CHILDREN AT WEDDINGS
My insights through the years of working with children!
Children might not do everything you think they will during the ceremony― sometimes it may not go as you expect. They may do an about turn on the aisle or run down the aisle then run back but in my experience this is a great way for both families to have a giggle before the ceremony begins. It can be these spontaneous moments that can be even better than what was planned!
Don’t forget that no matter how confident they seem in the rehearsal, on the wedding day the youngest may feel shy or nervous. I feel it may be better to have someone close to the children that can help keep them keep calm before and during the ceremony.
Another important aspect, we can forget is that children usually can’t sit quietly for long periods of time. I have four children myself and I can claim to understand the way they think. So reserving seats for them near an exit is essential. Then they can be brought for little breaks discreetly if they wish.If the two of you are ready to welcome children of all ages to join in your wedding day celebrations, you’ll need to take your youngest guests needs into consideration.
If you feel strongly not to have children at your wedding, then do not feel pressured and guilty! It is of course your wedding and make sure you both enjoy it. Parents will often feel hurt you don’t want their little ones around on the wedding day.
They may perhaps take it personally, but trust me knowing this is your one wish, they will organise to come on their own and in my experience will really enjoy their freedom. Be honest with family and friends and everything will be easier.
TIPS IF HAVING CHILDREN.
You can have tabletop activities during the dinner reception: I love watching children receive gifts that are wrapped many many times. Watching them trying to open these little gifts is so much fun. This is planned to keep them occupied and excited, plus the added bonus is if they fall from their seats, extra padding in the form of wrapping paper helps break their fall!
Set up an activity center in a separate room, or as I prefer a quiet corner of the main banquet room. We usually set up a little tent and cushions around their table in the corner of the room. As they finish dinner and climb down to play they just love this little tented areas like a camp. These little camps, keep them together out of site in their own little universe in the corner of your wedding banquet room. This also means less of your guests leave the main room to check on their little ones during the dinner.
I never serve the children dinner first, I am a qualified chef and also a father. I have attended many weddings myself where the children are served first. They are finished dinner and back to their parents before the parents have even had their own starter. I always serve food for the children at the same time as the other guests.
Children under 6 usually are not seated by themselves without supervision by older children or adults. I must say I have had amazing weddings with children and without, this decision is really up to the couple and the couple only.
Other Alternative arrangement options.
Organised childcare with qualified nannies.
The hiring of children’s entertainers and artists to play with the children.
Fermoy, Co. Cork,
Ireland. P61 V028
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