• Oh So Perfect are independent, award winning, wedding and event planners dedicated to organising and delivering bespoke weddings, ceremonies, civil partnerships, and special events across the UK.

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Children at Weddings – Our Top Tips

Oh So Inspiring – Ideas Tips and Advice

Children at weddings. Now there’s a sentence which can bring about a lot of conversation, controversy and debate…

For some people, children are an added element of the day – they bring joy, laughter, and make very pretty flower girls and page boys. For others, they may be an undesired distraction. But whatever your feelings on the subject of children at weddings, here are our top tips on how to plan your big day whether or not you choose to invite young guests…

1. It’s OK to say no!
Inviting children to weddings is not for everyone, and if you and your partner decide that you would prefer not to have any under5s/under 12s/under16s etc. attending your special day, then you do have the right to say so. But do so politely, and clearly.

2. Divide the Day
If you’re worried about upsetting your guests, one of the easiest ways to keep everyone happy is to divide the different parts of the day into child-friendly and non-child-friendly sections. For example, ask that only adults attend the actual ceremony and/or wedding breakfast, but invite families with children to the evening reception only.

3. Be clear on your invitations
If all the family are invited, include all their names on the invitation, so that your guests aren’t left feeling embarrassed and unsure as to whether or not their little ones will be welcome. If you’d prefer to have no children attend, make this clear on the practical information part of your invite, but remember to remain polite. State at what age your cut off is, and if possible include a reason to assure your guests it’s nothing personal e.g. Unfortunately due to limited seating arrangements, we have decided not to invite children under the age of 12.

4. No exceptions!
Remember, it’s unfair to make exceptions for close friends and family. If you have asked your guests not to bring their children, then you mustn’t either! Your guests might feel annoyed to find that after they went to the effort of finding a babysitter for the day, your cousin’s toddler is chirping away at the back of the church.

5. But she looks so sweet…
Little girls make beautiful flower girls and bridesmaids, but remember you are allocating a very little lady with a very big task! Walking down the aisle in front of hundreds of people can be a daunting prospect for even the adults amongst us, but for a young child not only might this prove frightening, it may also prove a little distracting. Ask an adult that your child attendant knows well to accompany him/her with the task.

6. Plan your pews
Print out  some ‘Reserved for Families’ signs and ask the grooms-men or your wedding planner to place these on the seats nearer the back of the ceremony. That way, families with young children can sit towards the back and make an easy exit without any embarrassment should they need to pop out during the ceremony. It will also prevent any particularly loud children from disrupting your wedding wedding vows. Similarly, plan your wedding breakfast seating so that parents can make an unnoticed escape should they need to during the speeches.

7. Favours should be fun
If you are giving out wedding favours, make sure you include something child-friendly and fun for the children. One wedding we attended placed a big teddy bear on every child’s seat at the wedding breakfast, which made them feel extra special. Bubbles are another great idea to entertain children (and adults!)

8. Something for the speeches
Include a little something extra on the tables with child guests seated to keep them entertained during the speeches. Colouring books and crayons are excellent examples as these will keep children seated and quiet throughout the speeches, and will keep young children busy for a fair while.

9. Don’t just entertain your adults!
Remember to provide some entertainment for children at the reception too. Set-up a small corner of the venue with some giant games such as a Connect4  board or small ball pool where children can entertain themselves. You may even wish to ask your DJ to provide a few children’s songs at the beginning of the night to give young guests the chance to enjoy themselves before the adults take to the floor.

10. Hire a wedding nanny
Weddings today will often hire in a pop-up nursery for during the reception. If possible, book a small, separate room at the venue and hire an event nanny to come along and provide entertainment, games and child care for the evening, meaning the children are being kept entertained and out of sight, and parents can relax and let their hair down too, knowing their children are being looked after.

Need help planning your wedding day? Visit www.ohsoperfect.co.uk for our full list of wedding planning and coordination services and packages.

We’re giving away a Fortnum and Mason Champagne and Chocolates hamper to all couples booking selected services with us before 30th April 2012! To view this fabulous offer click here


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