Will children be in your wedding party or guests at your special event? I love kids and have a passel of my own. And I have a big bunch of PERFECT grandkids, too. But even though they are smart, cute, talented, etc., etc., they don't always act perfect! You coach, teach, explain, bribe before you sit down at your favorite restaurant and - well, you know the rest of the story. Most times they are well behaved rock stars. But sometimes they're tired or bored or the moon and stars align and they are, simply put, naughty. Yes, even my perfect grandkids.
I just read a wedding-related article suggesting that children should be excluded from weddings. Hmmmm. Studio Jay has been involved in a lot of weddings and I have never been to one where there were zero children. I can actually imagine an event where children would not be welcome, though. Perhaps your wedding is being hosted at an extremely formal restaurant or venue, or the vision you have for your wedding is late night, black-tie, dancing, and fine wine. Then I can understand you wanting to have your friends leave their kiddos at home.
Generally, central Oregon weddings are less formal and venues are kid friendly. That said, it's important to be pro-active and prepare for the youngsters that will be attending. Reception time is great for visiting adults who haven't seen each other for years, but that activity doesn't keep a child entertained. One smart bride set up a children's table near the back of the reception venue with small toys, crayons, coloring books, and games. She topped that with hiring a teen to help engage the kids and encourage them to participate at the game table. Photo booths are great fun at weddings and I recommend having kid friendly props that they can try out. Bubbles will keep children having fun sans adults for long periods of time also. When Studio Jay is photographing a wedding, we always get details about kids in the wedding party as well as kids who might be attending. We aim to shoot images of the children in wedding parties early, while they're still fresh and excited. We recommend, then, that someone is assigned to shuttle the kids from the wedding party to another area or activity while more pictures are taken of the adults. After the ceremony and pictures are taken, think about allowing the kids to change into more comfortable clothes that won't be ruined when they sit on the ground, play on the lawn, or eat chocolate cupcakes. If we are DJ-ing an event, we also want to know about kids who will be there. And we ask if the bride and groom would like any music played specifically for the children. Surely you've noticed that kids love to dance and they aren't shy about getting out on the dance floor. They will often drag adults with them and that just encourages more fun.
Children might be problematic during the wedding ceremony. We all picture our children sitting quietly or our baby sleeping during a 'sermon', but they don't always have that same vision. One wise wedding planner anticipated said dilemma and was cautioned that mom of toddler would be reluctant to take her child out from the ceremony. As soon as the child began to speak in non-whispers and fidget, the wedding planner quietly and pleasantly pulled the child off to that pre-arranged game area. All was well and the wedding video didn't include a crying child. I have also witnessed a young child bolt and run to his or her mom or dad who is in the wedding party. That's pretty cute - but only for a few seconds. Then someone (pre-arranged) needs to rescue the child and the wedding.
With preplanning, weddings and children can be a successful blend with happy memories for all.