So you’ve decided to invite kids to your wedding. Hurrah! The issue of whether or not to allow children can be tricky, and you have made your decision, so now the hard part is over, right? Not so fast. Once you’ve opened your wedding up to include the smaller set, you’ve got to think about the next step: How the heck do you keep them entertained?
Thankfully, there are plenty of ways—at all price points—to keep your youngest guests occupied during the slower moments of the reception, like the toasts, first dance and parent dances. Plan ahead with these kid-friendly tips so that people of all ages can enjoy your big day.
Designate a Kids’ Space
Inviting a lot of children to your wedding? Check to see if your venue has an easily accessible lounge area or a room separate from the main entertaining space. Utilize this area as a play space, and bring in crafts, games, kid-friendly music and other activities that will help keep kids entertained and having fun during your wedding.
Hire a Babysitter
If you are able to section off a play area for kids, consider hiring someone to supervise the space and oversee kiddie activities for a few hours. Parents will welcome the break, and you won’t have to worry about terribly bored little ones storming the dance floor during your first waltz.
Provide Tabletop Activities
Be sure to equip kid’s tables with plenty of activities. Some ideas: white butcher paper for coloring, crayons (stay away from markers, unless you’d like to risk a rainbow of stains on, well, everything), and coloring books. We’re also big fans of this super-cute personalized activity placemat.
Create Fun Games
Keep kids entertained at your wedding reception by devising a few fun games for them to play. Games like ‘I Spy’ or wedding scavenger hunts let little ones be part of the action. Place a disposable camera at each kid’s place setting and print out a list of things for them to find and snap photos of (you can find lots of great printable options here, or create your own, like this stylish couple did).
Bring in an Entertainer
When all else fails, bring in the pros. If your budget allows, hire a kid’s musician, magician, or balloon artist to come during your reception. (Just set them up away from the main reception area.) Bonus: Giving kids something to look forward to throughout the evening will help keep them in check!
Serve Kid-Friendly Foods
Chances are, your pint-sized guests won’t appreciate shrimp cocktail or filet mignon, so make sure you have a few simpler options on hand. Talk to your venue about providing options for the younger set, like grilled cheese and chicken fingers. (Just be wary of food allergies.)