Some of my favourite weddings are ones that embrace guests of all ages. I often work with couples who already have a kiddo or two, and those couples are usually the first to consider how they can make their wedding a celebration for the whole family. Having a wedding that’s welcoming for kids is pretty easy, but it takes a little bit of thoughtful planning before the big day.
The first thing you can do to create a kid-centric vibe at your wedding is to make sure your guests know that their wee ones are welcome. As a parent, it can be super hard to navigate a world that is occasionally not-so-child-friendly, and I'm sure we’ve all had that nightmare that our kid will be the one causing a scene (oh wait, I don't think that was a nightmare - I think that actually happened once or twice…). I know it would set my mind at ease if I wasn’t left wondering whether my kids are welcome at the wedding or not.
So much about a wedding is communicated well before the actual date arrives - and not just on the invitation either. The way you talk about your wedding and talk about having kids at your wedding is the best way to let your parent friends know that their kids are going to be absolutely, 100% welcome, invited and included at your wedding. So when people ask whether you’re having kids at your wedding, rather than responding with a simple “yep”, show how welcome kids really are by giving an emphatic, “Heck yes!! We love the kids in our lives so much and our wedding wouldn’t be the same without them!” Even if it isn’t a parent asking, you can be sure that when people chat about your wedding, the news that it’s kid-friendly will trickle down the line.
If you’re planning on inviting little ones, chances are you’ve already considered some sort of entertainment. That’s awesome, and I know it will be appreciated by parents. Just remember - at the end of the day, kids have a way of entertaining themselves so if you’ve become overwhelmed by the thought of creating those DIY custom colouring sheets that are all over the internet… don’t worry about it. A colouring book is a colouring book, and as long as it’s accompanied by crayons, no kid (or parent, for that matter) is going to care if it came from the Dollar Store instead of Pinterest.
In the same way, creating a kids area at your wedding reception can go a long way in making families feel welcome. Again - it’s the gesture that counts, so feel free to keep it simple. After all, a few bubble wands can bring a whole lot of joy to a toddler.
For outdoor weddings, lawn games are a lot of fun for both young and old - it’s pretty awesome when the whole family gets to play together at a wedding. Games like croquet or a ring toss can be easily enjoyed by all ages. So can hula hoops and ribbon wands. In fact, if you’re having an indoor wedding, it doesn’t hurt to have some for the dance floor!
Don’t forget to talk to your DJ about how they can include the kids. They probably have a few tricks up their sleeves, whether that means a game, some songs with actions, or simply a song that will work for an epic kids sing-a-long (*cough* Let It Go *cough*). Kids are usually the first ones on the dance floor, and they have a way of bringing others out there to join in.
Also, an ice-cream truck might just win everyone over!!
If you are planning a family-friendly wedding, I’d love to be a part of it!