1. SET UP A SCAVENGER HUNT
Invite the littlest guests to explore all of the details in your wedding with a fun wedding themed activity. Wedding Planner Danielle Bobish recommends a custom designed activity like ISpy. Have them seek out anything from tears of joy, to something blue, to dancing feet. Bump it up a notch and put out disposable cameras for the kids to capture their findings. You might just find that your junior photographers will capture a priceless moment worth cherishing!
2. PHOTO BOOTH FUN
“Having a photo booth is a great way to keep the children entertained, while also providing a fun activity for the adults,” says Jessi Hill, Executive Director of Weddings & Honeymoons at Atlantis, Paradise Island. Equip the station with props, and children will be amused for hours, and have a souvenir to take home with them! We love the entertainment that photo booth company, Shake + Share Media brings to the party!
3. SWAP OUT CENTERPIECES FOR TOYS & INTERACTIVE DECOR
Decorate the kids table with toys that they can keep themselves entertained with throughout the night, and eventually take home with them. Give it a wedding theme for the girls with a bride Barbie, or other age-appropriate toys and crafts that the little ones will enjoy. You can even pass on the linens and turn the table into an artistic canvas by getting a chalkboard topper for them to draw on!
4. CATER TO THEIR TASTE
Speak with your venue or caterer about doing a kid-friendly menu. This doesn’t mean you have to serve bland food at your wedding; together with your chef, you can come up with creative presentations of food they already enjoy. And don’t forget that grown-ups like comfort food too! It’s unlikely your taller guests will pass up on a milk and cookie shot or a gourmet mini Big Mac! Caterers like Cocktail Caterers love additions like these!
5. HIRE SOME HELP
To ensure that parents get in some good grown-up time at your wedding even with the kids nearby, make it so they don’t have to micromanage their children throughout the party. “First and foremost, I always suggest hiring a sitter or two,” says Danielle Bobish of Curtain Up Events. With professional babysitters on-site to keep the children company, the adults at the wedding can feel at ease knowing that they’re entertained, and not getting themselves into trouble!
6. SECTION OFF A SPECIAL SPACE
Reserve an area off to the side of your event space to be set up as a kid charging station, suggests Jessi Hill ofAtlantis, Paradise Island. Here they can watch movies, play video games, play with toys, or collect themselves should exhaustion set in. This separation opens the wedding up to a dual-advantage of both having children at a wedding, while also making it feel like an adult party too.
7. CREATE A CUSTOM CANDY BAR
Not only does a custom candy bar look beautiful and complement a color scheme, but it’s also fun for everyone to partake in, kids especially. Lisa’s Candy Buffet designs beautifully tasty smorgasbords of sweets that are tailored to enhance the ambiance. Children will have the time of their life filling up bags with jellybeans and the candy of your choice. They’ll wish your wedding were a recurring occasion!
8. DESIGN A PERSONALIZED ACTIVITY BOOK
Call it a wedding program for kids. You can speak to the youngest members of your wedding party in a way that is fun and engaging. Include riddles about you as a couple, word searches related to wedding items and activities, and incorporate games that will get them excited about what’s to come! Include a coloring page with the outline of your faces, and giggles are certain to ensue.
9. GIVE THEM A RESPONSIBILITY
There is no greater way to make a child feel special at your wedding than by inviting them into your wedding party. Whether by extending them the honor of being a flower girl, junior bridesmaid, or ring bearer, they will be proud to serve at your wedding. For kids that don’t have an official title for the wedding ceremony, you can still give them a super important task for them to manage on that day. Perhaps ask them to distribute programs or invite an adorably outspoken child to make a toast, and they will jump at the opportunity to enhance your special day. “Kids love to help out!” says José Rolón of José Rolón Events. “Sometimes when brides have pedals spread out on the ground for the ceremony, it could be fun to ask them to be responsible for the pedal pickup. It’s an eye-candy numbers game on who can collect the most.”
10. LET THEM EAT CAKE!
A tasty little activity for kids at dessert time is to have them decorate their own sweets. Whether placing confetti sprinkles on their very own cupcake, or arranging for a junior-sized tiered cake for them to decorate as a group project, they will love diving into this scrumptious wedding finale!
This article was originally published in the 2015 Sophisticated Weddings: New York Edition, available for purchase online and on newsstands.
MAIN PHOTO CREDIT:
PICTURED: (FLOWER GIRL) SAVANNAH & JOEY AT THE WEDDING OF GRETCHEN & SID
PHOTO BY: BRIAN HATTON PHOTOGRAPHY
LOCATION: THE JW MARRIOT ESSEX HOTEL