Summer is definitely the season for Weddings, we have 2 more coming up soon and have just returned from a friends wedding in Cornwall – planning that big day is hard enough and we of course all hope for a beautiful sunny day. Living in the UK that of course isn’t always possible but still no one likes to think it would rain on their big day.
I was married at the beginning of March and we certainly were lucky with the weather, it was a beautiful sunny day.
Now for some having children at a wedding is a NO NO and of course it is an entirely personal choice, others want to embrace them and make them a part of the big day.
As a Nanny I have worked at a few weddings, offering childcare to families at the reception – helping to look after the children during dinner so the parents can have a break, playing games in a corner of the reception with the younger guest and other times I have had a room in the hotel where I have looked after a few children when they’ve finished dinner so their parents can relax and enjoy themselves without worrying about their children (this is a great way of having the children involved in the big day but then giving parents a break – of course it’s not always the cheapest of options as I would be charging an hourly rate, but combine two families and you could split the cost between you – and the kids age depending could even be asleep by the time you return to your room – perfect if using venues such as those available via Bijou weddings)
Having attended many weddings in a working capacity and now as a Mum, I am sharing a few top tips for keeping children entertained at weddings:
It can be a long time between having breakfast and then sitting down for meals during weddings, and we all know children can become grumpy when hungry – arm yourself with a mini picnic to keep them going especially if the wedding falls over lunchtime meaning this meal will be skipped. Keep these to quiet snacks, no-one wants to hear your child munching on hula hoops during the service, bananas, raisins or even sandwiches work well – and I would suggest avoiding chocolate as you know they will cover you and themselves in it which isn’t a great look for the photos.
As with snacks, keep it simple and in a resealable bottle – you won’t be able to carry around a half drunk carton of juice with you but squash or water in a bottle with a lid is the perfect solution. I would also suggest avoiding fizzy drinks as you don’t want them to explode all over you when you’ve been carrying them in your bag.
Entertainment for in the church
Now we all know how weddings can drag, us adults can be found fidgeting in our seats and trying not to fall asleep sometimes so just imagine how long they feel to a child.
Packing a few quiet activities/toys can help strive off the boredom and help keep them quiet. A few suggestions include:
- Colouring book and pencils/crayons
- A toy car (not a noisy one) which then can ride up and down the pew quietly
- A favourite teddy
- Pad and paper for writing
- A book
- Stress ball or fidget spinner – these help to keep them occupied and their hands busy
- A tablet/phone with earphones – this can be a last resort perhaps but it’s my go to when all else fails, they can play a game quietly or watch a downloaded programme (good old Netflix to the rescue)
Entertainment for the dinner table
We all love weddings for the food and drink and of course the speeches – we love to hear all the funny and happy tales especially the best man’s speech but children do find it hard to sit still for this amount of time.
A few suggestions for keeping them amused during the dinner include:
- Colouring books and pencils
- Small puzzles
- Activity books including word searches, spot the difference etc.
- Tablets and earphones
Other ideas if you have many children attending include:
- A craft table set up for the children with mess free activities such sticking
- A dedicated children’s table so they can all eat together – of course this may get noisy so you will be best advised not to have that by the top table or no one will hear the speeches
A course kids love a disco as much as us adults – perhaps even more and they will possibly be the first ones on the dance floor, however other fun and games I have seen at weddings include:
- Children’s entertainer (depending on how many children you have at the wedding)
- Piñata for the kids
- Photo booths or dressing up stations – these look great when looking back on the wedding photos
- Coconut Shy – my children loved this recently at a wedding we attended and came home with 3 coconuts
- Limbo – easy to set up and keeps them amused for ages
- Ring Toss
- Bouncy castle
Other Top Tips from a Former Nanny posts can be found here.