offer a comfortable chair, a changing station, and a comfy place for a little person to take a nap if necessary. This will help everyone have a better time. You'll avoid having to deal with meltdowns in the middle of your big day, parents will spare themselves the embarrassment of their screaming child, and the kids will have a safe place to go to unwind and rest.