I could probably write a book about things people will be offended by when it comes to your wedding. It seems everyone feels entitled to share their opinion on what you should or shouldn’t do/have. Don’t let it get you down…just repeat after me: you can’t please everyone.
One of the biggest controversies you may find when planning your wedding is whether you should invite children. When keeping within a budget, keeping a tight guest list can be key…and inviting children can make that list grow out of control. But sometimes not inviting them isn’t an option (one Bride’s own brother refused to come to her wedding because his fiance’s children weren’t invited – seriously). Only you (and anyone else in control of your wedding budget) can decide if children should be invited – every couple is different. But if you do decide to invite children to your big day, here are some tips to make things go more smoothly.
Designate kid tables – at my wedding we had the kids in another room connected to the main dining room and within eye sight of their parents at all times…but our youngest guest was 5 so they didn’t require constant adult supervision. Check with your guests ahead of time that you know will be bringing their children – and find out what their comfort level is. Alternatively you could seat the children at one table and the parents at an adjoining table.
Provide entertainment – we had two kids tables and we provided coloring books – I recommend Color Wonder Coloring Books (a must if you don’t want to lose any deposits – no mess! ) and Uno card sets.
Provide supervision – check with local friends with children to see if they have a favorite babysitter they can recommend and hire two or three to care for the children (probably much cheaper than a sitter service). Having a separate room for tired or younger children will ensure all of your guests have a great time.
Be practical with the menu – do not waste a lot of money on fancy meals for the kids. Most kids are happy with chicken nuggets and mac ‘n cheese…or even peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (check on allergies first! ). Although your venue will probably have their own suggested kids meals, see if they can accommodate you with these simple (and inexpensive) options.
Cupcakes! I’ve never met a kid that didn’t like a cupcake – so we had special cupcakes made and displayed as centerpieces on the kids tables – two birds, one stone!
*In case it needs to be said, I caution against using real candles at a kids table. That’s why someone brilliant invented the battery operated variety!*
Should you decide to ban children from your festivities, be clear on your reason why. May I suggest something along the lines of “we have so many friends blessed with wonderful families we simply couldn’t invite them all!”. Don’t make it about money – or be prepared for “that’s okay, we’ll pay for the kids meals”. And don’t get mad at your friends or family – they aren’t seeing the big picture like you are.
Be sure to check out my latest pinboard for more ideas on keeping even your youngest guests happy at your wedding!