Friday, July 10, 2015

Having Kids at Your Wedding...

…as in, inviting them, not actually birthing them there.  Moving on.

My cousin got married last month at a beautiful garden.  Despite having attended upwards of a dozen weddings in the last few years, this was actually my first outdoor one and only Aaron's second wedding ever.  I have to say, he behaved better at this one than the one we attended last summer, where I spent most of the Mass wrangling him in the back of the Church while Andrew was on groomsman duty, and I think the outdoor reception made a huge difference in his level of restlessness this time.  I'm not deluded enough to chalk it up to maturity…

Instead of having to chase him around a ballroom, we could just follow where he roamed (or I guess ran to is more accurate--this kid rarely walks these days!) outside of the main sitting area.  What's more, I was so impressed and grateful that the bride and groom set up bubble machines, lawn games, and a bucket of trucks for their smaller guests.  Between the bubbles and the trucks, Aaron was in heaven, and Andrew and I felt like we could relax and chat with our family way more than we would've been able to indoors.

Catholic wedding
Just getting his wedding cornhole on.

Catholic wedding
So on that the beanbags made the non-cornhole photo.
I remember reading this post from Hailey a while back, a wise and beautiful reminder that inviting children to a wedding can and should become an act of selflessness on the part of the bride and groom, who include them knowing that some guests won't be able to focus on the two of them every second, and that kids are a living witness to the whole point of marriage--new life, either biological, spiritual, or both.  As a somewhat seasoned veteran on the Catholic hitching circuit, I can't think of many weddings I attended where there weren't a gaggle of progeny running around, nor many occasions where anyone seemed bothered by this.  It's ultimately up to the bride and groom, of course, but if you have room in your budget, my opinion is the more the joyfuller.

That being said, how can you make it easy on parents and kids if you decide to include children in your invitations?  Like I said, outdoor toys and activities were a great addition to the garden reception we attended.  If you haven't booked a reception site yet, choosing one with built-in entertainment for them, like a playground, can be a good choice (in college I once babysat at a wedding where the reception was held in the parish hall; like a lot of churches, this one had swings and a jungle gym).  Cold-weather wedding?  Coloring, simple puzzles and word games, and maybe special kids favors, handed out early, might be good choices (I say might because I haven't yet been to one of these and don't want to laugh at the cluelessness of my future self as, God willing, my posse of offspring ignores the crayons and rushes the cake table or something)!

Thoughts?  I'd love to hear about the best kid-friendly wedding touches you've come across!  What's your opinion on including the young folk on your guest list?


6 comments:

  1. Stephanie! Good to see you blogging again! How have you been??

    Well, I'm Italian, and it would be unheard of NOT to have children at a wedding. :) The multiple weddings we've attended these past few years have been pretty kid-friendly, including but not limited to an on-site babysitter, a kids table with activities, a sweets station, etc.

    There was one instance when the bride and groom specified Adult Only wedding, and I couldn't entirely blame them. Their reception was held at a beautiful art museum, and there wasn't a person on earth who could have convinced me to let my children attend that reception! Everywhere I turned, there were priceless works of art, waiters walking by with champagne in crystal glasses, gorgeous tableware with expensive china...nope. Nope nope nope. The thought of trying to keep our 4 and 2-year old from touching absolutely anything had me practically breaking out in hives. So glad we were able to get a babysitter that night!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh man, I'd have wanted to fly solo at the museum, too! COMPLETELY understand now that I have a toddler and that sounds like such an amazing evening!

      I am doing really well! I'm so glad you said hi! How's your pregnancy?!

      Delete
  2. I loved having kids at my wedding, but didn't think to provide activities for them. What a great idea! I did check with the parents to see who wanted high chairs and had them set at the appropriate tables ahead of time, but that's about the extent of my planning for them. It was a November wedding with the reception at a restaurant so there's not much I could have done, but maybe some coloring sheets.

    Also, I'm enjoying reading your blog again, and congratulations on the new baby!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Anna!!

      Now that Aaron is old enough to color without sticking all the crayons in his mouth, I sometimes find myself doing it even when he's not around! I'm sure the kids wouldn't have been the only coloring-sheet lovers =)

      Delete
  3. I loved having kids at my wedding, but didn't think to provide activities for them. What a great idea! I did check with the parents to see who wanted high chairs and had them set at the appropriate tables ahead of time, but that's about the extent of my planning for them. It was a November wedding with the reception at a restaurant so there's not much I could have done, but maybe some coloring sheets.

    Also, I'm enjoying reading your blog again, and congratulations on the new baby!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I loved having kids at my wedding, but didn't think to provide activities for them. What a great idea! I did check with the parents to see who wanted high chairs and had them set at the appropriate tables ahead of time, but that's about the extent of my planning for them. It was a November wedding with the reception at a restaurant so there's not much I could have done, but maybe some coloring sheets.

    Also, I'm enjoying reading your blog again, and congratulations on the new baby!

    ReplyDelete

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