If you have found yourself in the position of being newly engaged with kids from previous relationships (or perhaps your current one), then you’re in good company. These days, being a mom and a bride-to-be with kids is far from unusual – and while it can certainly throw up some unique challenges, there are few experiences as profound as sharing your big day with your little angels.
Of course, planning a wedding when you have kids can certainly involve something of a balancing act, and you may have to make some difficult compromises along the way. You might also need creative cost-cutting techniques to ensure you can afford your big day while still meeting your kids’ daily needs.
It may seem daunting at times, but with some ingenuity, passion, and helpful advice, there’s no reason why you can’t make it work and plan the affordable family wedding of your dreams.
So, what are you waiting for? If you’re eager to find ways to plan a magical kid-friendly wedding that will appeal to both you and your children, check out these must-have planning tips for blushing bridal moms.
Finding The Perfect Family-Friendly Venue
One of the biggest compromises you may have to be prepared to make when it comes to your big day is the venue. It goes without saying that, if your young kids will be involved in every aspect of the occasion, then the venue you book for the ceremony and the reception needs to be child-friendly.
While you may have had idyllic visions of getting married on a windswept beach or in a wildflower meadow in the middle of nowhere, this may not be practical with little kids running around. It’s crucial to find a happy middle ground, and choose a venue that offers a beautiful setting for you and your partner, while also providing must-have facilities for little ones.
Regarding the reception, ideally, you should aim to find a venue that will do most of the preparations for you, such as setting out the tables, the linen, the silverware, and possibly even your chosen decorations.
Keeping The Kids Entertained
During the reception, you and your guests will want to focus on enjoying your meal and those must-have speeches. However, this can be a tall order if you have children demanding your attention or throwing tantrums because they are tired or bored.
To help keep them occupied and ensure that they have as much fun as you do, it’s a good idea to set up some entertainment areas for your offspring.
For example, you could arrange a few small tables and chairs and set up a coloring zone with pre-prepared pictures for them to decorate. If you have a spacious outdoor area, you could also provide some fun-filled garden games that will keep them occupied for ages – a game of giant-sized Jenga, anyone?
Another great idea that the little ones are sure to love is if you create little ‘wedding kits’ for them, complete with puzzles, stickers, craft activities and coloring books. If you don’t have the time to prepare these yourself, don’t worry – you can probably find an array of vibrant pre-made kits available online.
Brides-To-Be With Kids Get The Kids Involved In Your Planning
While you probably won’t want to consult your offspring’s opinion in every aspect of your big day, why not get them involved in helping you choose some of the small but meaningful details? They’re sure to jump at the chance to assist you in planning this oh-so-special event, and they’ll be proud that their suggestions are being taken on board.
One of the tasks you could give your kids is to help you choose your wedding favors, particularly if you’re thinking of using some on-trend edible options, or you want to come up with something suitably quirky and unique. If you’re in need of some inspiration in this department, Greenvelope has come up with a handy list of stunning wedding favor ideas that are sure to delight your guests and help them remember your big day for years to come.
Another cute way to get your children involved in wedding prep is to give them a unique activity to complete. For example, you could ask them to be in charge of writing out the place cards or addressing the envelopes for the invitations.
Include Your Kids In Your Wedding Party
Arguably the most special way to make your kids a part of your big day is to include them in the wedding party, as flower girls, ring bearers, groomsmen, or bridesmaids, depending on their age. They’re bound to love getting all dressed up for the occasion and being given a special role in the celebrations – and your hearts will surely be bursting with pride as your offspring walk down the aisle with you.
Even if you’re not having a traditional wedding ceremony, your kids can still be involved, joining you in every stage of the big event. As an extra-special gesture, you may also want to consider including them in your vows – after all, if you are tying the knot with kids, then you are not just marrying each other, you are joining your two existing families into one.
Ask Your Kids If They Want To Perform At The Reception
If your children are enthusiastic performers then you may wish to ask them to play a starring role at the reception. They could sing, dance, or even make a speech if they feel confident enough to do so.
Alternatively, maybe you would like to do a whole family performance, sharing your first dance together as husband and wife by getting your kids to join you on the dance floor and bust some cool moves.
Create A Fuss-Free Feast That Younger Guests Will Relish
Planning a wedding meal when you know you will be feeding children as well as adults can be a tall order, as kids are known for being fussy. They also get bored and hungry easily, so it may be a good idea to provide some mouth-watering snacks or even an entire kid-friendly meal for your younger guests, to be eaten while the grown-ups are doing the speeches and sipping cocktails.
If you arrange things in this way then by the time the meal for the adults is served, the kids can move on to their own entertainment – whether that’s those special wedding activity kits, or perhaps some child-friendly music to dance to – and you and your fellow adults can savor your meals in peace while they amuse themselves.
Set Up A Movie Area For Young Guests
Lastly, as the alcohol flows and the adult guests start stepping onto the dance floor, you can keep the young ones amused by setting up a movie zone.
This could be in a particular room, their own marquee or, if the weather is fine, they could even sit outside with cushions, blankets, and bean bags while you play them a popular kids’ film using a projector. They’re bound to relish the novelty, and you and your fellow adults can focus on enjoying yourselves knowing that your offspring are being kept quiet and entertained.
Final Thoughts On Essential Wedding Planning Tips For Brides-To-Be With Kids
As you can see, planning a wedding when you have kids does require a little extra thought and preparation.
However, once you have everything prepped, your big day is bound to be even more special because you are sharing it as one big new happy family.