Incorporating kids at your wedding

Children at weddings? Do you invite them or not? It’s always a heated topic when discussing wedding planning and we’re here to help you make a properly informed decision. Read on to find out more…

Do you invite all kids? Just babies? Or just teenagers? What about if you’re having young flowergirls and pageboys? Can you then ban your friends from bringing their offspring (we think not).

In addition, you may have teenagers at your wedding too. They are easier to entertain (they’ll like chatting to friends and maybe even dancing if they consider the music cool enough) but you’re still going to have to bear their likes and dislikes in mind.

First off, let’s think about the young children. Very young babies aren’t such a problem – they’ll hopefully sleep and can be cuddled by everybody (something the grannies usually enjoy!)

However toddlers and under 5s can be quite demanding. Supermodel Kate Moss solved this problem at her wedding by having a marquee dedicated to children, with drama teachers and nannies on call.

Obviously that’s not something most of us can copy as we don’t all have a supermodel’s budget, but you can have children’s play areas on your wedding day – maybe a corner of the marquee or barn stocked with colouring books, toys and somewhere peaceful to watch a DVD. Overtired children can get tearful so if you can have a quiet chill-out area for them, so much the better.

If you’re having a Christmas wedding, you could invite ‘Santa’ to visit the young children and bring a gift – this would be good timing just after the wedding speeches when everybody is getting ready to party.

Finally, if you do employ childcare for the event, make sure that the individual is CRB checked beforehand.

Children of all ages – including ‘seen it all before’ teens will enjoy watching a good magician – particularly one who works the tables and does magic close up.

An experienced conjurer will gauge his tricks according to the age group he’s entertaining – you just have to look at the cult following of Dynamo to see that ‘how did he do that’ magic has never been more popular.

If you’re having a summer wedding and you’ve room outside, consider having a bouncy castle for the kids but alternate sessions for different age groups. An energetic 12-year-old boy let loose amongst toddlers will quickly result in tears and of course you’ll need to have a responsible adult to keep an eye on proceedings.

Garden games always go down well (but remember they’re largely weather dependent). You can hire giant games of Jenga, croquet and even old-fashioned fairground swings.

The trick to making sure kids have a great time at your wedding is to think about them beforehand, maybe consulting the parents as to what they like and have some planned strategies and entertainments.