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Written by Liam Barrows Last updated: November 26, 2013
If you’ve decided to allow friends and family to bring their kids to your wedding but you’re worried they’ll take over proceedings and run wild – then read on. Confetti’s top five tips will help you manage that youthful exuberance and ensure a fun day for parents and children.
Children won’t sit still for hours at a time. They won’t remain clean, composed or attentive as the father of the bride rattles on about the old days. So let them be kids. They’ll want to play with other children so try and arrange a space for them to do that (easier at an outdoor wedding) like a play area, or failing that, any area that isn’t being used. They can blow off some steam and will be better behaved having used some of their excess energy. Don’t be too strict. Kids should enjoy the day as much as everyone else. If you want to reward behaviour you could make a game of it: with a prize for the best behaved child.
Let the kids feel part of the proceedings by including them in the drama of the day. Kids can act as ushers, hand out programmes, distribute confetti or rose petals and act as helpers for planners or organisers. Obviously you’ll need to take into account the skills, abilities and ages of the children involved.
Give the younger ones a goodie bag with games, Lego, activity books (crosswords, quizzes, puzzles, join-the-dots etc.) and drawing materials: stuff they can play with quietly at the dinner table. In an outside area you could have giant games of Jenga and Connect 4. If there’s a lawn you could have French cricket or croquet. A camera scavenger hunt is a fun way of keeping kids entertained and getting interesting snaps from those disposable cameras. A separate games room with pool table and video games would amuse older kids.
There are two schools of thought. Have the younger ones seated separately in a room where they can raise a racket or seat them next to their parents with activities, games and toys. Hire a dedicated supervisor that can also double as a kids entertainer, magician, face painter or balloon artist (be sure to check they’re accredited and have insurance). Parents could do shifts to make sure everyone is having fun and no-one feels left out.
Ask the catering suppliers if they can provide a kid friendly meal for the younger kids. Serve older kids the adults’ meal. Chocolates and sweets could be included in the kids’ goodie bags. You could also hire a pop-up candy store or ice-cream van for the day. And maybe a bouncy castle to work off all that sugar!