Niagara Falls/Niagara-on-the-Lake Weddings – Kids at Weddings
If the majority of your guests are coming from out-of-town to your Niagara Falls or Niagara-on-the-Lake wedding, then whether or not you’re including kids is an important decision you’ll have to make. Some people can’t imagine not having nieces and nephews or their friends’ children at their wedding, but other couples don’t want to run the risk of children being the focal point of the day – either in a negative or positive way! There is no right decision; it’s entirely up to you. But whichever choice you make, there are several things to consider when having kids at weddings:
Make Your Intention Known
Either way, some of your guests, especially those who are coming to Niagara Falls or Niagara-on-the-Lake from out-of-town, might be upset. While many guests might be thrilled at the prospect of enjoying a day or evening without their children, others may be offended or annoyed. It’s possible that even close friends and relatives may refuse to attend the wedding ceremony as a result.
Nevertheless, be up front with your guests. Notify guests as early as possible. Include the words “Adult only ceremony and reception” in all of the wedding correspondence, starting with the save-the-date cards, if you’re sending them out. This gives guests ample time to make important decisions and arrangements.
Decide Who’s Invited
If you decide to have children at your wedding, that doesn’t mean you need to invite everyone. However, this is particularly delicate. If you want to only invite your nieces and nephews, communicate that with your other guests, otherwise, you’re sure to offend. You certainly don’t want to be dealing with any “why wasn’t my child invited” drama on your wedding day.
Give Them Something to Do
The biggest fear with having children at your wedding is that they will misbehave. A wedding can be a long affair for children so it’s best to give them some responsibility during your ceremony and reception. The obvious choice is to appoint them ring bearers and flower girls. But you could also have them help hand out programs, distribute party favours or serve cake.
Kids’ Friendly Area
Create a kids’ only zone. They will love the idea of having their own special place to go and it will be filled with things to keep them occupied, such as colouring, reading, board games, portable video games and movies.
Offer a Kids’ Menu
It’s unreasonable to expect children to eat the same food you’ll be served. If you’ve got kids coming, make sure you have something they will eat – chicken fingers, little pizzas, hot dogs or grilled cheese. See if the kids can get their meal served quickly so they can return to their kids’ zone. As well, make sure you seat parents and their children together at one table or at a neighboring table. You don’t want your single friend sitting at a table with a noisy family. Also, while some people think having a kids’ table is a good idea, it’s not. An unsupervised group of kids is the best way to turn an elegant dinner into chaos.
Keep Them Entertained
The kids will have a blast when it’s time to hit the dance floor, but if you want them to sit through an hour of speeches, chances are you’re going to have some issues. Children have short attention spans so aside from having a separate area for them to go to, consider hiring a magician or balloon artist to entertain them for 30 minutes while your adult guests finish their dinners or during the speeches.
Hire a Sitter
This is the best way to keep the kiddy contingent under control. Hire a teenager or other chaperone to play with the kids and make sure everyone’s having a good time. This allows the adults to enjoy the event and the parents won’t be worried about whether their kids are jumping on your cousin’s kids.
Don’t Freak Out
Above all, relax. Don’t worry if one of your nephews accidentally trips and destroys a beautifully wrapped present or your best friend’s four-year-old throws a gargantuan temper tantrum. If you’re having kids at your wedding, you have to realize you’ve invited all that they entail. Go with the flow and enjoy having them there.
Patti Wallington is the premiere wedding planner in Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake. Please enjoy reading this blog and the others we have listed. We offer a full slate of wedding services for Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake to both Niagara couples and those who live out of town.