I love collaborating with others. My most recent collaboration is with Olivia Jones. Olivia is an Australian psychologist, passionate writer, entrepreneur, traveler and conscious consumer, seeking healthy and sustainable products to incorporate into the lives of my family. She enjoys writing about weddings and although I do shoot weddings on occasion, I am predominantly a child/family photographer, in Pittsburgh, PA. Given our backgrounds, Olivia suggested writing a blog post on having children at your wedding. I am excited to share a guest post from Olivia Jones.
Your wedding is one of the most important days of your life, and, of course, you want to make it as special as possible. This includes inviting the people who matter the most to you. Some of those people have kids, and it is understandable to want them to join your marvelous celebration too. However, wedding celebrations with kids are a bit risky. Their short attention spans and the need for supervision can make the whole thing more complicated. So, if you want to have a stress-free wedding that includes kids, here are a few ways to do that.
The truth is that there are many parents who don’t plan to bring their kids to the wedding, as they would like to have that one party without them. It is important to ask them thoughtfully if they would like to bring their little ones. Also, it is obvious that most of the time, the parents are the ones who will be preoccupied with the kids, so you should let them know that it is ok to leave the ceremony for a couple of minutes if the kids are bored or have to go to the toilet or take a nap.
Cocktails and DJs might be fun for adults, but for kids, they are immensely boring (or inappropriate). That is why it is important to plan some kid-friendly entertainment options that will keep them occupied while you are having a blast on the dance floor. There are many ways to do that, including giving them coloring books, small toys or hiring a professional entertainer (e.g. a clown).
The clown may be great for the kids, but they won’t look that nice on your elegant documentary-style wedding photos. Also, the kids have much better time when they are in a space designed only for them. It shouldn’t be too hard to find a wedding venue in Sydney which has a separate space for kid-friendly entertainment, and many of them even have parks with swings, trampolines and similar entertainment options.
There is nothing cuter than a suited-up ring bearer or charming flower girls. Give kids a role in the wedding ceremony, and they will feel a sense of responsibility and be very proud of their contribution. Also, it is a win-win situation, since the wedding photographs will be amazing. If there are many kids invited to the ceremony, make sure you find a task for them, no matter how small and seemingly irrelevant it is.
Kids are fun, and we were all kids at some point. Remember how that was, and try to have as much fun as you can while planning some small details that will spark their imagination and keep them entertained. That can be a food station dedicated to kids alone with cupcakes, colorful snacks, hot dogs, mini pizzas, etc. You’ll see that soon, even the adults won’t be able to resist it.
Weddings are unpredictable. When kids are around, the unpredictability is even more certain. Maybe they will say something they shouldn’t or start crying in the middle of the ceremony. They might even knock down the food station. But you know what? These things happen, and you shouldn’t stress about them. Think about them if or when they happen. Until then, enjoy your day, and in such situations ‒ do the same. Because there is nothing the kids could do that could ruin your perfect day if you don’t allow yourself to get stressed out.
Having kids at the wedding means that things will probably not go as planned. However, things hardly ever do go exactly as planned. If you make some small adaptations, you can make sure that the best day of your life still stays stress-free and unique.
Special thanks to Olivia for sharing her thoughts and for the great tips on having children at your wedding!
Read more by Olivia Jones on her website.
Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today, call (412) 654-3367 or email [email protected]. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow us on Instagram and Facebook.