Child-friendly Weddings: A How-to Guide
With increasing numbers of people waiting until after they've had a child or children to get married, Luxury Family Hotels is proud to offer wedding venues where kids – both those of the happy couple and those of their guests – can feel just as welcome as the adults. Our expertise in the field – especially at Woolley Grange and the Polurrian – has inspired us to share some tips for ensuring wedding days that are memorable for all ages.
• Make it clear to guests that children are welcome by including their name on the invitations.
• Thing of ways to make kids feel fully involved in the day, especially those who aren't chosen as bridesmaids or page boys. Confetti-throwing (and/or bubble-blowing) is fun, as is a children's dance competition at the reception. You might also want to give them all disposable cameras and ask them to record their impressions of the event.
• Choose a venue where children can be entertained – perhaps in a crèche or kids' club – while the adults are getting ready. Alternately, draw up a roster whereby two or three adults take care of all the kids while the others dress.
• Similarly, look for a venue with both plenty of space – preferably outside – where kids can play while the adults are socialising, and also a room where parents can take their children for a bit of quiet time if they are getting over-excited and/or over-tired (this could be your hotel room if you are staying over, or a play room or DVD room).
• If there are lots of children, think about hiring a magician or another entertainer and perhaps even setting up some fairground-style games for them. Again, a hotel with grounds including games such as croquet is ideal.
• Ensure that kids get some fresh air and a run-around or some exercise prior to the ceremony so that they're more likely to be able to sit quietly for a while. Think carefully, too, about the length of the ceremony if kids are invited.
• Remind guests at the start of the ceremony that it's fine to leave if their kids are at risk of disturbing proceedings. Seating parents with young kids at the ends of rows is a good idea.
• Ensure that your venue or caterers are well briefed on providing child-friendly dishes and drinks and on any special dietary requirements.
• Reward kids for good behaviour at the table with goody bags, or provide them with drawing materials and other activities to do at the table.
• Consider having a kids-only table so that little ones can socialise together.
• Brief your photographer to capture images of the kids having fun, as many overlook little ones in favour of the adults.