Having kids involved in the festivities? Here are eight need-to-know tips for working with (and keeping happy!) the smallest members of your bridal party…
Related article: Entertaining ‘kids zone’ ideas for your wedding
Preparation is key
Weddings can be so exciting for kids… and they can also be a little daunting! To get them feeling confident for your special day, make sure they have a practice walk down the aisle and have a fun chat with them (over a babychino, perhaps?) about the festivities. Your wedding should feel like a party to them, so get the littlest members of your bridal party excited!
Also, be sure to show your appreciation like you would any other member of your bridal party. A little gift for the kids and their parents is always a good idea.
Fit in some ‘quiet time’
If you’re expecting a really young guest, talk to their parents about their sleep schedule (if they have one). No, you don’t need to plan the festivities around it, but it might be smart to fit in time for a pre-ceremony nap – we’d be temped to have one ourselves!
Also, set up a cosy ‘quiet time’ area at your reception if there’ll be little kids at your reception. You don’t have to go overboard – some blankets, cushions, rugs and soft toys are all you need.
Don’t skip the pre-ceremony photos
Heads-up – the kids in your bridal party will probably look their best before the ceremony.
Before they spend the reception running around and playing with confetti, be sure to have photos taken with the littlies. Of course, we always love snaps of toddlers with a big chocolate cake grin – classic!
Happy tummies make happy kids
It seems obvious, but one of the best ways to make the kids in your bridal party happy is to feed them!
After you’ve had a few ‘getting ready’ photos taken with them, treat the little ones to a snack but choose wisely. Foods that will make a mess or stain their clothes are not your friends.
Take a moment before you walk down the aisle
Other pre-wedding musts: go over directions, double-check them for any stains and make sure they go to the bathroom (or run the risk of a very amusing cross-legged walk down the aisle!).
Perhaps the most important thing, though, is to give them a big hug! Remember, they might be nervous – a few words of encouragement and a cuddle can make a world of difference.
Just in case…
Having a ring bearer? It sounds odd, but having fake rings can be a smart move. To avoid the stress, give the real ones to the best man – you know, just in case.
Or for something different, include them in your bridal party another way. We love seeing littlies walk down the aisle with signs that say ‘Don’t worry ladies, I’m still single’ and ‘I’m just here for the cake’! They’ll still feel special and it’ll have everyone laughing.
Rather than having your flower-girls (and/or ring bearers) standing at the altar during the whole ceremony, have them seated in the front row with a a parent or guardian.
They might get tired, nervous or (dare we say it?) bored and cranky standing in front of everyone. Keep them smiling and feeling part of the action by having them watch from the front and let them rejoin the party for the processional.
Parents to the rescue!
This might be the most simple but important piece of advice – prep the kids’ parents so they’re ready to scoop up their child when a hissy fit is imminent! Ah, crisis averted.
If it’s your own child being involved in the bridal party, ask their grandparents or a close family member (an aunt or uncle maybe?) to be ready to jump in. And be sure to reward them – a bottle of wine, chocolates or a restaurant voucher can be a very worthwhile investment!
Feature image from the wedding of Larissa + Ricky
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