Having children at your wedding can be fun but they can also create havoc at the reception. If you are using younger children as flower girls and ring bearers, you (and their parents) must understand that if a youngster refuses to walk during the processional or cries or throws a hissie fit, don't try to force them. It just is not worth the stress to you, the child, the parents or your guests.
Some ideas for children at the reception:
1. Ask your venue to place a table in the corner. You can supply various activities such as games, puzzles, markers, paper, crayons and small toys to entertain the children. Consider hiring a teenager to engage the children.
2. Offer baby sitting services to the parents. This plan is most effective if you are using a hotel for your reception. Reserve a room and supply movies, games, pizza and enough qualified sitters to care for the children. Parents can enjoy the reception and check on the children as often as they wish.
3. If only a few children will be in attendance, prepare a goodie bag for each one. Make the items age-appropriate and place the bag at each child's seat. They will be delighted to find their surprises and their parents will appreciate your gesture.
4. Some brides put "adult reception" on the invitations and that clearly indicates children should not attend.
Submitted by Susan & Sandy, Wedding Coordinators, Wedding Belles, Inc.