Children at the wedding – yes or no?!
After the answer “yes” is given, begins the organizing of the wedding.
Usually, the most difficult part is choosing the location and putting together the guest list. Those two things go hand in hand, because the number of guests you can invite depends on the capacity of the location. And this raises the question – are children invited to the wedding?
If you are certain that you want to invite the children, then put them to the guest list as well, because every child, big or small, needs their own place. Sometimes it happens that a child’s stroller might take up even more space than an adult.
If you have already chosen your dream location for the wedding, then think about if children would have a great time there and would they be safe. Do they have a separate room, where they could play, where the toilets are located, what are the sleeping arrangements, etc…
Brides and grooms often have a question about whether their guests would feel offended if the children are not invited to the wedding but the bride and groom’s kids are there. Mostly the guests can understand that there must be a good reason why they have decided like that. So you shouldn’t worry when your and your own and your relatives’ children are invited but most guests are asked to leave their kids at home. However, there are exceptions for infants and in this case it should be up to the parent to decide whether or not they want to take their baby with them. If possible, arrange a quiet corner for parents to wrap and breastfeed.
If the bride and groom have their own small children at the wedding, it would be good if there would also be a babysitter. If all the babysitting is left to yourself, your grandparents or your best friend, the person may not be able to attend the whole wedding and, for example, the grandmother may not hear or see the wedding ceremony, because just then the little person decided to want to go to the toilet.
How to let the guests know whether the children are invited or not?
The best way to let your guests know is with wedding invitations, who exactly is invited to the wedding. Hereby, there are a few options, for example it’s possible to write out the names of the people who are invited. But you can also approach it humorously and write on the invitation to leave the little ones under the care of the best babysitter in the world that day. There are many of these options, and every bride and groom will definitely find the right one for themselves.
If the children are invited to the wedding, then they definitely need a person who would take care of them, for example an entertainer. This should be mentioned on the invitation as well, that there is an entertainer and organized activities for the kids.
Babysitter vs entertainer?!
If the children are invited to the wedding, then everyone – bride and groom, children and parents – can have a good time, when the kids are safe and entertained.
Children under the age of three should have a babysitter, who takes care of their primary needs like feeding, getting dressed, going to the toilet, etc. The babysitter can handle a maximum of 2-3 kids, to ensure a safe environment and individual approach to everyone. For infants, there should be a babysitter per infant.
For older children (ages 3-12) there should be an entertainer, who would take care of their well-being, games, safety, eating and other activities. The entertainer plays and leads different activities with the children during the whole event.
One entertainer could take care of a maximum of 12 children. If there are more kids, there will also be an extra person to help out.
Here are the most important facts to give to the entertainer:
- At what age and how many children (boys/girls) are there?
- Names of the children and contact information of their parents.
- Special needs (allergies, behavioural patterns, peculiarities, health needs, etc).
- Bride and groom’s wishes about how the children should be at the wedding (where they can run/play/laugh freely).
- Are there activities where the children are wanted/not wanted?
Ideally, at the wedding there should be for children:
- Their own space/room, where they can be.
- 2 separate tables in the space/room – one for activities, other for eating.
- Area for playing.
- Toilets nearby.
- Cloakroom for children near their space.
Also there have to be common understandable agreements and shared responsibilities between the entertainer, parents and the bride and groom. For example there should be some agreed times, when parents come and check up on the kids.
Certainly, the MC, the bride and groom and the entertainer should also work together and talk about where and what are the contact points that the children could also take part of. For example, the first dance, eating the wedding cake, some fierce performer, a game, etc. In any case, it is good for the entertainer to know when to gather the children together and take part in the wedding party activities.
How to choose the entertainer?
A good entertainer has activities for all ages and can create games and activities based on the interests and level of the children. In order for the entertainer to work smoothly and for the children to have fun, even if there are no active games together, different centers should be created. What children do at the wedding with the game leader: craft, draw, paint, create, play skill games and treasure hunts, read, dance, etc. How and where to find such a person? In general, the entertainers for children have a pedagogical education and often work in kindergartens, so kindergartens are the first place to ask.
Just as the bride and groom meets the MC in advance, the previous pleasant conversation is also useful here. An entertainer with the appropriate education has also received first aid training, which is very important because it can save a situation that cannot be predicted or prevented.
If the children are invited to the wedding, it is important to consider their eating preferences as well. The first question to be addressed is where do the children sit – with other guests or in a separate children’s table?
Here again, it is needed to look at the capacity of the location and another important point is that children generally do not want to sit at the table for so long and prefer to have some snacks during the whole evening. So if possible, a separate table might be a better choice. As for the menu, the phrase “the charm lies in simplicity” applies to children. So ask your catering what they recommend for the children and make the best choice with them. You must not forget that the best thirst quencher for children is water – it must not run out.
All in all, the bride and groom are the stars of the wedding day and they decide who gets to take part in it. However, if the children are at a wedding, they must be treated like any other guest.
In this case, they will also have a wonderful memory of that day.