How to Entertain Kids During Weddings
Here’s a question for you: what are the classic “must-haves” at a wedding? Cake, music, and beautiful white dress all come to mind, as do flowers, rings, and true love. But do you know what else is always present? An adorable ring bearer or flower girl! Sometimes the beloved family puppy takes on the role, but most of the time it’s a pair of little kids that we watch walk down the aisle.
Including children in your wedding is a beautiful way to invite them into the start of the couple’s new chapter. For many families, it is even a way to signal the start of a brand new family. After all, these days around 48 percent of all first time births are to single mothers; many weddings now mean the blending of two families, kids included.
But here’s the thing: while the ceremony, speeches, and first dance may be all you’ve ever dreamed of, most kids will find many parts of a wedding… frankly, boring. So how do you include children in your wedding in a way they’ll love?
Get Their Creative Juices Flowing
Whether you plan to have your child, your sibling, or a close friend’s little one in your wedding, the best way to get them excited is to let them be involved from the start. Give them an opportunity to make something for the wedding, like a centerpiece for the kid’s table or a bracelet for you to wear as your “something new.”
Also, if you have a little ham on your hands, weddings are a great time to let them have the spotlight. Give them an opportunity to give a reading or sing a song - no only will everyone think they’re adorable, they’ll have a great time performing for everyone!
If children get a chance to be involved, odds are that they will feel more excited about the wedding as a whole. Don’t be surprised if they spend the reception point out their contributions to anyone within earshot!
Plan For Some Activities
As we mentioned before, weddings are not always kid-friendly. If you plan to have lots of children at your wedding, make sure you have some activities planned for them so they can entertain themselves while the adults enjoy the reception.
Is your wedding outdoors? Set up a “Kid Zone” with games like ring toss, cornhole, bubbles, or sidewalk chalk (though you may want to provide smocks if so things don’t get messy). Having an indoor ceremony? Make up a scavenger hunt for the kids and let them explore the reception hall, or decorate the kid’s table with crayons and wedding-themed coloring books.
With these games, your younger guests will have a great time while you and their parents enjoy toasts, dancing, and bouquet tosses. Everyone wins!
Let Them Let Loose
One of the reasons that children have a hard time at weddings is because of the formal atmosphere. They are dressed in nice clothes they can’t get dirty, they have to be quiet during the ceremony - all things that go against the very nature of childhood. So why not give them an opportunity to let off a little steam during the reception?
Everyone likes dancing, so invite the kids to join you on the dance floor! If the child is yours or your spouse’s, include him or her in your first dance together. Ask the DJ or wedding band to designate a few songs as “kid’s only songs". This way, the shy kids at the wedding have a chance to get out there without adults looming over them. Giving the kids a chance to cut a rug will really help them enjoy themselves at the wedding.
Guest post by Naomi Shaw: Naomi is a freelance writer from Southern California. She loves writing about home decor and education. When she’s not writing, she loves to spend time with her husband and three children.