Destination Weddings – How to include and Entertain the Kids
- In your RSVP invitation cards, ask your guests to inform you how many children will be going with them to the wedding, as well as the respective ages of each child. Remember to count tweens and teenagers as adults. Forcing them to mingle with very young kids is not ideal, unless you plan on making the older kids in charge of the little ones. Of course, this arrangement can be okay if the brood is not that hard to handle and if the older kids agree to babysitting (and as long as they are responsible enough to keep their wards safe). If not, it would be best to hire a babysitter or two, depending on the number of children involved.
- If you have really decided to include kids in the big picture, consult your wedding planner. Certainly, she’s already figured out a few tricks on keeping the kids in generally appropriate behavior all throughout the wedding. The experienced professional that she is, she knows only too well to keep the kids in mind when considering every element of the occasion, from the ceremony itself to the reception.
- Make sure that the wedding venue is child-friendly. Many modern villas, for instance, don’t have railings. Furthermore, there are also establishments that do not allow children in as guests. Therefore, it would be best if you first check the details of the accommodation with the receptionist before booking.
- Preparing age-appropriate party/welcome bags for the kids is a great idea. Make sure to give one bag per child to avoid unnecessary crying and meltdowns. After all, it should be expected and understandable that very young kids are still learning how to share. If the kids will be staying at a hotel, coloring books and erasable markers are a safe bet to keep them busy without making too much noise. Puzzle and handheld games will work well to fight boredom in older kids. If you plan on giving them more fun and exciting toys for the pool or beach party, make sure to hand these out after the wedding. Otherwise, your immaculate wedding dress may get ruined by a squirt gun or whatnot.
- Remember to keep unobtrusive toys, cookies, harmlessly colorless candy and water handy during the wedding ceremony itself, to keep tantrums and meltdowns at bay. The adult-in-charge should never forget to bring wet wipes and disposable table napkins, lest the kids wipe food on their cute little suits or dresses.
- If you wish to host a cocktail party for your reception, make sure to prepare a separate age-appropriate party for the kids, ideally just in an adjacent room so parents can easily check on them every now and then. This will keep tired, hungry and bored kids from disrupting wedding toasts or photos. And don’t forget to leave them with a responsible and sober volunteer-guest or a babysitter.