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.
|Just getting his wedding cornhole on.|
|So on that the beanbags made the non-cornhole photo.|
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?