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A wedding with bambini?

It’s one of those difficult questions which all couples have to consider when planning their budget and guest list.  Shall we invite children or not? If we don’t invite our friends’ children what will they say when they see our nephews and nieces dressed up as pageboys and bridesmaids? Getting married abroad might cause even more of an issue – can you expect your friends and family to leave their children at home for a weekend while they travel to Italy to celebrate with you?

In terms of childcare, we can help organise English speaking babysitters and entertainers, and it might even be worth considering whether it will be better to bring someone with you from home to keep the children occupied, especially if you are planning on having more than one meal with your friends and family.

Here are a few ideas to help you make your wedding enjoyable for the smaller members of the party, so the adults can relax and let their hair down!

Food and children’s table - All venues we have worked with are happy to provide special children’s menus, and to serve them their meal before the adults are seated if necessary. In Italy it is unusual to sit down for an evening meal before 7pm, which can cause real problems for parents who have worked so hard to get their children into a routine!  Children will not be able to cope with a long meal with lots of courses, and it may be an idea to provide a few trays of finger food which may be more appealing to your younger guests. Fruit kebabs and fruit flavoured water are healthy alternatives to sweets and fizzy drinks. If you want the children to sit together at a separate table you may want to leave space for an extra chair at their parents’ tables, just in case!

Help the parents plan - If you can provide the parents with a rough idea of the itinerary in advance they will be able to plan feeding, naps and nappy changes around photos and first dances…

Get the children involved - They will enjoy the day so much more if they are involved in some way, whether assisting the ushers with Order of Service booklets, having their photo taken with you, having their artwork on display, joining you with a ‘special’ drink for the toasts, or catching a mini bouquet thrown by the bride!

Babysitters and entertainers - The number of babysitters you will need – and therefore the cost – will depend on the ages and needs of the children in your wedding party. Will you be needing someone to look after the babies and toddlers during and after the wedding ceremony or once they go to bed in case they wake up? What time will they be needed until? And will you need someone to look after the older children during the aperitivo, the photos, the meal, after dinner? There are plenty of options for professional entertainment, from magicians to bouncy castles, from face painters to jugglers, but these may push your budget up, especially over a 3 day wedding weekend.  We do work with English speaking babysitters and entertainers, so the language barrier will not be a problem. 

Activities - With some careful forward planning it will be easy to keep the children occupied. A paper tablecloth or placemats can double up as a drawing board, just add a few packets of crayons. A piece of string and some clothes pegs can be used to display their artwork. Make up activity boxes for each child to keep them busy; for younger children you could include bubbles, pencils, colouring pictures or small notebooks, stickers, a small toy or finger puppet and a snack; older children can do puzzles and wordsearches in wedding activity books, and play games such as Uno and Jenga – ask their parents to bring a lightweight board game with them.  Other ideas include traditional party games such as Pin the Tail on the Donkey, Pass the Parcel, Musical Statues and Simon Says. Or organise a craft table with materials for T-shirt decorating, mask making, stone painting or jewellery making. Another fun activity is a wedding scavenger hunt – provide each team with a cheap, disposable camera and a list of things to find and photograph…

Quiet time - a room with a TV and a DVD player and some comfortable chairs will allow children to calm down and maybe have a nap…and recharge their batteries!

See our board on Pinterest for more ideas

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