Weddings are an often wonderful commemoration of a couple’s union and upcoming lives together. But, do you ever stop to think what kids think of weddings? I’ve nervously sat through enough in my life to know that often, “fun” isn’t really on the menu.
When my then-fiance and I started planning our wedding, we knew we wanted something low-key and frankly, memorable. So we said “I Do” at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium! Now while I don’t expect many to choose a wedding location that is quite that kid-friendly, wedding kids areas and tables are a thoughtful way to entertain children at these special events!
I asked State College-area wedding planner, Christine Hart of Events by Hart, her opinion on and experience with this growing trend:
“These days it’s almost impossible to not invite children to a wedding. Most of the time brides have nieces and nephews with families that travel from afar to attend their wedding. I think it’s a big help for the bride and groom to have the option of having the children taken care of during their ceremony and reception. A lot of my brides put together small gift bags to either be handed out at the ceremony (it’s especially helpful if it’s a Catholic Mass ceremony!) or at the reception. They usually give the kids snacks, a coloring or activity book, crayons and even small toys. It may also be helpful to have a babysitter at the ceremony site and/or the reception. Most churches and reception sites will have a separate room that the couple can reserve for a children’s area.”
After a quick outdoor ceremony and a fun cocktail hour in the Discovery Reef aquarium, we headed to the reception hall. We decided to set a corner of the room for the 30+ kids, with a TV and Xbox, a few simple games, comfy pillows, crayons and coloring books, and more to fit the aquarium theme. While we had a “wish jar” where the adults left us special sentiments, the kids drew pictures or wrote little notes to us on quarter-sized pieces of cardstock.
Christine covers some great ideas on how you can keep kids entertained. Of course, we can help when it comes to the toys. Pick up a wooden game, puzzle or other activity that kids spanning age ranges may like. Or you can make it easy and get a Giant Art Jar Kit – empty out the contents, place them in festive colored boxes or trays, and see what creations the kids come up with! Best of all you can make the area very cute, perhaps highlighting some accent colors of your wedding theme.
Now if you’re the bride, be sure to take a minute (or five) to say “hi” to the kids, snap some pics, and maybe color something yourself!
On a personal level, let me say it was nearly surreal to see all these kids from both sides of the family, all dressed up, and playing together. Nearly five years later, I am still so thankful we took the time to ensure the children would enjoy themselves. And to this day we still hear about how fun our wedding was – for all ages!