When wedding planning, one of the biggest questions that will come up, mostly from others, will be “Are you having kids at the wedding?”. Let’s break it down this way, you’re going to fit into one of these two types of people:
ONE: Ah, the squeals and cries of delight as a child is twirled around the dance floor. That totally makes me smile.
TWO: If one more kid trips on my dress on this dance floor, or cries one more time, my head is going to explode. This is why I didn’t want kids at the wedding.
So now that I know I have the attention of the right couples, let’s move forward. While wedding planning, you have decided to have kids in attendance. Awesome. But you also know like most people do, that kids have the attention span of a gnat. (I am a mother myself so I can say that.) What do you do to ensure that they have a fun time, but so do their parents? You make them feel special and give them something to do.
11 Ways to Entertain Kids on Your Wedding Day
1. If you plan to use bubbles for your exit of the ceremony venue, or maybe as part of your grand exit, what better way to treat the kids right than by getting them bubble guns. Young kids already have a hard time blowing bubbles, and bubble solution is like a magnet to dress clothes on anyone under the age of 18 (or over for that matter). Contain the solution and make it easier for them. BONUS POINTS if you get the ones that light up.
2. If they are your children or close to you, have them help with the ceremony. Be it as an assistant usher, or a reading/poem. Just including them in the wedding ceremony gives them something to look forward to. That means they pay more attention. Not always, but it helps. Just remember that it will not go perfectly and you must have patience.
Photo: Johnny Joo
3. Have an activity table set off to the side for just the kids. Fill it full of crafts, coloring books, toys, and puzzles. Things that will keep them coming back for more. TIP: When it comes to the crafts ALWAYS use self-adhesive items, never glue. And NEVER small items that suck to clean up like glitter. You think bubble solution is bad, wait till little Bobby shows his mom his newly decorated tie with Elmers and glitter.
4. Don’t have room for a table? That’s ok. As you are shopping for your wedding items, keep an eye out for fun things they can do individually at their seat. Then you create a little box or bag that they can have at their table to entertain them in their seat.
5. If you have space at your venue, have a separate room for the kids to disappear to. Fill it with fun, games, and a movie. More importantly, have a babysitter that will be in the room so that parents won’t have to worry. It keeps them entertained and their parents can still kind of get a night off.
Photo: Amy Galon Photography
6. Desserts. What kid doesn’t love desserts, or more importantly frosting? I know my daughter could care less about the cake, all she wants is the frosting. So make it fun for the kids. Have an area set up when they can decorate their own cupcake. In fact, make your entire cupcake bar a DIY station, and then all of your wedding guests can have some fun. There is a local company that does this for you. Their name is Crave Custom Wedding Cakes. They do all the decorating, but your guests pick it all out, so this does cut down on any potential messes. TIP: If you make the bar yourself, put down a drop cloth – tape down the edges if necessary. It will make cleanup a lot easier on you or the staff you hired.
7. Here’s something that will serve multiple purposes: a favor and entertainment for your guests. What I’m talking about is a photo booth. There are so many different kinds out there now that they can fit within anyone’s budget. Keep it simple with some DIY or go all out and get a Mirror Me Photobooth. Wedding guests of all ages will appreciate the fun this can bring to your event. Plus, with everyone getting a print of their images, that covers your favors as well.
8. You’re more than likely going to have wedding toasts made by someone important to you. Maybe by a wedding party member, or a family member, either way, it’s pretty much going to happen. So instead of having the kids toast with their soda or water, give them something fun: Milk and cookies. Honestly, just give everyone milk and cookies. I like champagne, don’t get me wrong, but milk and cookies are so different and so fun, and who doesn’t like milk and cookies?! Plus starting dinner off with some dessert first…..um….ok.
9. Is your wedding outdoors? I know there is a small window in Ohio that we get amazing weather that’s also dry and warm, but if you plan it right, you can have a lot of fun planning an outdoor wedding. Make sure while you’re choosing between wedding cakes and linens, that you fit into your budget something for yard games. Again, not only is this for the kids but for the adults as well. TIP: Get a bounce house. They’re cheap to rent and have a huge impact and if you get a big enough one, adults can jump too. I recommend reaching out to Jump With Us. In fact, scrap you’re whole vision and just do a carnival-themed wedding and then give me a call so that I can be your wedding planner. I am so in!
10. Your bouquet toss. Kinda fun and also kinda archaic. I remember being a single lady at a wedding and being pushed onto the floor to catch the bouquet, and frankly, I found it embarrassing. It has honestly started to become a very old tradition, and not always done anymore. All that aside, whether you decide to through a bouquet or not, you should throw a candy bouquet for the kids. It’s like the wedding version of a pinata.
