Planning a Wedding That Adults and Kids Will Enjoy

Planning a Wedding That Adults and Kids Will Enjoy

Weddings are great fun for adults. All you need is an open bar, a buffet, and a playlist that will get everyone on their feet, and you’re good to go! However, when you throw kids into that mix, it suddenly feels less fun, especially for the parents.

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Instead of wondering what to wear, they’re now worrying if their kid is going to cry during your vows, throw a tantrum in the middle of the dance floor, and cause all kinds of chaos.  

Your guests will be stressed about bringing their kids to your wedding, but you can make it easier for them. As you put together your day of “I dos”, it’s important to consider your younger guests’ experience. Because when they aren’t bored, they won’t bother their parents. When they have fun, their parents will have fun, too – it’s a win-win! 

If you’ve decided to invite kids to your wedding, we’ve got you covered. By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be able to throw an event that all of your guests – not just the grown-ups – will enjoy.

Create a children’s play and rest area

Bored kids tend to be troublesome so make sure they’re busy! When booking a wedding venue, consider the child-friendly amenities you can set up so that children will have something to do while the grown-ups do their thing. Choose a venue with plenty of space where you can create a children’s area where they can let off some steam. This could be a separate room where children can play together, watch movies, etc., or an outdoor play area that’s within view of the adults. 

Along with creating a children’s area, make sure to plan wedding activities for kids to keep them occupied. Crafts and colouring work well for tiny tots, while board games and books are your best bet for older kids. Inviting teens? As long as your venue has Wi-Fi, they’ll be busy throughout the day!

If your wedding will wrap up in the evening, it’s important to have a room where children can sleep if their parents aren’t ready to head home yet. That way, their parents can continue to celebrate without being bothered by their cranky kids. 

Provide entertainment for all ages

You can’t expect children to be OK with being cooped up in the kids-only area all day. They’re bound to get bored, and when that happens, they’ll likely throw tantrums and demand their parents to take them home. 

One of the best ways to keep kids busy (and distracted) is by hiring entertainers such as caricaturists, face painters, and magicians. These entertainers’ acts and talents will not only kids but also kids-at-heart. For example, in the case of caricaturists, children will find their art funny while grown-ups can take their portraits home as wedding souvenirs. 

Entertainment that delights all ages will allow you to cut your wedding costs and put your money towards more crucial things, such as your wedding dress and catering! 

Seat guests with kids together 

Setting up a kids’ table is a bad idea, especially if most of your young guests are below eight years of age. Food fights will break out, kids will be fussy about their food, and some of them may not know how to eat without their parent’s help. Even if you hire a babysitter, it will still be too much to handle. 

Instead, try seating wedding guests with kids together. That way, parents can assist their children during dinnertime while still being able to socialise with other grown-ups. Meanwhile, their kids won’t be bored because they can still interact with other kids at the table – they’ll just be more well-behaved because their parents are around! Once dinner is over, the kids can go back to their kids-only room and spend the rest of the day or night doing fun things together.

Hire someone to watch over the children

Want your wedding guests to have a totally stress-free time? Hire someone to watch over their kids so they can drink, dance, and mingle with guests without worrying about their babies. A babysitter’s job is to oversee the kids’ activities, assist with bathroom breaks, and make sure they enjoy themselves. Most importantly, they will ensure that the day runs smoothly – you can rest assured they won’t cause any wedding-day nightmares like accidentally knocking over the cake! 

If possible, hire someone you or your family members are familiar with, such as your niece’s babysitter. This will put parents at ease, knowing that their kids are under the watchful eye of a trustworthy adult. 

Offer cocktails during your photo session

Now, this is something that children and adults can both agree on – photo sessions that take way too long are the worst. You and your partner might not mind standing out in the sun to take cute wedding photos, but your guests do. Children who are part of your wedding party (e.g. flower girls and page boys) will be miserable, pouting when forced to pose and throwing a tantrum when told to wait a little longer. The grown-ups in your wedding party may have fun at first, but once the group photos are out of the way and the couple portraits are in full swing, they’ll have nothing left to do. 

Remember, kids will be irritable if they go without food for a long time, and your guests will probably be hungry by the time your ceremony ends. The solution? Prepare cocktails to occupy guests while they wait for you. The usual hors d’oeuvres won’t satisfy children (they’ll swat your hand away if you serve them crostinis!), so you might want to offer fun, kid-friendly foods like ice cream, cheese sticks, and chocolate chip cookies. 

Put together age-appropriate goodie bags

A tiny bottle of wine, a box of chocolates, or a personalised glass may excite your grown-up guests, but to children, it will be nothing but boring. When it comes to party favours, make sure to offer each guest, regardless of their age, something they can appreciate. For example, you could give candles to grown-up guests, while children can have candy. Or, you could prepare a kid-friendly version of the adults’ souvenir, such as jars filled with M&Ms instead of olive oil. 

Alternatively, you could put together activity packs for children and hand them out before the festivities. That way, they’ll spend their time rummaging through their goodie bags while their parents celebrate. 

Choose which children to invite

Most couples think they have only two options: allow children or not allow them at all. However, you can actually compromise and invite only some children. This is tricky and is sure to raise a few eyebrows from parents whose children aren’t invited, but choosing which kids to invite to your wedding is one of the best ways to prevent distractions during your “I dos”. 

If you’re on a budget, consider inviting only the children of your wedding party (e.g. your bridesmaids, groomsmen, etc.) and immediate family members. Explain why you’re inviting only a few kids and don’t be tempted to make exceptions – this will only create conflict. For example, if your friend Alice, who isn’t part of the wedding party, wants to bring her kids, don’t bend the rule for her. If your rule doesn’t sit well with some guests, don’t sweat it – it’s your wedding, after all. What you say goes. 

Wrapping up

The key to your grown-up guests’ enjoyment is their kids’ enjoyment, so do what you can to accommodate their tiny tots! By keeping these tips in mind as you plan your nuptials, you’ll be able to throw a wedding that all your guests will remember, whether they’re aged 7 or 70!

For more wedding planning advice, be sure to check out the PartyWizz blog

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About the author

Katie Pierce is a teacher-slash-writer who loves telling stories to an audience, whether it’s bored adults in front of a computer screen or a bunch of hyperactive 4-year-olds. Writing keeps her sane (most of the time) and allows her to enjoy some quiet time in the evening before she walks into a room of screaming kids (all of whom she loves dearly) the next morning.