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Children and Weddings..

The big debate: children and weddings. Some think a wedding wouldn’t have the atmosphere without them, and others couldn’t think of anything worse than having a swarm of children ‘aeroplaning’ all over the dance floor. I think I’m somewhere in between..

As I’ve mentioned, David and I have a young daughter, Vivienne, and the wedding is around a week before her second birthday. My initial concern was that she would simply refuse to wear the gorgeous headband I have bought for her, the second was that she wouldn’t hold Evelyn’s (David’s niece) hand and be wary of walking down the aisle in front of the congregation, and the third was that she would have to wear a cream dress all day, bearing in mind that she enjoys rubbing banana in her hair and turning our dining room into a scene reminiscent of a chimp’s tea party. And then it dawned on me, the most important problem with children at weddings, especially young children, is trying to keep them entertained.

Vivienne and her cousins will be the only young children at the wedding; Evelyn will be 4, Vivienne and Frankie will be nearly 2, and Ronnie will be around 14 months. Danielle, one of our photographers has mentioned that she’d like to bring a ‘dressing up box’ for the children to play about with (and hopefully get some fabulous pictures!), and we’ll probably be borrowing David’s parent’s bouncy castle. That’s all well for the daytime, or even when the music starts up on the evening, but what about the speeches and the meal?

I thought the only thing for it would be to make ‘goodie boxes’ for each child, they’re all at different ages, and I thought I could fill it with appropriate treats to keep them busy when it would be better if they were a bit calmer!

Evelyn's Goodie Box

Above is Evelyn’s goodie box. Vivienne, Ronnie and Frankie’s boxes have slightly younger toys, like scribble books and crayons. I decorated and personalised them, so hopefully they’ll be excited to see the contents and it’ll keep them occupied long enough to rush through the speeches uninterrupted!

Finished!!

I really am putting my faith in these little boxes, and I’m praying that they work, or even that they last a good half hour! Fingers crossed and here’s hoping!

Sally x

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12 COMMENTS
  • Ruth
    8 years ago

    Fab! I am planning to do the same for the small number of children who will be at our wedding in July, I have bought a few bits and bobs to go insite them but haven’t found anything to put them in yet. I love your boxes that you have used and I love the idea of personalising them. Could you tell me where you got yours from please? Thank you.

  • Jenny McAvoy
    8 years ago

    Boxes look fab and I am sure the children will love them ­čÖé

  • Sally
    8 years ago

    I bought a pack of five boxes from ebay, very inexpensive, and I bought an craft pack from K&co at Hobbycraft to decorate them. Glad you like them! x

  • ALISON TINLIN
    8 years ago

    I think making up kids boxes or bags is a great idea.
    There are many companies that will do this for you but this is quite generic. Personalising and making them up yourself is great and you have that relationship with the child, you know what they like [ or you can ask their mum] and it makes it all a bit more about them.
    I made up gift bags for all 4 children at my wedding and they went down a treat.
    The photographers dressing up box sounds like such a riot, personally my daughter would love that .

  • Claire
    8 years ago

    I wonder if having an usher or bridesmaid in charge of refilling the boxes every now & then might help too… just an idea.
    C xxx

  • Juliet Mckee
    8 years ago

    The best wedding I have photographed with loads of kids had a marquee on a cricket pitch. The kids played cricket and mini archery then later they had a kids entertainer/magician AND a bouncy castle. The kids table had a centre piece of a mountain on doughnuts and big pitchers of chocolate milk shake and orange squash, oh, and each child had an especially designed colouring book and a chalk board. The couple had thought of everything!

  • The boxes look fab! We had children at our wedding (from 3 months to 9 years!). We had colouring books, small toy cars etc on their table (where they sat with their parents) for during the meal. There were also garden games outside (giant connect four, soft play building blocks etc) and we had a seperate room with a Duplo farm and zoo, a train set, some books etc. I think the key with children is to have some space somewhere where it is quieter for them in the evening. Often children do need a break for all the noise and the younger ones may need to nap. Being able to escape from all the nhoisy adults for a bit does seem to prevent them getting restless and grouchy! All the parents at our wedding were really grateful for the quiet room.

  • bridal jewellery
    8 years ago

    What a fab idea! I think the main reason children play up at weddings is that they are just bored so this should keep them occupied! And it’s nice to see the name Evelyn is coming back, it’s my Mums name!

  • Askjan
    8 years ago

    You cannot expect small children to sit still all day. That is just asking for trouble.
    My advice would be to hire either a creche (there are a few moblie ones about) or a bouncy castle.
    That way the kids can behave like kids without distrubing the rest of the wedding party.
    Or
    You could do down the route of hiring a magician who could keep the kids entertained during the day, and do close up magic during the evening.
    Either way the end result is the same. Happy children & happy parents.

  • We had exactly the same dilemma! In the end, a lot of our close friends were more than happy to leave their children at home as they wanted to enjoy the wedding! I did want my younger cousins there though so we had lots of sweets and garden games for them to run about and enjoy. One of the Best Men had just had a baby so his wife spent most of the day in the bedroom feeding him and putting him to bed. He was a little bit gutted but we got some lovely footage of them all on the day so they were pretty chuffed with that. The weddings I have been to with lots of children have always had lots of entertainment, and at one wedding they even had a baby sitter who entertained and fed them while they did the meal and speeches!

    I agree with bridal jewellery, the majority of children ‘act up’ when bored so it’s just about making it fun for them too and I think the boxes will do that.

  • I would suggest having something new for them to play with when the speeches start because things can be said that sensitive ears shouldn’t hear and they can disrupt the flow.

    and re Evelyn i discovered as its one of my daughters name (after my grandmother) that it is both a male and female name as my grand mother was named after her father. having grown up knowing it was her name it was a shock when name my daughter it was also a male name

  • Those boxes look cool.
    We had a bouncy castle at our wedding to keep the kids entertained during the day, (which is fine if it’s fine, so to speak).
    As far as the evening reception goes, any DJ/Singer/Band should be catering to the kids a little early on in proceedings anyway.

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