When I moved to Utah I was stunned by how many weddings people went to each month! I can’t explain it. It seems like I knew just as many people in the East, but getting a wedding invitation there was a special treat. Now I have to shove all the color coordinated stationary to the sides of my fridge just to to see if it’s still there!
It’s different alright, but I’m convinced that while I go to a lot more weddings these days they are no less special than the one wedding per year I went to previously. The bride and groom are still enjoying the most important day of their lives and an invitation to share that day with them is truly an honor. I would be willing to do just about anything to help them celebrate if it meant they got exactly what they wanted on their day of days.
But that’s not what this post is about. You all know that it’s ‘your day’ and that there are countless people who will do just what you want. But what if what you want is just to make people happy? to have a room full of people who are happy not just because of your joy, but because they’re actually enjoying themselves? If that’s the case, then here’s a little something to think about.
Now, I don’t have any kids of my own- but I do know how much it costs to attend the wedding. There’s the bridal shower gift, the wedding gift, a day off work and of course the ever increasing gas money. And if I had to hire a babysitter on top of all that? Well, now I’m starting to see why some people are anxious to leave the reception before you even cut the cake. It’s not that they aren’t happy for you or that they wouldn’t give all they could to celebrate with you. It’s that they DID give all they could to celebrate with you, and now they have to get home before the babysitting fee is more than they have in their wallet!
So how do you solve this dilemma? Certainly there are wedding receptions to which bringing a child would not be appropriate; a formal dinner or intimate ceremony. If this is the wedding of your dreams then go for it! It’s YOUR day and people will find a way to get a babysitter. But for those of you who are planning to have a wedding atmosphere that can include children- invite them! In fact, don’t just invite them, plan for them!
Everyone loves watching kids. Especially happy kids who are doing something cute. So, shoot, give them something cute to do and figure it into your decor budget. Here are some ways to do it:
Pinwheels- Featured in the photos above is a wedding reception with a ‘kids craft’ table. The table was laid out with instructions and supplies for all the kids to make their own pinwheels in the colors of the day. Not only were they occupied, but the kids then carried around the gold and red pinwheels all night, adding to the color scheme of the evening. In fact, at the end of the evening they presented the bride and groom with a bouquet of specially made pinwheel from all their little guests.
Kites- Have an outdoor reception? How cute would it be to have groups of kids running around in big field, flying big kites in your wedding colors? Oriental Trading Company sells a ‘Design-Your-Own-kite‘ kit (it costs $9.95) that includes all the supplies you need to build and decorate 12 white kites. Get a few markers in your wedding colors and watch your guests smile as their have a blast at your wedding.
Cupcake Table- let kids create their own desserts with premade cupcakes, bowls of colored frosting and sprinkles. For some added fun, give them a theme to decorate around. The Martha Stewart Website has directions to make a fantastic clown cupcake. Perhaps you could change it up a little and have the kids make cupcakes with a bride and groom on top!
Table top fun- Ever been to Macaroni Grill? In case you haven’t, I’ll clue you in. They cover their tables with white butcher paper and give everyone crayons to doodle with as they wait for their food. Allowing kids to draw pictures at their seat will amuse not only them but anyone who walks by.