Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Kid Friendly Wedding Day Tips

This past February I had the opportunity to stand in as the ‘Best Woman’ for my best friend’s wedding. It was such a nice day and I am so happy I was able to be involved in the celebration of Sean and Robin’s special day (congratulations to you both!). My son was also involved in the wedding and served as the Ring Bearer (along with two flower girls).

Involving children in your wedding day is really something special, but since children can be unpredictable you’ll want to ensure they play the appropriate role for their age.

There are so many roles that children can take on including a Junior Bridesmaid/Groomsmen, Ring Bearer, Flower Girl, Junior Usher and Reader (reading a script or poem during the ceremony). This is an exciting time for the kids you’re involving, but there are some tips and tricks that I’ve come up with that will make the involvement easier for you and them!

This isn’t to say that your three year-old ring bearer won’t run up and down the aisle or that your four year-old flower girl will just dump the basket of flowers petals at the end of the aisle (which is both cute and entertaining), but it will make things run more smoothly.
Rick Denham Photography Wedding Prep Flower Girl Photo

{Involve the children right from the beginning}

Children are naturally curious and like to know what is going on and what will happen. Involving them right from the beginning of your plans and letting them know what their role will be, including the tasks involved, will help minimize any surprises. They will know exactly what to do and be less confused when the time comes. Of course, you will need to keep reiterating these things as the time goes on and at the rehearsal dinner, but the more they hear it the more they’ll remember.

Prep your Wedding Planner / Day Of Coordinator on the ages, roles, and personalities of the little ones. These go-to figures will be just as involved in keeping the munchkins at bay as their parents will! (and sometimes more).

{Ensure their parents are just as involved}

This really goes without saying since you require the parent’s permission to have the children involved, but ensuring the parents of the children know exactly what’s going to happen will make things that much easier for everyone.

Since the parents will likely be close friends or family members, the last thing you want is for anyone to become even more stressed than they already are on the day of the wedding. Be sure to give them explicit information about all the details. If you  want the flower girls to wear a head-band or specific shoes, be honest and tell them. Don’t leave these small details for them to decide, especially when you have a couple of children in the same role (e.g. two flowers girls). This can cause issues between the parents (if the children are unrelated), especially if one set of parents tries to take charge over the other.

Also, if you’re charging them with purchasing the outfits, be explicit with your requirements or give them a picture. The last thing you want to happen is having someone return the flower girl dresses with only days to the wedding and not being able to find the ‘right’ one.

{Assign them a helper}

Assign someone in the wedding party to keep an eye on individual kids. For example, I was the Best Woman so when my son reached the alter I was able to keep him wrangled (even though he didn’t stay with me the whole time). Ensure this person is someone the children are familiar with and trust. It’s a good idea to introduce them well ahead of time so they can feel comfortable with that person. Alternatively, show them exactly where their parents will be sitting (practice this at the rehearsal!). In the event they get tired and/or shy (this willhappen!) they are able to go directly to their parents. - Cecilia + Chris - Day Of Coordination

Oh. And seasoned wedding planners know how far bribes will go! Explain to the babes that they’ll get a special treat if they’re good and have gummy bears, lolli-pops and prettily-packaged “Thank You for being our Flower Girl / Ring Bearer” surprises for afterwards!

{Make them comfortable}

Bring an extra change of clothes for youngsters. If you’re allowing them to attend the reception (even if only the dinner portion), having a more comfortable outfit for them to change into will keep them happy. Besides, kids in little onesies on your dance floor make for oh-so-cute photography!

{Practice, Practice, Practice}

This goes back to my first point about letting the kids know what is going to happen. Have them practice walking down the aisle and dropping flower petals on the floor. If they’re required to wear accessories or carry props, practice with these well in advance.
DIY Here Comes Your Girl Ring Bearer Sign

{Have some fun activities available at the reception}

If you’re having children at the reception, it’s a good idea to have some activities there to keep them occupied: colouring books and crayons, a craft station to make cards for the bride and groom, the possibilities are endless. Check out these cute ones I came across on my Internet travels!
Reception Activity Book (
Wedding Kids Activity Table
However you choose to involve the children in your wedding, my final advice is to just be patient. They may become shy or uneasy the day of the wedding when all eyes are on them as they walk down the aisle. Have fun with it and allow them to be themselves. Assume that they will blunder their way through everything, look totally adorable doing it, and know that any mistake the little ones make will undoubtedly make for a cute wedding stories that your guests are sure to remember (and hopefully your photographer captures on film!)
Tutu Flower Girl Dresses

{ blog love :: photography credits }

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  1. These are really great ideas! I wish I had read this before I got married! haha

  2. This is all such good advice! We didn't have any youngsters in our family old enough to be in our wedding, but I've seen some kids at others' weddings and it's always fun to include them however you can.

  3. I agree involvement from the beginning is important because they feel happy and important being involved and delegated with a task x

  4. Great ideas! I love the chairs put all together for all the napping sweeties! <3

  5. my daughter hasn't been to a wedding yet...but I'll keep these tips in the back of my head when she does!

  6. These are wonderful ideas! I got married the day before Easter so we ended up having an Easter Egg hunt! Word is it was an awesome way of helping the kids get their energy out after the ceremony!

  7. I think a kids area is a wonderful idea and wish more people wouldn't be offended by those who choose to bring their children. Sometimes it's not a choice and it's either everyone attends, or no one. We didn't have a wedding, but if we did, not only would I involve my own children, I would totally set up a kid-friendly area, or heck, a bounce house!

  8. I remember when I was younger and I was a flower girl - I was SO curious! But I had so much fun!

  9. These are great ideas!!! Wedding days can be really long for kids.

  10. This is seriously awesome!!! I will be pinning this for future wedding clients! (I'm a photog) :)

  11. These are awesome tips. Having kids at weddings can be a worry sometimes.

  12. Great post! Kids are unpredictable but that sweetness makes them so fun and lovable!

  13. Great tips for real! Nothing scarier than a bored kid (Said as a mom of three that's had to take them to "boring" places/events).

  14. Aww, great tips and super adorable kiddos!

  15. These are really great ideas! We didn't have kids in our ceremony because of the unpredictability factor (we actually asked for our friends with kids to find childcare if possible. Most did. Our venue was in the forest and had no boundaries, plus we overbooked and had no room!). These are great tips on how to make it work, though!

  16. Great tips! I wish I had seen this before I got married. :)

  17. Good ideas! My brother in law's little flower girl was so freaked out by all the people that she point blank refused to walk down the isle!! They could have done with these tips!

  18. I had one of my older flower girl's throw a tantrum the whole way down the aisle and so bad they had to remove her. I didn't know anything about it till later that night :)

  19. Such good tips! as a wedding photographer, I always look for the kids...sometimes the best photos come from their antics!