There is a place for children at weddings
By Debbie Dutton
Even if you hadn't really planned on it, chances are your wedding will include children. Of course you will want to include your nieces and nephews - and Aunt Ruth and Uncle Ernie couldn't possibly attend with out their darling Rachel. Children can be a wonderful and fun part of any wedding, as long as you've planned for them just as you would any guest.
When inviting children to your wedding, your goal is to provide high entertainment with low supervision. Here are some ideas to help you get started.
Create A Special Table Just For Kids
Susan Clark, owner of Sweet Memories, a caterer in the Dallas area, always suggests that brides plan a kid's table whenever children will be a part of the wedding. A pair of bride and groom teddy bears holding colorful balloons or flowers (coordinated with your color scheme, of course) can designate this special table.
Cover the table with white butcher paper and let the children write on it, play tic-tac-toe, or just draw. In the middle of the table, place a bowl filled with ice and juice boxes. Surround the bowl with those fun, kid-sized snacks in foil pouches that come in shapes like fish and teddy bears. Avoid chocolate and nuts, as some kids may be allergic to these foods - plus, they're messy!
A special nametag (necklace style - no pins) can also serve as a place card for each child. Hang the nametag over a small gift bag filled with appropriate favors for young guests. Gift bags come in an array of papers, colors, and styles. Chose one that will coordinate with your wedding decor.
A parent or an older child of babysitting age can help get the kids' group warmed up. Be sure to designate this person ahead of time, or if need be, hire a babysitter.
* Have each child draw their favorite pet, cartoon character or toy on the butcher paper. Compare and discuss their artwork.
* Ask each child how they know the bride and/or groom. Are any of the children related?
* Ask the children if they know where the newlyweds are going on their honeymoon. Discuss where this is, how they will get there, etc. Ask the children where they would want to go for a special trip.
Let the kids create! Keep in mind the age diversity of your young group and provide age-appropriate tools, such as stickers, crayons, colored pencils, glitter pens, markers and special paper.
Have the children write a special letter to the bride and groom. Make a form for the letter using wide lines and write, "Dear (bride) and (groom) at the top. Leave a blank border so they can decorate it. Be sure to provide envelopes and remind the kids to make a stamp for it. Bring a decorated box with a slot cut in the top to use as a mailbox.
While it's up to the child's parents to ensure they behave, you can help create a special memory for them by simply including them in your plans. Years later, it will be terrific to hear how much fun little Susie had at your wedding.