Are you having children at your wedding? Here are some top tips
Thinking about including children in your wedding day? Then this blog is a must read for you! I love Children and the energy and excitement they can add to a situation, but I understand this isn’t appealing to everyone. As a wedding photographer I get to experience numerous different types of weddings, picking up many helpful do’s and don’ts along the way. So here are some helpful tips I’ve picked up over the years for including children in your big day.
Is your venue child friendly? If the answer is no then seriously consider having an adults only wedding, you don’t want to be worrying about the safety of little ones, and parents will understand why they aren’t invited when they get to experience your day and they may actually thank you for getting a day off to relax and unwind.
How to avoid stage fright – I have seen adult bridesmaids and best men tremble at the thought of walking down the aisle, so we can’t expect kids to be any different. The aisle can be a very daunting place especially with all those eyes and camera lenses fixed solely on you. Some children lap up the attention whilst some run in the opposite direction or refuse to move.
Make sure the walk is practised, especially little ones, so they know exactly where they have to go and the route is familiar. Give them a toilet pit stop before they head to the ceremony to avoid any little mishaps. Provide a distraction, if they have a job to do like scattering petals or a sign to hold then they are distracted from everyone around them and can focus on their little task.
Make sure there is a friendly face at the end that they can head to. Plant a beaming parent or relative at the end of the aisle with open arms. There is nothing more comforting than heading towards the safety of a loved one.
Give them attention and make them feel as valued guest. Children love being centre of attention so add a few touches to make sure they feel included.
Prepare children packs for the reception. Not only will they make them feel special but they can also help keep them distracted during the speeches. Colouring and activities such as word searches and spot the difference can provide a few moments quiet.
I have seen kids treasure hunts work really well. Provide them with a disposable camera and a check list of events, outfits and people they need to capture. Then send them off during the drinks reception on their little mission. Be prepared to laugh a lot when you get the developed photos back!
Make sure you have photos with them, they will love to feel included. If you are providing entertainment make sure they pay the children a visit. Watch their little faces light up as a magician performs them a trick or the string quartet burst into a rendition of Baby Shark!
Think about hiring a child minder or entertainer. This is not as expensive as you might think. I have been shocked by how much value for money this service is. Wedding childminders come in many different guises from a basic sitting service to full blown activities and slumber parties. This is almost the best of both worlds. Children can be part of the ceremony, all the photos, the dinner. They can then head off to be entertained before the speeches and the evening entertainment starts.
Have a Plan B – Children are unpredictable and we can’t always expect them to be angels. Make sure there is a plan B and a break away area for when it gets too much. If children are involved in the main wedding party make sure there is someone assigned to look after them. This is especially important if you’re the couple getting married and the child is yours.
Ask a family member or friend who the child will feel comfortable with to look after them during the day. Don’t strive for perfection and be open to a little one joining you during your vows or the first dance. After all these can make the cutest photos.
Make sure there is a break away area and it is easy to get to. There is nothing worse than having a child throw a tantrum and being unable to get out of the situation. Make sure parents and carers know where they can go to during the ceremony if the child kicks off and don’t sit them in the middle of a busy reception room unable to make a quick exit.
Let your photographer know there will be kids present – As a photographer I love capturing natural reactions and emotions. Children are so expressive and if I know they will be present, I can keep an eye out to capture those little heart-warming moments. It’s these moments that will continue to make you smile for years to come. Head to My Favourite Moments to see just what I am talking about.