11. MY FAVORITE: Set up a photo scavenger hunt for the kids. Place a card at their seat and on it list items they must find at the wedding. If they have a phone, they can use that and have their parents send them to you. On the list should be pictures that you want of your wedding day. Things like: a couple dancing, your dinner, someone wearing blue, someone toasting, etc. It’s kind of fun to see what the kids capture and it’s always from their perspective. It really can get you some fun pictures too. Take it up a notch and if they complete the hunt have a prize they can win. I would certainly have someone else being in charge of the prizes though. Perhaps your Wedding Planner, DJ, or Bartenders could have the items they can get when they’re done.
Hopefully, that gives you a few ideas as to what you can provide for your young guests on your wedding day. As a wedding planner, I thank you for doing everything you can to help keep the children from destroying items you have rented. As a parent, thank you for giving me my sanity for the evening.
I will preach over and over again, that your guest’s experience should be a top priority when planning your wedding. There are many things you can do to help ensure they have a great time. From the smallest detail to the amazing entertainment you book, it all comes together to ensure a great time for your guests at your wedding. One of the best ways to ensure a great time, and keep your guests energized throughout the evening, is by offering late-night snacks.
Here are my favorite Top 8 Late Night Wedding Snacks:
Build-Your-Own Nacho Bar
Like many good things in life, this one can get a little messy. Get a small plate with chips already laid out, and then have bowls full of various toppings. Make sure to have all the favorites, like pickled jalapenos, ground beef (or ground turkey), queso cheese, cilantro, and pico de gallo.
Alone or added on with your nacho bar, tacos are always a big hit. And it’s super easy to make high-quality ones, and with multiple filling options—anything from shredded beef, roast pork, cheese, avocado, and so on.
Cookies, brownies, cupcakes, cheesecakes, tarts, there are so many yummy options that come in mini sizes. What else could you ever ask for? I’ll leave it at that.
Another versatile option, and an all-around favorite, are burger sliders. You can have vegan, vegetarian, and meat-eating options so everyone is satisfied and represented.
Can you really go wrong with a classic? It’s cheesy and filled with carbs to soak up the alcohol, and if they take a piece to go it’s always good cold in the morning.
Gourmet French Fry (or Tot) Bar
Getting potatoes of various colors and then making fries out of them might be the next big thing for food spreads. When a bunch of different colors is represented, the result is dazzling and beautiful, and very much unlike what we’re used to with standard fries.
Soft Pretzel Bar
Salted or without, and complete with dips of all flavors. Again, carbs are great to soak up the alcohol and there is just something about a nice warm, soft pretzel that not only boosts your energy to keep dancing….but makes you happy inside.
Anything That Can Be Miniaturized or Handheld
Think mini chicken and waffles, grilled cheese and tomato soup in a shot glass, Asian steamed buns, ice cream sundaes, mac and cheese…….seriously, the possibilities are endless. You just want to make sure that it is something that people can eat easily, with little mess and if possible one-handed while they are dancing the night away with a drink in the other hand.
When planning your wedding the music you choose for your first dance can be a daunting task. It must be just perfect and reflect you as a couple, not to fast and not too slow. Something you both like and can dance to. Maybe something that’s not too long for those who don’t like to dance in front of others. There’s a lot that can be taken into account when picking.
My first recommendation is to look at songs that are meaningful to both of you. Something you may have danced to before or maybe something you sing together. A song that comes on the shuffle and it always makes you think of each other.
If all else fails you can find many examples of songs to pick from with a simple Google search. The problem with that is, although you may think Christina Perri or Ed Sheeran are amazing picks with the most beautiful songs, so does everyone else getting married.
To help with that, here are some songs that I pulled together that are not overplayed every weekend. Some are songs that I love and knew I wanted to share. Some I just happened to find and thought were perfect.
Top 10 Picks for First Songs
I Get to Love You by Ruelle – This is by far one of my most favorite first dance songs and not many people have found it yet.
Beyond by Leon Bridges – A song from a man to a woman explaining why she is so important to him and hoping that she will be their everything. It has a simple beat and easy to sway to.
Lover (First Dance Remix) by Taylor Swift – Remixed specifically for first dances and just recently released. Will this be the song of the 2020 wedding season? Beautiful, enchanting and completely meaningful.
You’re My Best Friend by The Once – As a big fan of Queen I love the original, but this is such a beautiful cover that it cannot be overlooked.
Speechless by Dan & Shay – By the video itself you can see that it was made for weddings, but you must listen to truly see why it can truly be perfect for your first dance.
I Choose You by Ryann Darling – Your Mine and all the reasons why. So simple and elegant.
I Choose You by Sara Bareilles – I little more upbeat than a traditional first dance song, but not everyone wants slow. It’s still easy to sway together or choreograph a dance to.
