5 Things to Do When You Have Kids In A Wedding
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This post originally appeared on The Journey of Parenthood
I know what is is like to have kids in a wedding.
In June 2018 my brother got married. Both of my children were part of the wedding party. They played the parts of page boy and flower girl.
Then, in January 2019 Annie was a flower girl again, this time for my little sister’s wedding.
I’m not sure how other parents feel, but personally, I was somewhat anxious about how they would do.
For reference, my kids were 19-months old and 3 years old at the time of the wedding. I didn’t want them making a huge scene and causing major disruptions.
Thankfully, that didn’t happen, and I believe a lot of it had to do with the following tips.
*Image credit: Photo Adventure NZ (They’re amazing, seriously! So if you’re in NZ and looking for wedding photographers check them out!)
Tips for Having Kids in a Wedding:
1) Be Prepared
This involves communication.
Don’t expect the bride and groom to be the ones to always reach out. They may be tied up and busy with other aspects of the wedding, so take the initiative and be the one to get in touch.
Ask what will be expected of your children. Make sure to check who is covering the cost of the outfits. Knowledge is power so use that to your advantage. Find out times, dates, colour schemes, etc.
Something that I made sure to check was what photos my children were expected to be in and what time during the day they would take place.
Because Annie was so young she would struggle if photos were during nap time.
For that reason, they made sure to get photos of her at the start of the day rather than waiting until later.
It is also very wise to have an ’emergency pack’ filled with things like:
- a change of clothes
- a cardigan or jersey
- pull ups (if your children are younger)
- a sippy cup
- and anything else you can think of
2) Gather Support
For my brother’s wedding, as well as having my children in the wedding party, I was also doing all the hair and make up for the bride and bridesmaids. This meant that I was tied up for the majority of the morning.
I had no choice but to ask for help with the kids. Find someone that you trust, and ask for support.
In my case, it was spread out between my parents, my husband, and some very good family friends.
I also did the makeup for my sister’s wedding party. Annie was older for her wedding so was mostly content just hanging out with the girls.
However, my two other children stayed at home with my husband.
3) Go To The Rehearsal
This is for both your benefit and your child/rens. When there are kids in a wedding, the rehearsal gives the opportunity to work through any potential issues.
It also means that the venue is familiar to your children so they’re not so overwhelmed on the actual day.
I would suggest figuring out the location of the bathrooms, as well as noting if there is a place to take your child should they start becoming really disruptive during the ceremony.
Something that has worked really well for both weddings was having the flower girl (Annie) walk down the aisle with one of the bridesmaids.
It really helped to avoid meltdowns and make Annie feel less overwhelmed by the crowd of people.
4) Limit Instructions
This is SO important!
I made it known to all relevant parties that it was really important that I be the ONLY one to give the kids instructions.
Even as an adult it can be completely overwhelming when you’ve got several people trying to tell you what to do. It is very important to keep instructions simple and to the point.
I told my kids what they needed to do and who to look for. I sat at the front of the audience and leaned out as they walked down the aisle.
This meant they could focus on me and not be intimidated by the number of people that were there.
5) Don’t Put Any Pressure On Them
As much as we might like to, we cannot control our children’s behaviour. Generally speaking, the flower girl and page boy bring the ‘cute factor’ to a wedding. That is their job and nothing beyond it.
Putting pressure on them will more than likely result in a less than favourable outcome. The key is to go with the flow. Give them basic instructions and if it all turns to custard, then oh well.
As someone who loves to plan and control things, it wasn’t an easy thing for me to let go and trust that things would work out, but you know what? They did.
Did the kids perfectly behave? No. Did they bring the cute factor? Heck yeah! Having kids in a wedding might be stressful for the parents, but the bride and groom were happy and that’s all that really matters.
I hope these tips are helpful if you’ve got an upcoming wedding!
Until next time!