- May 20, 2012
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6 Ways to Make Kids Feel Welcomed at Your Wedding
Treat your little guests to the time of their lives at your destination wedding!
Have you a special niece or nephew that you’ve been dreaming of having as a flower girl or ring bearer but not sure if they’ll make it make it through the wedding – let along a flight? Your kid-friendly destination wedding can easily become a relaxed and family-oriented environment for all invited (especially the kiddies) to have a wonderful time. While your nieces and nephews will be excited to attend your wedding, you don’t want their excitement to be short lived halfway through the wedding. We came up with these quick ways to add
Kid-friendly destination wedding bonus: friends who may not have been able to travel because of young ones now have a chance to plan a family vacation around your nuptials!
Here are 6 ways to create a kid-friendly wedding with bonus Sunny Says tips from our wedding blogger, Sunny!
When sending out your invitations, include a kid’s invitation along. Your “kid-vite” can include a colorful card with an RSVP request and a short message to their parents letting them know kids are more than welcome and that there will be kid friendly activities for them at the wedding if they will be attending.
Sunny Says Tip: It may be a good idea to also include a kid menu or a RSVP card where adults can list allergies, etc for kids, but we’ll get to this later.
A kids’ table with individual place settings and placards with their names on them is a wonderful way to convey the message “you’re welcomed here.” The kiddie table gives the kids a chance to socialize much like they would at school with other kids, many of whom at the table they might be related to anyway. It also provides Mom and Dad with a little break to enjoy themselves without being distracted by choruses of “I’m bored!”
Depending on the age of your little guests, your table can contain fun items (think blowing bubbles, coloring books, mini puzzles, glow sticks, candy etc.) to entertain them while the festivities go on around them. Instead of your original centerpiece, you may want to add things like balloons and toys to your table. Avoid using candles or anything particularly breakable as your centerpiece for your kiddie table. You can use kiddie fun boxes to bring some excitement to the table as well. Another good idea would be to cover the table with a tablecloth that kids can draw on (a nice keepsake).
Sunny Says Tip: Be careful with adding pre-teens and teens at the kiddie table; they may resent having to sit with the younger kids and may feel regarded as “babies” -which is unpleasant for all!
Plan a Craft Bar/Table
Have a small arts and craft station set up (away from the dance floor!) for your kiddie guests to be able to frequent during your reception. Much like a candy bar, a craft station is sure to go over well with your little guests. This way, kids get to make their own little keepsakes or memories from your wedding, or they can make little cards to say congratulations! Keeping in mind that they will be in “formal” wear it may be a good idea to replace items like glue or paint with stickers, tape and crayons. However with kids the hazard of spills is always a risk no matter what they’re doing. Don’t sweat the stains if they happen, once they had some fun it’s all worth it. Having an adult attendant at this station is an idea you may want to consider.
Sunny Says Tip: If you’re having a destination wedding and plan on bringing in some crafts, toys, candies etc. with you, make sure to check with your local customs to see which items you can and cannot bring with you. If you have the carry-on space, pack a separate bag with your kid merchandise so you can keep an eye on them.
Plan Time to Party
Everyone looks forward to the fun wedding events that happen during the wedding, even kids. While your adult-guest look forward to the shoe-game and the bouquet toss, give your kid guests some time of their own. A rousing game of musical chairs is a fun way to involve your kiddie guests in your wedding (and eventually tucker them out). Have your DJ play a few upbeat tunes to get them going round and round their chair set-up.
You may also want to try a “limbo” dancing game for kids as well. Having a specific event set aside for them during your reception makes them feel like important and dear guests to your wedding instead of just “tag-alongs”. Invite them back onto the dance floor while adults are out “cutting a rug” to dance and jig in their special little kid way, we promise they’ll be asleep before the last dance.
Serve Them Like Little Adults
A kiddie menu may actually be less of a hassle then the adult menu at your reception. It’s not hard to figure out what kids eat and they tend to pick through meals anyway. Meals such as chicken fingers or cheeseburger sliders may go over well with your mini guests. Imagine how special and grown-up your special guests will feel being served mini versions of their favorite foods and desserts at their very own table! If you want to go the extra mile you include a kiddie menu in your invitations and ask parents to give you a heads up when they RSVP if there are any particular allergies or issues with food for their kids.
Sunny Says Tip: Beaches Resorts across the Caribbean have come up with the brilliant idea that is the Culinary Concierge. With this genius program, you can plan all meals at any Beaches Resorts restaurant with the help of a special concierge who will handle any food allergy, sensitivity and dislike any child could have. Once you arrive at Beaches Resorts, simply ask for the Culinary Concierge office and you can map out all your kid’s meals for the entire stay. If you’re planning a WeddingMoon, talk to your pre-travel planner about putting together dinner and dessert just for your little ones.
Choose a Kid-Friendly Resort
Planning a destination wedding? Look for a family resort that has tons of activities for kids, pre-teens and teens to take some of the pressure off of you. Resorts that specialise in hosting families will have age specific events and amenities that allow your adult guests to have some down time to themselves. Look for resorts with certified nannies and trained specialists for your guests who have toddlers and babies.
Sunny Says Tip: Did you know you could plan your destination wedding at a Beaches Resorts and then transfer to a Sandals Resorts for the rest of your WeddingMoon? This way you can entertain your family and friends with kids in tow but still savour the adult-only experience for your honeymoon. For a no-fly experience, consider having your wedding at Beaches Negril and then transferring to Sandals Negril which is only a short ride down the same road in Negril, Jamaica!
These are just five ways to make your wedding more kid friendly; as always we love to hear from you! Are you planning on having kids at your wedding? What other tips would you include/have you included in your wedding?