Including little ones in your big day? Here's how to show them a good time.
1 Hire a bouncy castle
If your venue has a large enough outdoor area, a well-positioned bouncy castle can be a wise investment. Not only will it be a favourite with the kids, it’s also a great way for them to burn off some energy before heading inside.
2 Take them on a treasure hunt
Few things excite a child more than a treasure hunt. Employ a minder to set one up in a designated area and keep a watchful eye on your pint-size explorers. This will give their parents time to socialise with other guests.
3 Create a petting zoo
It’s not for everyone or every venue, but if you're animal lovers, consider delighting your younger guests with an outdoor petting zoo. Think miniature ponies, a kunekune pig, pet lambs and a couple of big fluffy rabbits. Just make sure you have an adult supervising all child-animal interactions and that your chosen pets love attention – because they’ll get plenty of it!
4 Play outdoor games
Pétanque, lawn bowls and croquet are all great outdoor games to keep older children (and adults) entertained between the ceremony and reception. They're also a fantastic way for your guests to break the ice and provide your photographer with beautiful candid moments to capture.
5 Enlist children’s entertainment
While the adults are enjoying the speeches, why not give the children something to cheer about? Hiring a magician, clown or other kids’ entertainer is the perfect way to keep little minds occupied while their parents sit back.
6 Set up an activity table
An activity table in a corner of your reception venue will help keep the youngest guests attending your reception busy. Include wedding-themed pictures to colour in, freshly cut flowers to make bouquets from, or crafty items such as DIY jewellery or kit-set toys.
7 Encourage candid photography
Arm some of your older child guests with disposable cameras and put them in charge of photos at the reception once your official photographer has left the building. You’ll find most children will revel in their newly appointed position and produce some hilarious shots.
8 Rehydrate with a mocktail bar
Set up a child-friendly ‘mocktail bar’ where kids can choose from a selection of ingredients and design their own drinks. Use disposable glassware and provide a few recipe ideas to get the ball rolling.
9 Designate a chill-out room
Despite the excitement of the day, and the sugar rush from snacks, the wedding cake and dessert, most kids will eventually hit the wall and need a quiet place where they can lie down, snuggle up and watch their favourite DVD. All you need is a private room, a few blankets and cushions, and a classic children’s story, and you’ll have them drifting off to La La Land in no time.