Let Me Entertain You, Kid-Style | The Budget Savvy Bride
The Budget Savvy Bride

Ah yes, one of the big questions. What about kids at the wedding? I know people who are all over the map on this one. Some would not dream of a wedding reception without their cousin’s sweet little tyke sitting in the pews; others can only envision that same tyke running around the reception hall, screaming on the floor, and – dare I say it – running straight into the cake! (Don’t laugh; I have seen it happen!) To be sure, the pros/cons list for kids at a wedding is long and varied. I for one, take a middle road. Unlike some of my friends and family, to me an event is still an event regardless of the age of the attendees. I happen to like children, actually (hence my chosen profession!), and I personally would not dream of telling said cousin to leave a little one at home. And who doesn’t swoon over an adorable flower girl or dashing ring bearer? That being said, if I was having a grande event (read: not the handmade, casual look I am going for) I would definitely think about hiring a babysitter. (As a tip, a lot of junior high or high school students will do this relatively cheap; I know – I used to do it! And I teach a lot of girls who still do it!)

Anyway, for my wedding itself, this became a non-issue. We originally booked an all-ages resort, but with less than a year before the wedding, they switched it to adults-only. This did affect us – my bridesmaid, as I have said before, now has a five month old and since baby cannot make the trip, neither can she. Totally understandable. Honestly though, I do not think we would have booked an adults-only resort in the first place, though we are not complaining about the higher level of luxury our location is going after!

But the at-home reception is another matter. To me, it was not a question as to whether or not to allow children at the celebration; it was what to DO with them. I mainly teach kids age 11-15, and THEY get bored easily. A six-year-old sitting in a chair, around people she may or may not know, listening to people give speeches and watching a video featuring a couple she barely knows, all the while being hushed and told to sit still? Yeah right. I hope our reception is not boring, but I am pretty realistic. No child is going to be interested in that for long! I also do not know how many, if any, kids over the age of, well, 6 months, will be attending (nor will I until a week or two before the event), and I do not have the financial resources to pay for something elaborate or really involved. Not only that, some kids (okay, probably little girls) may actually LIKE sitting there and looking at a pretty dress and flowers and candles, at least for a little while. So I did not want them removed from the room, or too occupied.

My solution? Activity books! I have seen these before, and made some up based on ones I have seen online, through google image searches, and by using Discovery Education Puzzlemaker ( http://www.discoveryeducation.com/free-puzzlemaker/?CFID=3765160&CFTOKEN=76671992 ), which I use a lot for my classroom.  I also picked up a crayon pack at the dollar store, which will be given to each child with their activity book. I tried to keep them multi-age, varying between puzzles, games, and colouring, mostly all wedding or beach themed; hopefully they like them!

I just printed them off my home computer using paper I already had, so the only cost was the ink I used and the dollar-store crayons (I bought a big pack for $1.25 and will split them up among the kids who come to supper). I simply whole-punched the pages, and tied them together using my trusty hemp cord.

Here are a few pictures:

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Are you having kids at your wedding? If so, are you doing anything special to keep them entertained?

Krysta is a 28-year-old teacher living in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. When she is not planning or marking essays and poetry, she loves reading, watching tv and movies, crafting, hanging out with her pets, and of course, her fiancé. She is planning a destination wedding for July 18, 2013 in the beautiful Dominican Republic.

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From Our Partners
    • La Jolla Wedding
    • July 22nd, 2013

    We’re all kids at heart, right?!

    • Krisstin | On the Go Bride
    • July 23rd, 2013

    Perfect idea for kids!

    • Jenn
    • July 23rd, 2013

    Great idea, Krysta!! Love the activity book!

    Initially, I was in the same mindset that “no kids allowed” would be my “ideal” wedding … BUT … here’s OUR sitch … my fiance is one of 7 kids himself, all married with their own children (he’s the last and youngest with no kids) and is uncle to 17 …. ages ranging from 2-18. Not including the flower girls and ring bearer and the kids of friends who are coming, we have a LOT of kids. And when it came down to it, I couldn’t envision our wedding WITHOUT them! Our at-home outdoor wedding allows for some flexibility … not only do we have lots of acreage, but we have planned a list of games/activities that will be set up through the duration of the wedding to keep the kids (and adults) entertained. We are making our own Corn Hole (aka bean bag toss), are painting the grass for a yard-twister game, have a large crate with painted wine bottles for a ring toss game, and have Hill-Billy Golf (aka Ladder Ball) that will be set up in a section of the yard only a few hundred feet from the reception area in the barn. We figured not only would the kids love the games, but the adults (especially with an adult beverage or two) would get a kick out of the games :)

    Obviously, we are not having a “formal” affair but at the same time, I was also worried about the kids and keeping them entertained … for our outdoor wedding, it was the perfect solution AND isn’t going to cost an arm and a leg to make the games (ladder ball is being donated). !

    • Missy June
    • July 29th, 2013

    We had a children’s table at our reception with wedding themed activity books, colors, twig pencils, and bubbles.

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