Many couples have fond memories of attending weddings as kids—being twirled around on the dance floor, playing games with cousins, sneaking an extra slice of wedding cake. Yet, when it comes time to plan your own wedding, you're likely weighing the pros and cons of including little ones on the big day. If you've decided to invite a group of kids, it's important to keep the atmosphere fun and exciting for them so their parents can enjoy your wedding as a relaxing occasion. That begs the question: Is it worth it to bring in additional entertainment for children? Here, we dive into the basics of keeping kids entertained.
Create a Space for Kids
Whether or not you're debating bringing in additional entertainment for kids, Alicia Fritz, wedding planner and owner of A Day in May Events, says you should designate an area for little ones to relax. "There's always room to carve out an area, or even a special table for kids," the pro explains.
Hiring Entertainers for Kids
If you have room in your budget to hire some extra entertainment for the kids, Fritz recommends bringing in the pros. You can easily hire magicians, jugglers, or creative instructors to work with children of all ages, but you may want to consider having a few babysitters on hand to keep a watchful eye, too. Some kids' entertainment groups, like Sophie's World in San Francisco, may include both services.
Fritz suggests incorporating tablets and devices for kids, which is especially good for a smaller group. "The kids are given an art lesson without the mess," she says. "We also love turning hospitality suites at the hotel into kid zones with movies, games, activities, and lots of food throughout the night."
Minimizing the Expense
If your budget is already tight, stick with low-key entertainment ideas. Fritz suggests simple things like I-Spy cards on the kids' table to give the little ones something to do while they eat their dinner. As every parent will tell you, the things that keep their kids occupied always surprise them. You could decorate the kids table with a giant tablecloth illustration for them to color in, provide each child with a bag full of magic tricks or games, and invite them to join the dance floor once the party gets going.
Winding Down the Night
If you do opt for entertainment or a kids-only zone at the wedding, Fritz suggests sending the little ones home with a thoughtful favor. "Pajamas are encouraged so that when Mom and Dad pick them up, they can head straight to bed," she says. It's helpful for both the kids and parents to have a plan in place for the end of the night.
Is It Worth the Price Tag?
That depends largely on your priorities. Every couple has a different set of needs and many brides and grooms feel that making kids feel both included and celebrated is important to them. If that's your approach, the cost could very well be worth its weight.