Forever Starts Today by Tim Halperin – Piano lead with beautiful vocals talking about this moment and how it begins your forever together. Very heartwarming and makes my heart smile.
Come What May by Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor – Starts soft and romantic and grows into something epic. A beautiful song just waiting for some special choreography to make it come to life.
Love Someone by Lukas Graham – You’ve probably heard this song on the radio at some point. It’s simple and true and with a good beat to dance together.
Bonus First Dance Song
Be My Forever by Christina Perri (feat. Ed Sheeran) – I know I said that these two are overplayed at weddings. But this song that they did together is not only catchy and a little upbeat, but I have yet to hear it used for a dance. So if your up for a little faster paced first dance, this one might be for you.
Our First Dance Song
I thought as a fun tidbit I would share my husband and my first dance song. He hates the spotlight, so we wanted short. There were many options we discussed, but this movie is a favorite of mine and we always talk about growing old together. So it was just perfect.
Gone are the days of the black tuxedo, boutonniere, and shiny black shoes. Now it’s so easy to add a piece of your personality to what you wear on your wedding day. From the color of your jacket to your tie (or bowtie for that matter) to even the socks that only get seen in the pictures.
But what about the boutonniere?
Don’t get me wrong, I love a good boutonniere when placed correctly and made the right size. But I find that those who opt to ditch it for a pocket square look much more polished. A simple piece of fabric that can really elevate a look. It can spice up the most basic of jackets, match a color scheme, create a subtle addition to your outfit or make a bold statement. It all comes down to the color, pattern and most importantly, the fold.
The easiest fold is The Puff fold. Lay the square flat, pinch it in the center and pull up while twisting. It creates something that reminds me of a ghost at Halloween. Keep a hold of the top and put the seams into your pocket. Simple as that. No matter what fold you choose, make sure to practice it before the wedding day. That way when you are all getting ready you aren’t scrambling to figure out how to fold it.
It’s all about texture and color!
Along with a good fold comes the fabric. Thicker fabrics are great for a crisp edge, especially if folded and pressed in advance. But they can sometimes be bulky and stick out funny in your pocket. Lighter fabrics can make for a more elegant feel and easy for finer detail folds, but if they are too small they can easily slide down into your pocket and disappear during photos. Always keep an eye on where your pocket square is.
When it comes to choosing the color and/or pattern of your pocket square, it may be easy to just grab a coordinating pack of the shelf. But if you want to have a modern look try a patterned pocket square and then pick one color from the palette and match your tie (or bowtie) to that.
A well-cut suit or jacket certainly makes a strong statement, but to really stand out, it’s your accessories that really make all the difference. For even more inspiration on pocket square folds, take a look at this guide on Ties.com.
So many words to say about this wedding, yet so little time to put it into words. Heather & Brandon were the lucky couple to be my last of the wedding season for 2017. I was so lucky to go out on such a high note.
When I met Heather it was just a little over a year from her wedding day at the venue she had booked for her wedding. We were talking about her plans and I shared that I had a wedding coming up on October 13th, 2016. Ironically her wedding date was October 13th, 2017. It seems to be my lucky day even though this year it landed on a Friday as well. Two weddings exactly one year apart in the exact same venue. It was fate.
We had such a wonderful consultation and just clicked. I knew this was going to be a dream wedding to help design and plan, and that it was. Heather had three things in her head that she wanted for her wedding. The first was sunflowers, the second was Beauty and the Beast and the third was touches of Friday the 13th (the day not the movie). I scoured the internet and Pinterest (yes, even as a professional I use Pinterest) for inspiration to go with my ideas. With my good friend Julie Elizabeth, I presented to Heather, Brandon and her mother our vision for the day.
It started with the sunflower and fall leaves for the ceremony. Her beautiful bouquets and leaves to be thrown by her adorable flower girls set the scene. It went so well with the pumpkins on the front steps. We added some small touches of luck with signs and pennies on every guests chair. “See a penny, pick it up, and all the day you’ll have good luck.”
After the ceremony the guests were invited inside to a Beauty and the Beast themed reception. Centerpieces were designed to reflect the main charachters. Hand beaded napkin rings to be able to fold them like the dancing ones in the dinner scene. Red floating roses and a gorgeous cake topper to match. To push it home Heather had some amazing signs created that really reflected the entire look and feel of the wedding.
The evening was filled with laughter, dancing and fun filled photos from Magnet Me Now. When the end was near I know I was filled with mixed emotions myself. The wedding being over, my season being complete, is always bittersweet. Yet this amazing couple being so happy, being able to enjoy their day with their friends and family, still brings a smile to my face.
This even would not have been possible without the amazing work of the following vendors: