Recently, during a wedding I had planned, I watched as an angelic toddler quickly crawled away from the bride. That moment reminded me of a few key things that every couple wants to keep in mind when including children of all ages in their wedding or inviting families to celebrate with them on their special day.
First, when children are participating, practice, practice, practice and more practice. Encourage little ones to take extra practice runs during the rehearsal. Plus, make it fun or plan to have their favorite, and familiar, toy, blanket or lovie on hand. I think it is better to see a happy, laughing, dancing toddler smiling at the bridesmaids rather than a screaming or rowdy one headed down the aisle throwing flowers, crying or charging toward their parents.
Next, select comfortable clothing and accessories for children whether they are attending or participating. Yes, dressier wedding attire is still wonderful and appropriate; but, forgetting a slip under a tulle dress or adding a bow tie that is just too tight creates discomfort and irritability. Also, I think we all agree that accessories add to the charm of every wedding. Unfortunately, with too many bobby pins, a pulling puppy (yes, I’ve seen that too) or a heavy basket of petals things could become frustrating for the child resulting in a downturned face.
Last, offer kid-friendly entertainment options during the reception. Incorporate a kid’s table for eating, coloring or crafts. Play popular kid’s songs and encourage dancing. Doing the hokey-pokey and chicken dance are fun and funny ways to get everyone involved. Or, plan for a children’s coordinator. He or she will help make sure the kids are having fun while the adults have fun, too.
There are many ways to help children enjoy and participate in the festivities. Working with the right wedding planner will help you determine the best way to create an environment and celebration that adults, kids and you will love.