To include children or not to include children in your wedding party? Your wedding day is full of memorable and exciting moments and the result of hours and hours of careful planning and no one wants it ruined by a screaming toddler.  This doesn’t mean you have to rule out having children in your wedding party entirely but I have some recommendations to make children more comfortable at your wedding and avoid any melt downs as much as possible.

·         if you have children of your own it is important to include them as much as possible during the day. However, make sure you arrange for someone to take care of them during the ceremony, reception and in to the evening whether that is a grandparent or babysitter.

·         assign children a helper from your wedding party who can keep an eye on them and hang out with them before the ceremony as the rest of the guests get seated

·         consider buying children a book that talks about being a flower girl or ring bearer.

·         ensure you book a wedding rehearsal and invite all members of your wedding party, (including children) and practice walking down the aisle, until everyone is comfortable with it. This helps children understand exactly what is going to happen.

·         have your wedding planner show the child exactly where their parents will be sitting. Allocate an aisle seat or front row seat to the child’s parent(s) so the child sees someone they recognize and then can sit with them for the rest of the ceremony. Never expect a child to stand for the entire service.

·         figure out a portrait schedule that works around the child’s napping schedule and discuss this with your wedding planner as you work on your wedding timeline.  I find it often easier to schedule photos with little ones immediately following the ceremony to keep the day as short as possible for them. 

·         have the child’s parent/guardian bring a change of clothes (at minimum a change of shoes) for the wedding reception – this way the child can eat, run around and play in comfort.

·         when planning the ceremony, bear in mind the child’s age and personality. It may be a better idea for a bridesmaid to hold their hand as they walk down the aisle. This will also mean they are walking at the correct speed.

Truthfully, no matter how much you plan, be prepared that not all children will act as they’ve rehearsed when it comes to the big moment. They won’t be perfect but they will always be cute and entertaining!

Have more questions or need help planning your big day?  Email me at alli@allimae.com