Nearly half of all the couples whose weddings I photograph either already have children themselves, or they have an extended family full of kids! While some still opt for a child-free wedding day, I often get asked how couples can make their wedding more child friendly, so the wee ones can join in the fun!
So, without further ado – here’s my list of the top ten ways you can make your wedding a fun day for the little ones and grown ups alike!
1. SET ASIDE SOME TIME
Wedding days are all go from start to finish, and you’ll feel a wee bit run off your feet. Setting aside a five minute window to spend some quality time with your kids is a great idea when planning your child-friendly wedding. It lets them know how much they mean to you, and helps them to feel like an important part of the day. Whether it’s taking time to help them get dressed, or doing a special mini family photo shoot with your photographer, it’s a small but meaningful way to include them.
2. LET THEM CHOOSE THEIR OUTFIT
Picking out an adorable outfit for them is absolutely no guarantee they’ll want to wear it on the day! We all know how hard it can be to get kids to wear a chosen outfit. Make things easier for all of you, and let them pick their own outfit. It’s fun, it takes stress out of the day, and you’re sure to get some sweet photos with them, whatever outfit they choose.
3. MAKE THEM FEEL IMPORTANT
The key to a child-friendly wedding day is making them feel included, important and special. The best way to do this is to give them a special job – whether it’s walking mum down the aisle, or for well-spoken children, getting them to do a short reading during the ceremony. Giving them their five minutes of fame will do wonders.
4. CHILD-FRIENDLY WEDDING TREATS
It’s no secret that kids can be a wee bit fussy when it comes to eating. Make sure there is food that they’ll like to eat, whether it’s a special child-friendly meal option (chicken nuggets and chips always go down a treat!) or an ice cream bar for dessert. This’ll keep away any food-related temper tantrums!
5. …AND SAME GOES FOR DRINKS!
If the grown ups get their bar – the kids should get their refreshments too! Include a range of options, including some low-sugar choices. One of the best setups I have seen was a Sodastream bar, with a range of flavoured syrups. This went down a treat with the adults non drinkers and sober drivers too!
6. KIDS-ONLY ZONE
When you’re a kid, there’s nothing more boring than when adults keep socialising and there’s nothing to keep you entertained! We set up a kids’ space on our wedding day and worked a treat. Set aside a space with games, snacks and movies to keep them entertained. A must-have for a child-friendly wedding!
7. GET A NANNY
This one might cost little bit of dosh, but trust me – this was one of the best things we did on our wedding day. The parents could relax without needing to constantly check on their kids, and the children felt cared for with a dedicated person to pay attention to them.
8. GIFT BAGS
The best part of going to parties as a kid! Take some time to pick up a few little gifts for the little ones attending your wedding. They’ll know you are thinking of them, and it’ll give them a bag full of memories from the day. You could also dish these out earlier in the day and include some activities too!
9. BOOK A PHOTO BOOTH
This is great for kids and adults alike – who doesn’t love a photobooth?! – but this is a great way to keep kids entertained for hours. You’ll also end up with plenty of hilarious photos for the album and the fridge. Photo Booth Fun is one of my all-time favourites – I’ve worked with them for years! Check them out here: www.photoboothfun.co.nz
10. ARRANGE AN EARLY COLLECTION
You can absolutely send the kids home early! One of the key parts of having a child friendly wedding is sending them home for bed, to avoid any overtired, grumpy little ones. It also allows the adults time to let their hair down and really enjoy themselves. Arrange someone to collect the kids as the day wears on so they can get some sleep, and you can relax (or dance the night away!)
Check some of my favorite images from some of the recent weddings I have shot below and don’t forget to keep up with the latest from me on Facebook and click here to find out more about my wedding photography.