Advice // Keeping Little Wedding Guests Entertained

Image: Style Me Pretty {unknown photographer}

As you can imagine, it is incredibly important to keep little wedding guests as busy and entertained as possible throughout your big day. Most brides and grooms are not keen on the idea of having every single guest’s attention shifted away from them and onto a bored and disruptive child. If you agree then you should spend a bit of time and money on making provisions for them. Entertaining children can take many forms, including professional event nannies, a full on wedding day crèche, children’s entertainers, a craft station, and activity packs full of things to keep little fingers and minds busy.

A short note of caution before we continue. Including children on your guest list isn’t for everyone, so I would advise you to sit down with your fiancé and talk the idea through in detail if you’re leaning towards permitting children to attend. You may find that they do not agree. Adding children to your guest list will make your wedding more expensive due to increased catering costs and the cost of keeping them entertained. On the flip side, excluding children is also a fantastic way of causing offence if it is not handled carefully and sensitively. However, while including children will add a few tasks to your to do list, there is nothing quite like the atmosphere of a wedding where children are welcome. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but children add a certain sense of magic, wonder and youth to a wedding which is noticeably lacking without them.

Image: Bodie & Fou

Event nannies and wedding crèches:

If you’re on the lookout for a service which will provide your younger wedding guests with games, crafts and entertainment for the duration of your wedding, then event nannies or a mobile crèche should be your first choice. Generally speaking, a wedding crèche will take place in a separate room and will act as a place to drop kids off before the wedding ceremony, and to collect them at the end of the night. The best wedding crèches will include a slumber zone (where children can have a nap), and a private and comfortable breast feeding area for nursing mums.

It is true that event nannies and wedding crèches are the most expensive way of looking after your little wedding guests; however you will be able to enjoy your day to the full while the kiddies have fun in another room. Also, mums and dads are guaranteed to appreciate some time to enjoy the wedding properly while their little angels are cared for by a professional company. It’s a win win situation!

Image: Paul Underhill

Children’s entertainers:

If you’re not sure that your budget can stretch to event nannies or a wedding day crèche, but you still want the children to be entertained, you could consider employing a children’s entertainer. Children’s entertainers will occupy your children for between one and two hours so that their parents are free to attend your marriage ceremony without worrying about their children getting bored. Popular options for entertainers include clowns, princesses, magicians, fairies and pirates, and they should be stationed in a separate room from your wedding reception so that the children can concentrate on and hear the entertainer properly.

Oh, and while I adore face painting, my advice is to steer clear of this form of entertainment on this occasion as parents may have spent a lot of money dressing their little ones for your big day.

Image: Trent Bailey Photography {via The Knot}

Craft stations:

Craft stations are an excellent way of keeping children busy and stimulated, while allowing them to be part of your wedding day activities. Crèches and entertainers usually look after children in a separate room; however with a craft station it’s easy to set one up in the main reception room as it won’t take up too much space. Craft stations will provide a focal point for children to be creative, to exercise their artistic flare and to engage with the other children present at the wedding. Popular items to place on a craft station include pencils, crayons, paper, card, tissue paper, colouring books, stickers, safety scissors, glue sticks, glitter, bubbles, glow sticks, novelty toys, balloons, pipe cleaners and pompoms. Steer clear of paints and felt tip pens as they can make a real mess of fingers and clothes! Remember to encourage the children to take their artworks home with them at the end of the night.

Image: Helen Lisk Photography {via Whimsical Wonderland Weddings}

Activity packs:

Perhaps the most simple and cost effective way of keeping your youngest guests happy is to create and hand out personalised activity packs. All of the items listed above in the craft stations section can be placed in activity packs, and activity packs can be taken home at the end of the night if the child hasn’t finished playing with the contents. Simple!

--Lottie ♥