Entertaining Children at Weddings/ Vow Renewals

posted 3 years ago in Vow Renewals
Post # 3
Member
3519 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

We do this at our holiday party for work every year.  There’s a separate section for the kiddy tables and they have their own buffet.  Each table has coloring books, crayons, and small toys like paddle balls, bubbles, etc.  My boss hires 2 babysitters from the neighborhood to supervise them, and they do group stuff like duck duck goose for the little ones.  Works like a charm.  If we had teens, I’m sure they’d prefer to be away from grownups so they can play on their phones and eat kid food!

Post # 4
Member
804 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@CurlyCue:  You could have a kids table with a babysitter and activities for the dinner portion.  However, you would need to talk to all the guests with kids to make your intentions clear, because otherwise you’ll still get some kids dining with their parents.

Post # 5
Member
162 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

Also, you have to remember that there are some children who may refuse to be away from Mom and Dad depending on the age. So because of that there may be one or two children seated with parents at dinner. Just good to be aware of things like that. 🙂

Post # 7
Member
2782 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

@CurlyCue:  I think the best way to approach this is to have the kids there, but have a seperate table for them– and to keep them entertained.  You might also want to consider cutting off the kids table at a certain age—throwing a 15, 16 or 17 year old with the toddlers might be a little insulting.

We had 11 kids at our wedding (and that doesn’t include a 14 year old and my 15 year old brother because I don’t consider them “kids” — he is more mature than some adults I know)

 

Each kid got a bucket with lots of stuf it in– activity “packs” (coloring crayons, small coloring book, stickers, tattoos), they had glow in the dark stuff, slap on bracelets– all sorts of little trinkets they got to explore.  We even had a pinata for the kids later in the evening!!

And thier table was covered in kraft paper for drawing.  They had thier own little “nook”– not because we wanted them separated, but beause we had extra people who weren’t invited RSVP and needed to rearrange things a little bit to keep the place flowing.

See if there isn’t a separate area to allow the kids to eat.  Depending on how many of them there are, you can’t shove them all into one hotel room.  Also, do you plan on provising dinner for them? They’ll need to eat as well.  And as I said before– do consider an appropriate age to cut off the “kids” at– most teens are well behaved and can handle a dinner. You can’t expect they’ll be too happy being quarantined with the younger kids, and can’t expect that a coloring book will suit them, either.

I also do not think it’s appropriate to ask for the parents to pay for a babysitter– if you are inviting kids, but to pick and choose when they are going to be included, then I think YOU need to cover the babysitting costs.  I don’t think it’s OK to invite someone and thier children and then ask for money to make the children go away for awhile.

 

Post # 8
Member
885 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Is seating children away from their parents the norm in your family/area?  Personally I have never been to a wedding where kids were not seated with their parents and I know my family members with kids wouldn’t be happy about that if it happened.  However, if it’s the norm for you – go for it.

At my wedding we provided activity books and crayons for the kids during dinner, and they were well-received.  We also seated one table with young children near an open area at the back of the hall, so if they needed to get up and move around during dinner they could do so without getting in the way of servers or other guests.

Post # 10
Member
2782 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

@CurlyCue:  I don’t understand what you mean when you say older teens stay home/hotel??

I think you have to decide if either kids can be there or not.

You’re making this more coimplicated by telling guests “kids are invited BUT for only this part of the evening, and that includes older teens”—

at that point, I think it becomes insulting. 

It’s not, insulting, however– to just say “no kids. period.”

 

The reason I say it’s insulting is:  almost every kid over the age of 13 is very well capable of handling thier own at a formal event, IMO (I’m sure there are expceptions to the rule– but seriously)….so when you tell a 16 year old “you’re with the kids in the hotel room”—honestly, just call it a no kids wedding and leave it at that.

Post # 11
Member
2913 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Wynn Las Vegas

It seems a little convoluted. If the kids are going to join you for the dancing portion after dinner you should just make a kiddie-table at the venue. If you put them with a sitter in a hotel room who is going to shuttle them to the venue after an hour and a half ? Also, teenagers aren’t going to bother anyone.

Post # 12
Member
804 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@CurlyCue:  Well, some parents enjoy their children and don’t mind dining with them. In fact, it’s going to be really hard to keep all the little kids away from their parents.  It’s just how some kids are.  It’s also really weird to invite adults and children but not teens – that’s going to come off as insulting especially since unless you have an enormous guest list, you’ll only be excluding a small number and they’ll feel singled out.

For a data point, I sat with my parents at weddings I attended as a child.

Post # 14
Member
2782 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

@CurlyCue:  I would just call it a no kids event– and then if parents come and travel with thier children, they can figure out how to handle the evening of the vow renewal.  

To be honest, if I was going to travel to an event that was kid free- and chose to bring my kid, I’d rather make the plans for my kid (unless they were going to still be at the same venue I was going to be at– but just not in the same room)– than have someone else choosing a caregiver for my kid.  Afterall, I have to drop off and pick up my kid anyway– 

If you just sent the invites out as a kid-free event, it leaves the parents with the decision of a)whether to come or not

b) if they want to bring thier kid(s) and make arrangements or not

While it’s nice of you to think about providing child care for these potential kid guests– it seems like it’s too complicated.  And again– I also think for you to ask the parents to be responsible for dropping off/picking up at a separate venue– and paying for it….what if some of these guests don’t rent a car?  What if they are taxi-cabing it?  Are ALL the out of town guests staying at the same hotel and the child care would at AT that hotel?  It’s just a lot of back and forth and a lot of extra time, work and money for EVERYONE– the way you seem to be tackling this.

Again- I think it’s nice that you thought about it, but it’s honestly just easier to let parents make thier own arrangements/decision unless all events are taking place at ONE venue.  

If your event was AT this hotel– again– much easier.

 

 

Post # 16
Member
562 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

@CurlyCue:  So would you require the kids to stay away for a portion of the reception, still, in the scenario above? I think it’s like requiring pro makeup or hair of your bridal party – if you say “kids must stay away until the dancing portion of the reception” I think it’s on you to pick up the whole tab for childcare services.

We had kids at our reception and made a kid area available in an adjoining room. A few sitters, a whole mess of coloring books and non-messy craft supplies and a tv tuned to Nick Jr. The kids could use it if they wanted but they would sometimes drift back into the main reception area to check in with their parents or whatever.

I think it’s great that you’re thinking of ways to accomodate the littles, but I’ll echo what others have said…it’s getting a little complex and the only way you can ensure a formal, child-free dinner is to not invite any children to the event.

And most teens I know are perfectly capable of having an adult conversation and wouldn’t want “kid” food. They’d feel insulted to be relegated to a separate room.

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