A lot of couples debate whether or not to invite children to their wedding and reception. If you have a large family, many nieces or nephews, or a lot of close friends with children, including kids in your big day can add to the overall fun, excitement, and magic. However, it’s no surprise that kids have short attention spans and no shortage of energy so plan ahead with ways to keep the children in attendance happy and entertained.
Kids Meal: A great way to please kids and parents alike, as well as cutting down on overall expenses for your wedding, is to offer a separate meal specifically for kids. Talk to your caterer about providing a small kid-friendly buffet that includes staples like chicken fingers, hot dogs, or grilled cheese. Don’t be afraid to negotiate with your caterer for a lower cost on the kid-friendly fare since it’s clearly cheaper to prepare and much less of it will be consumed.
Goodie Bags: In lieu of favors for children, provide them with a fun and entertaining goodie bag. Head over to your local arts and crafts store and stock up on drawing kits, coloring books, markers/crayons, bead sets, or something similar. Hit up the dollar store for other fun games and surprises to drop into the bags, as well. If you want to go the extra mile, create gender or age-specific goodie bags and mark them as such. Have them waiting on the children’s seats at the reception or at a special table for parents to pick up on their way in.
Games/Entertainment: Depending on the age of the kids in attendance, you might want to consider providing games or entertainment for them, as well as an additional space for them to play. If your reception venue allows it, book a small separate room to be used for children. Hire a teenager/college student (or two) to chaperone kids during the reception. For younger kids, offer a showing of family-friendly DVDs or cartoons or provide an arts and craft station. For older kids, set up a video game station with Game Boys or various game consoles. If you want them to remain in the reception hall, offer board games or cards that can be played at their table during the event.