Keeping children out of mischief on your wedding day

A thought that crosses most couple’s minds when planning a wedding is, should we invite children or not? And if we are going to invite them, how do we avoid the cliché crying during the ceremony and knee sliding on the dancefloor? Sure enough to invite children or not to invite children is the question.  If you have decided to invite children to your wedding ceremony or reception, here’s a few ideas on how you can make sure they’re kept happy and that your guests’ attention stays firmly where it should be: on you….I mean….on you and your new husband!

Keep them entertained

It’s no secret that most children have short attention spans, so sitting still and being quiet for long periods of time can be quite difficult for little ones – in fact it’s quite difficult for most grown-ups. To help avoid fidgeting, crying or misbehaviour, and keep them entertained, make sure that you give them plenty of things to do during the day’s events.


Be prepared and put together individual, age appropriate activity packs for each child who has RSVP’d. Disposable cameras, sketchbooks and crayons, bubbles, sweet treats, and small toys are all great fillers to keep boredom at bay.

Make them feel like they’ve got really important role to play

Flower girls and page boys come with that extra cute factor and make for fab photos. To make them understand how important that role is and what it involves, try to let them be a part of everything and give them special jobs to help them feel part of the big day. From choosing their outfits in the run up to the wedding and getting ready with the bride or groom in the morning of the big day, to walking down the aisle throwing petals and carrying the rings.

Set them challenges throughout the day

Children love being given a challenging activity, especially if there’s an element of competition and a prize on offer. A cheap way to keep primary school aged children entertained is to set them little tasks - a treasure hunt or the challenge of who can collect the most messages for the guest book. If you’re having a summer wedding and your venue has child-friendly outside space, consider a few lawn games that can be umpired by doting grandparents. They’re relatively inexpensive and really useful for helping younger guests enjoy the day and run off some energy.

No grown-up zone!

In an ideal world, children would sit cherub-like – hands in their lap with angelic smiles on their faces as the speeches are delivered. Bet let’s face it, some adults struggle to keep it together during the formalities of the wedding breakfast! The truth is children aren’t interested in listening to the speeches, so having a safe area that children can go to, to keep entertained or even just to chill out in, is well worth the extra pennies it may cost. Lots of companies offer a wedding nanny service and it’s well worth considering if budget allows.

Happy tummies, happy children, happy you 

Finally, when it comes to planning a wedding that involves children, don’t forget to think about what food they might want to eat on the day. Not all children are fans of prawn val-au-vents, so make sure that you keep them happy and give them something that you know they will enjoy. Think about providing them with a mixture of healthy as well as fun party favourites – and try to avoid anything that may stain those special outfits they’ll be rocking. This will not only please the children, it’ll keep the parents happy too.

Michelle Clarke, senior event manager and wedding coordinator at the Marriott Breadsall Priory

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