Do Wedding Venues Offer High Chairs?
Here's what you need to know if you intend to invite a number of young guests.
Whether your wedding is a huge family affair with a dozen kids closing down the dance floor long after bedtime or an adults-only evening where you're accommodating just your ring bearer and flower girl, anticipating the needs of the children on your guest list (and their parents) can help your day flow more smoothly. One detail you shouldn't overlook: Do you need to rent high chairs and booster seats? Older kids can happily reach their chicken finger and French fry platter from the same chairs you chose for the rest of your guests, but babies and toddlers will be much happier (and safer) in specialty seating.
"If you're dealing with in-house catering, they're going to have high chairs," says event planner Vanessa Michelle, owner of Vanessa Michelle Co. "But a lot of venues, and full build-outs don't have these items, so you're going to have to rent them."
Kid-sized seating isn't a hard-to-find or expensive to rent: Most companies offer the classic, easy-to-clean wooden high chair that you'll recognize from restaurants for $18-$25, and wooden or plastic booster seats for $8-$13 each (though these charges can add up quickly if every one of your college friends and older cousins RSVPs yes-plus-toddlers). If you've chosen tables and chairs from a specialized rental company, you may have to order high chairs and booster seats from a second rental source—keeping in mind, says Michelle, that smaller rental orders may not include delivery, which means assigning someone pick-up duty during the week or day before your wedding. She also recommends having your photographer take detail shots of your room before the high chairs are placed at the tables to create a more uniform, cohesive look.
You may know whether your niece needs a high chair or your godson is ready for a booster seat, but Michelle suggests reaching out to guests who are bringing their kids to confirm exactly what kind of seating—and for how many little ones—you need to provide. "In the event there are only a few couples bringing children, I would touch base with them personally to ask what they need," she says. Rent enough for everyone to sit at the same time—don't expect them to share on a first-come, first-serve basis, and don't make guests feel like they have to lug their own travel high chair along to safely feed their kids. "If it's someone close to the bride and groom who say they want to bring their own, then let them," says Vanessa, "but I like to provide everything for the guests so they never have to go out of their way."
Having kids at your wedding can cause plenty of controversy during the planning process, though, so if you're on the fence about including babies and toddlers, you may want to consider a lack of seating the encouragement you need to offer off-site babysitting for little ones. "If they don't offer high chairs," jokes Michelle, "maybe take this as a sign you don't need children at the reception!"