One of the big questions many wedding guests have upon receiving a wedding invitation is “Are kids allowed?” Some weddings request that parents find babysitters for their babies or young children rather than bring them to the wedding. Some weddings organize some sort of childcare effort for parents on-site. Other weddings, and this seems to be most, say kids are invited alongside their invited parents.
When I was planning our wedding, I had kids in mind from the beginning. I have 16 nieces and nephews between my husband’s family and mine, so we wanted our wedding to be as welcoming for them as possible. That wasn’t too difficult to achieve since we were having a 3-day outdoor camping wedding (what kid doesn’t love being outside?), but nonetheless, I wanted to create a focal point for kids to stay near. I figured it would be easier on the parents and everyone else at our wedding if we had a central location kids would be drawn to. Our wedding grounds were highly helpful in this area with a swing set, picnic tables, and a fire pit that contained a giant wooden structure already within close proximity to each other. But it worked out so wonderfully, with a few of my own touches, that I would recreate the main kids’ attraction myself if I were in charge of planning a wedding again.
The key is to make a kids’ space that is creative.
Pick out the location. Make sure the location for your kids’ space makes sense. Is it central enough to the parents and activities? Is it far enough away from anything potentially hazardous? Keep all possible outcomes and obstacles in mind when choosing your location, especially if you’ll be accommodating a lot of children.
Get your wood. An upright dome of wood was the key for our creative kids’ space at our wedding. You can use old or scrap wood for this, as long as you can fit it all together into one dome-like shape (or you can go for a wall of wood for a simpler alternative).
Construct your dome. Use nails to secure your structure where needed. Again, if you prefer not to create an entire structure of wood for this, you can simply place wood panels, like plywood, on the ground or against a vertical surface.
Bring forth your painting supplies. This is where it gets fun! Gather paints, buckets, paintbrushes, aprons, water, glitter, newspaper, and anything else you imagine you might need for a giant art project like this. If you want to get extra creative, bring out some ribbons and other swaths of fabric, as well. Bring all of the supplies to the site of your creative kids’ space and leave them out.
Let the kids know what they’re allowed to do. Once kids enter your wedding, have no doubt, they’ll notice this creative kids’ space right off the bat. Put up a sign or otherwise let parents and kids know that the kids are allowed to utilize the art supplies and paint on the wooden structure. Once they get past their disbelief (don’t worry, it won’t last long), they’ll be quick to put on their aprons and begin painting in the creative kids’ space.
Creating a kids’ space like this is great for making sure that the kids at your outdoor wedding are not only all in one safe place together, easily chaperoned by a nearby parent or adult, but that they will also have an enriching and artistic experience while at your wedding.