I can understand why some couples don’t want to include children on their guest lists. Kids are unpredictable. They scream, run, cry, talk when they shouldn’t, and might dig their little nose-picking fingers into the icing on your wedding cake while it’s on display. (I seriously saw this happen at a wedding a few years ago.)
Potential disasters aside, kids will be invited to our wedding. I love kids! Children are just as much a part of the family as anyone else and I couldn’t imagine having a celebration without them. I’m really only drawing the line with children of co-workers. Pretty much everyone else who has small children, regardless of whether they are family or friends, will have the option of bringing their kids along.
When I was a kid, I loved going to weddings. I have a lot of older cousins who were getting married when I was little (I even landed a flower girl gig for one of them) and there was always something magical about seeing the bride and groom all dressed up, smiling and celebrating.
But no matter how magical parts of the wedding can be, a lot of it can be pretty boring for the youngsters. Ceremonies are the worst.
You get there early and you have to sit quietly while someone is playing boring music without words. Then, there is the sermon that accompanies the ceremony. After that, it’s on to the reception and there is a long wait for dinner to start, followed by toasts, more waiting, and a few traditional slow dances before you’re allowed to get up and shake off some of your pent up energy during the twist, chicken dance, and ‘Shout’. And how could I forget to mention that throughout all of this, kids are wearing their Sunday best, so normal playing and horsing around is frowned upon.
Because I know there’s a good chance that any and all of the 20 plus kids invited to our wedding will experience boredom at some point on the wedding day, I’m going to put together goody bags for them containing various puzzles, coloring sheets, small toys and other fun things.
I really like the idea of making an activity and coloring book and have had some luck with finding a few good templates online. I’m hoping to put one together soon for our younger guests, but with a few more difficult word searches and puzzles for those in the 8 -14 age range. To accompany the books, I picked up a couple dozen 24-count boxes of Crayola Crayons for $0.24 each during Walmart’s back-to-school sale.
I also purchased packages of cute, self-inking animal stamps at Michael’s (clearance priced at $0.50 for 6 stamps), a variety of temporary tattoos, some inexpensive plastic puzzle games and this weird foam-like substance that is sort of like Play-Doh, but without the smell and the mess.
I’ll probably pick up a few more small items and then package them in little paper sacks for each child. I’m hoping that the kids and parents will appreciate the gesture. I’m also hoping it will result in the ceremony and dinner portions of the wedding day being temper tantrum-free. After dinner is over and the fun begins, I’m all for every man, woman, and child getting jiggy with it on the dance floor.
Wedding reception air guitar courtesy of my nephew, Trevor (March 2006)
Are you inviting kids to your ceremony and reception? How are you keeping the children entertained on your wedding day?