10 Ways to Make Your Wedding Kid-Friendly

While many couples feel strongly that their wedding should be a grownups-only kind of a party, plenty of others can’t imagine planning a wedding without all the little ones in their lives there. If you’re inviting kids, here’s how to keep the little ones happy and entertained at your wedding.

1. Have a morning or early-afternoon wedding.
Turns out, kids go to bed super-early. Having a brunch wedding will make life easier on parents and will mean you won’t have a bunch of cranky kids in need of nap at your reception. (And breakfast and lunch foods are very kid-friendly!)

2. Find out if your venue offers a kids’ menu.
Many will offer this option, but if they don’t, serve up a buffet instead of a plated dinner. Kids are notoriously picky eaters, but if the parents can make their plates themselves, they are likely to find something that works for them.

3. Skip the place cards and set out a bundle of fun activities for them instead.
It’s usually best for kids to sit with their parents at dinner, but see if you can have some quiet activities (think crayons and paper cards they can decorate for the bride and groom) placed at the kids’ seats to help keep them entertained (this will also make them feel super special!).

4. Consider hiring a babysitter or child-wrangler for the reception.
This is especially thoughtful if most of your guests are coming from out of town. You can have the sitter corral them at the venue or sitter set up in a nearby hotel room and invite the kiddos to a slumber and pizza party during the wedding. Either way, it gives people the chance to enjoy themselves as adults, not as parents, and will keep other guests from getting annoyed with those obnoxious kids whose parents always seem to have magically disappeared.

5. If your wedding is going to be outside, set up an area with lawn games or a piñata.
Bonus: Plenty of adults will get into this as well!

6. Set up a kids’ area for the reception that has fun activities.
Think age-appropriate activities (word searches, coloring books) and games (hot potato, checkers).

7. Let your DJ know it’s a kid-friendly wedding.
Knowing that may change the playlist considerably.

8. Include them in the ceremony.
Having some sort of responsibility will often give kids something to look forward to (and encourages them to be on their best behavior). Not sure you want nine flower girls and six ring bearers? Frame it as a “kid parade” instead and have let them carry balloons, pinwheels, and toy musical instruments as they proceed down the aisle (before sitting with their parents for the ceremony).

9. Work with your venue.
Ask your venue if they have any recommendations for kids; you may learn that they have a side room that’s perfect for setting up a kids’ table or hosting some kind of kids’ entertainment.

10. Send them home with kid-friendly favors at the end of the night.
Their parents might not appreciate the sugar rush, but the kids certainly will!