Kid-Friendly Weddings

Chances are good that at least a couple of kids will be guests at your wedding. Creative provisions can keep kids entertained during your ceremony and reception and allow parents to focus on your celebration.

It is important to keep children busy.  Consider creating a special activity bag for each child.  Add a coloring book, crayons, puzzles, play-doh, juice box and a kid-friendly snack. 

One awesome idea I saw while attending a wedding was a custom made activity book where the clues to a simple crossword puzzle were about the bride and groom. Questions ranged from “Where did we meet?” to “What is the Best Man’s Middle Name?” It was fantastic fun for the children who were solving the puzzles and allowed the parents plenty of time to mingle.  The activity also got the best man, who no one really knew, involved in the fun.

Other options include hiring a balloon artist, caricaturist, face painter, clown or magician to entertain kids in a designated are of your reception venue.  Kids can also be entertained by a few strategically placed activity tables with non-messy crafts, board games or toys.

Older children are typically technology geniuses compared to most adults.  Engage them in purposeful activities like taking candid photos or shooting videos to be collected, and possibly even judge and reward them.

Kids Only Room
Establish a separate playroom for children supervised by a background-checked babysitter(s). Some fun options for the room:  a piñata filled with wedding treats, games (Twister, Bingo), movies, Ping-Pong tables, air hockey, hula hoops and jump ropes.  Let children express their artistic ability by covering a table in butcher paper for a gigantic drawing canvas; have a coloring contest and a bead station for jewelry making.

Provide kid-friendly menu alternatives.  Some popular options include chicken nuggets, mini-pizzas, pasta, hamburger sliders and macaroni & cheese.  A special buffet at children’s height sends a clear message to kids that they are welcome.  Request cups with lids and straws to avoid messy spills.

Get children involved in making desserts by having them decorate wedding cake sugar cookies. Have the cookies prepared and cut into the three-tiered shape in advance.  Provide each child with edible color markers and sprinkles to decorate.  Serve their masterpieces for dessert alongside a slice of wedding cake.

Fun favors
Kids love favors, and your guests will stay longer if the children are entertained (and entertaining).  At a summer wedding recently held at Stoneleigh, there were beach balls for the kids to toss around in the courtyard while their parents danced under the stars.  Include other small toy favors kids can enjoy during the party. Think princess crowns, puzzles, plastic cars, playing cards, small games and bubbles.

Create candy shop favor tables, where guests can fill up goodie bags with their favorite candies -- everything from jelly beans and sour worms to peanut butter cups and lollipops.

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Aisle Dish is written by Meredith Thomas, Stoneleigh's in-house Event Consultant. If you would like assistance planning your special day, Meredith offers a complementary one-hour consultation to all brides hosting their wedding at the Club and is available for further planning services at an additional fee. Contact Meredith at [email protected] or 540.338.4653 ext. 303.