Post # 1
We are in the reception entertainment part of planning and I have a question for those that did or will have a kid friendly reception!
Between both of our families, we have about 20 kids ranging in age from four years old to fourteen. There are only two kids under the age of 8, and the median age is probably 12.
For those of you that had a lot of preteenagers at your wedding, what activities did you have for them at their table/during the reception?
Here is what we are doing:
At the reception, which is going to be a brunch reception inside in february in a mill, we will have a photobooth, a hashtag manager, a large connect four, a large jenga, and probably a pool table. These are for all the guests – although the kids tables will sit closest to most of those things. We are focusing less on dancing and more on good cider and games. There will be bar tables around the room with board games on them like battleship and sorry.
At the kids tables themselves, will have a write on tablecloth with legos and crayons as the centerpieces, and at each place setting there will be a desposable camera and photo scavenger hunt list.
I really want these kids to enjoy the reception. They’re a big chunk of my family. I remember being a kid at a wedding and to be honest, it sucked when there was nothing for me to eat or do – especially in those awkward preteen years when I got stuck at a table where the next age was four years younger than me at my counsins’ weddings.
This topic was modified 3 years, 8 months ago by SoontobeF.
Post # 2
Have you discussed with the parents that their kids would not be seated with them? This isn’t very common anymore – most times the parents want to be seated with their kids.
However, if you have full buy in on that front, I think it sounds fun!
Post # 3
SoontobeF: If you are having kids tables as activity tables to which they can come and go after the meal, great. If you are thinking of seating the children separate from their parents, I suggest you re-think that. The children will be much better behaved under the watchful eye of their parents.
Post # 4
I would not sit the children at a separate table for the meal, and whatever you do, make sure none of the teenage guests end up having to keep an eye on the little ones.
Post # 5
All of the children are cousins of each other, know each other very well, and are self sufficient. The parents would like to sit away from their kids – we are hiring sitters to provide for that matter. The 6 year old dotes on her 12 year old cousin so she will be by her cousin’s side the entire affair. The 8 year old is the brother of the 6 year old, and will hang out with the 12 year old’s brothers who are 14 and 10. This is normal in my family.
This may not be the way you all may do it, but this is how my family prefers it. The children in my family will not behave better “under the watchful eye of their parents”. Doing so will only mean that I have to separate cousins who rarely see each other so they can sit with their families since I cannot fit a family of 2, a family of 5, and a family of 4 at a round table that seats 8.
None of you answered my question. All three of you said pretty much the exact same thing. My question was regarding other bride’s prior experiences, not how I am planning my wedding wrong.
Post # 6
I think a median age of 12 is a little old for crayons and legos, unless it’s the really complicated (i.e. expensive!) lego sets. Maybe legos for the littler ones, and put a couple of the board games on the “tween” table like Clue and Battleship. I suspect the tweens will be playing the big jenga and connect four games you listed, and will have a great time. Tweens are probably fine at their own table, unless you know they’re rowdy, then just sit them with the parents and they can hang out at their own table after dinner.
Post # 7
srancho: That’s a good point. I think if it comes down to money, those will be the first to go. Oh or we could replace the crayons/legos with boardgames 🙂
Luckily, kids in our family are really good natured, so I’m not worried about them being rowdy. Plus, with a morning reception, I don’t think craziness from exhaustion will be that much of an issue.
Post # 8
My family is the same way–lots of tween cousins, and they behave appropriately. They’re together at all family holiday events, and I’m sitting them together at the wedding. We kind of do the “village” concept in everyone raising every elses kids, so they know to behave! Sounds like you know your audience and are planning approriately for them. Plus, you’ll probably put a lot of thought into this, and they’ll be playing games on their phones and ipads :).
Post # 9
I’m commenting to follow! I’m planning on having a kid friendly wedding as well and the kids will be the same age as the group of kids at yours. My wedding will be at an event space that has like an elevated loft space. We bought really cool coloring books that we were going to have at the tables. I was also thinking of getting the peg jump game (like at Cracker Barrel) to put on the tables. In the upstairs area, I was thinking of having packs of UNO cards.
How you describe the group of kids in your family sounds like the kids at my wedding! I think a lot of adults underestimate kids sometimes. Not all of them are crazy monsters!
