Images by Alexa Loy
Being a mummy of two myself when we tied the knot meant that our children were integral to our wedding. It was super important that the boys (6 and 1 at the time) enjoyed the experience as much as we did. There are things I perhaps didn’t consider as much as I should have and others that I did. So today I thought it would be useful to all the wonderful mums and dads out there to give my top tips for wedding planning when you are a parent.
Routine Routine Routine
Not all kids work with a routine, but ours really do. It’s actually pretty rigid, but it works for us as a family. So when working out timings on your day don’t forget about your children’s routine.
Think about timings for lunch and dinner, also naps and bedtime. Baby W struggled at our wedding party bless him and isn’t one to sleep in his pram. An extra long nap in the day may have enabled him to stay up a little later. I went with the, ‘oh he’ll be fine’ attitude. But in reality I should have considered this hiccup a little more.
With my boys, if they are well fed they are usually on top form. Ensure you have a booty of snacks if your wedding food timings are a little later than usual and if you have a baby work out how and when to feed them milk on the day. Talk to your caterers about child menus and a ready supply of soft drinks for the kids.
It may be a good idea to assign a loved one or a professional to watch your children at your wedding. They can ensure they are looked after, any incidents are dealt with (nobody wants wedding outfits totally ruined) and things such as nappy changes/toilet visits are cared for. Then you can relax, mingle and enjoy the day. Not to mention you get the fun bits with your children too, win win.
It was a bit of a debate for us whether to go on honeymoon without the boys or not. A is 6 years old and we’d not been away together ever since he was born. We opted for a weekend away in Bath, as it wasn’t for too long or too far. It was the best choice for us, I will really cherish those memories even if I did miss the boys. But you could choose to go for a long exotic honeymoon if you feel comfortable with that and have help at hand. The other option is to take the kids with you for a super duper family holiday. YAY.
Entertainment, Fun & Games
Our boys got a bit tetchy at our wedding ceremony. They were amazing at the registry office, but once we got to the woods their patience had worn thin. I really should have thought more about keeping them occupied. While we had our wedding portraits it would have been ideal to have brought something to entertain them. Books, tablets or toys would have done the trick.
For the evening party I hastily brought along an outdoor party game for the kids. But it wasn’t enough. Some additional entertainment or games would have kept the little ones well entertained. Think about hiring a crèche or setting up a dedicated area for the children. Face painting, tipi tents, games, colouring, space hoppers and bouncy castles are all going to go down well. Perhaps with the adults too…
W was only just 1 at the time, but A was old enough to have a role at our day. Giving jobs to children gives a real sense of being included and feeling important. We asked A to hand us our rings at the ceremony which was a really lovely moment. I hope it made him feel special. At the party he took on the role of posting the cards in our mailbox and ensuring guests took home favours, which was really cute.
Other roles for children could have include doing the readings or singing, holding your dress, scattering confetti, handing out orders of service or carrying a sign. You could be surprised at just how wonderfully they carry out their tasks.
Planning a wedding with kids is so fun, as long as you are prepared.
Are you a parent planning your wedding? I’d love to hear from you below if you are and what you have in place to ensure your day goes without a hitch xo Lou