Kids: They're cute, funny, precious — and so unpredictable. If you plan to include children in your wedding festivities, these expert tips will help you keep the kids entertained and behaving their best on your big day.
Youngsters at the Party
If your guest list includes young children, consider designating a separate area where they will sit and enjoy the reception, advises Sara Cavallon, owner of Sara Cavallon Celebrations in Charleston, SC. If your budget allows, hire a professional child entertainment company to arrange special décor and activities for the kids' area. Another option: "You can hire traditional sitters armed with coloring books, crafts, and movies," Cavallon says. "Make sure you have kid-friendly food, too — chicken fingers, mac 'n cheese." If you plan to put kids at the tables with their parents, place small bags filled with activities at their seats. Coloring books and crayons, Play-Doh, and a small puzzle will keep them entertained so mom and dad can enjoy your reception.
Games for the Older Kids
Your 12-year-old cousin doesn't want to color with the little kids, but he may want to ditch the dance floor in favor of a video game tournament. If your wedding is in a hotel, you can set up a video game console in one of the rooms and invite the pre-teen and teenage guests to visit after dinner (make sure you have a willing parent or a sitter supervising). If your venue doesn't have extra space for a video game area, look into renting a mobile video game truck. (That will earn you some serious cred with the teens.)
Fun for Kids of All Ages
The photo booth has become a must-have at weddings in recent years — and for good reason. Whether you're eight years old or 80 years old, making goofy faces for rapid-fire shots is just plain fun. Arm your booth with plenty of silly props and the kids at your reception are sure to gather around.
RSVP: Just Adults
"Many parents relish the chance to have a night out without their tots," says Cavallon. If you have out-of-town guests staying in a hotel, talk to the hotel staff about reserving a room where certified sitters can watch their kids. Include information about the service in your welcome bags. Local parents may want to drop their kids off at the site as well.