By Yours Truly
Many couples choose not to allow children at their wedding reception. And though the reasons for this are understandable, it can also be a positive thing to have children involved in your wedding.
After all, what's more adorable than watching children learning to dance or laughing uncontrollably at your reception? These types of memories are certainly something wonderful to look back on when viewing your wedding photographs and video months or years later.
If you are going to have children at your wedding reception, you will need to have a game plan in place so that both the parents and the children will be able to enjoy themselves. After all, young children can get unruly if not properly supervised and entertained.
Here are some helpful tips that will make having children at your wedding reception a whole lot easier.
Hire a Sitter
Whether you pick a couple teenagers or someone professional, you should definitely consider hiring someone specifically to watch the children. This way parents can eat, dance and mingle without having to keep a constant eye on their kids. Talk to the sitter in advance and explain exactly what you need done. They will need to keep children from tearing down decorations, smearing the cake, and getting into other mischief. If you have a large number of children on the guest list, hire two or three sitters to handle the duties.
Set Up a Separate Play Area
It's a very good idea to set up a designated area for toddlers and young children to play during the reception. This area can be sectioned off and stocked with books, blocks, board games and even video games. Oftentimes reception facilities will have a particular place already set up just for this purpose. The sitter can oversee the play area, making sure the kids stay under control and entertained. Keep in mind the ages of the children involved in order to determine which toys and games you will need.
Offer Kid-Friendly Food
Many children get bored during the wedding reception meal because the food is too "adult" for their tastes. Have your caterer prepare special meals for the kids, including finger foods, cupcakes and other fun-to-eat items. Also provide juices, milk and other healthy beverages for children.
Avoid Long Speeches
Though you want the kids to be quiet during the speeches and toasts, that's not always possible if you have a large number of young children at your reception. Kids are less likely to become antsy and disruptive if the speeches don't go on too long. For this reason, you should try to avoid back-to-back speeches or lengthy video presentations, if at all possible.
Have a Kids Only Dance
Children like to feel included. After you've had the traditional First Dance and Father-Daughter Dance, have all the kids join in for a Kids-Only Dance. Enlist in your DJ to play kid-friendly tunes and encourage the children to get out on the dance floor.
Though having children at your wedding reception may seem like a hassle at first, it can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience for everyone. If you put some time and effort into your game plan, you will be able to enjoy the laughter and fun of having children attend your wedding reception.
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