Post # 10
I had a teens/young adult table for one set of cousins and also a kids table for the set who were 10 and under. We’re a close family, so all the cousins loved sitting near each other without the adults. The small ones had a separate meal.
Umm what’s a “hashtag manager”?
Post # 11
We will have 7 boys at our wedding, 2 of them our own children who are being Christened the same day 6 are cousins (from my side) all betwwen 21 months and almost 7. They are all very close and spend a lot of time together. My nephew of FI’s side is 10 so although he will play with the others, he will get a bit bored of them aftera while. They are all very outdoorsy and he is more “static” and into computer games. I decided very early on that i want us, and my brothers and SIL’s to all be able to sit and enjoy their meal, plus i want the children to have a great time too, without being expected to sit still and be quiet! We’ve hired a wedding creche who will supervise the 6 youngest while they have a picnic and play. They supply everything and i’ve hired a bell tent for them to play in. Kids love tents, and it will be handy for their picnic is the weather is crap). They are booked for 3 hours from 4-7pm, with our wedding breakfast running from 4.30-7pm. A friend of mine said it was in the top 3 things they paid for for their wedding. If you’re confident that teh parents are happy for them to be on a different table, and that the children will happily spend time togteher/entertain themselves then go for it. I would check with the parents first though.
Post # 12
- Wedding: April 2017 - Hogarths, Solihull
SoontobeF: I think it sounds like a great idea 🙂
We’re seating the kids with their parents at ours because they’re a little young to be sat alone. We’re having an activity table like you are though so that they can go and play when they get bored between courses 🙂
They get a special menu too, which is good because it’s cheaper than the adult menu and it sounds delicious! 🙂
We were thinking of having colouring pages, lego, decorate your own superhero mask kits and mazes on the table. I really like the sound of the paper table cloth though, so I’ll steal that idea! 🙂
Also, what is a hashtag manager? lol not heard of this before 🙂
Post # 13
you can do as you wish but I cant see how this could work from either perspective
as a parent I would not like my child to be elsewhere, he is a well behaved child in general but will go crazy with excitement big group situations because theres so much going on – at any party where hes been sat seperately I have to constantly get up to corrall him and hover round and can focus on anything else… unfortunatly having a ‘sitter’ doesnt help either, no one can tame or disapline your child like you can so he just wraps them round his finger and gets away with havok
plus thinking back to being a young teenager/pre-teen I would really not of like being sat with my cousins – I get on fine and use to play with them when we where together ect… but id rather of been sat with my family who I would be more comfortable with and talking too
Post # 14
We are really blessed to have a family who is incredibly close to each other as well as a family that has children who are really close not only with each other but within close proximity agewise. These kids are best friends with each other.
I have heard your point bees, you wouldn’t do this. I get it. I don’t need to hear it over and over again. I posted on here to listen to how other brides – not parents who dissapprove – handled the kids issue. In case anyone was wondering, I will be doing this at the request of all the parents in the family.
stephisaur: daffodils: A hashtag manager is a device that querries instagram to print out photographs tagged under your wedding hashtag, kind of like a photobooth, but it doesn’t require the props or people being there. I’m super excited about it!
willywinki2: the picnic sounds like a really cool idea!
Post # 15
SoontobeF: I re- read my response and I realized I never answered your question. Sorry about that! My plan was to have all the kids at age appreciate tables with other kids their age. I was going to put all the middle school kids at one table and the elementary aged kids at the other. It might break up a couple of siblings, but I think it will be fine. Most of the kids know each other already. They’re all my FI’s cousins from his mom’s and dad’s side, but they’ve all spent time together before. The kids who aren’t cousins are siblings. I babysit full time and they’re the three kids I babysit for every day. I’m also going to offer the kids their own menu. I’ve run all my kid ideas passed the three kids I see everyday and so far they’ve liked all of them. (And they would tell me if they hated anything)!
It’s so funny reading other people’s responses because I would have never thought to sit families together. Growing up in a Jewish family, I’ve been going to formal Bar and Bat Mitzvah’s since I was a kid. And even though they are kid’s parties, where I’m from the parties cater more to adults than to the kids. All the kids always sat together, even when I was younger and not 13.