Can I tell you a secret? I’m not great with kids and babies. For some, babies fit like puzzle pieces in their arms. For me, I avoid holding babies at all costs. I’ve gotten wonderful at excuses – “Oh you go ahead first!” or “My hands are dirty” or “I’ll grab some water first.” Although so many of my friends are having kids, I’ve never held one of them.
I always thought I would have an all-adult wedding, but when we decided on a destination wedding, all the kids would have to be included. We planned a very chic lounge area around the dance floor, and when one of the mothers told me that she’d put her son there to sleep (“Umm.. Excuse me?”), I knew we had to make some special arrangements.
I’ll eat crow – with the right planning, kids add a special fun touch to weddings! They make for great photo ops, give guests a conversational starter, and make weddings feel more intimate. The boy who was going to sleep on my lounge couches? He was the centerpiece of the dance floor – breakdancing until the very end of the night! If you’re not a kid person like me and you’re planning a wedding, give a second thought to having kids around. If I loved it, I’m sure you can too!
Here are the things we considered:
- Food: Are there dietary restrictions? Caterers can typically arrange for special food and drinks for kids.
- Seating: Do you need to rent special high chairs or booster seats? Do they need to eat by their parents or are they old enough for a ‘kids table’?
- Kids Table: If you arrange a special kids table, do you want a shorter table and smaller chairs? I would also suggest games, toys, activities, or even an entertainer – magic show, face painter, etc.
- Transportation: If you’re providing transportation, do you need child seats? Do you need to arrange an earlier ride back home for sleepy kids?
- Venue: An open venue like a beach or park is wonderful for kids.
- Participation: Will the kids be given tasks in the wedding?
- Parents: We clued in parents as much as possible on the day’s schedule so they could plan naps, feeding, diaper changes, etc.