Get the kids involved!

As you get stuck into planning your wedding, one of big discussions that you will have with your future spouse (and potentially other very interested family members…) is around the wedding guest list.  Check out my blog on guest list dramas to get some key tips on getting your guest list right.  Once you have decided on that magic number of guests and which lucky people have made the final cut, you then need to consider whether you will be extending an invite to the full family, or just the adults.  Please be reassured that WHATEVER you decide, there is no wrong answer – this is your wedding and your decision is final!  Clearly you don’t want to upset people, but most will understand that planning a wedding is no small feat and there will be difficult decisions that need to be made.

If you DO decide to include children in your wedding day, I applaud you!  Whilst kids may have a reputation of being hard work, noisy, messy, and the rest… they can bring so much energy and joy to your big day! They just need a bit of love and direction in return 🙂

SO once you’ve extended the full family invite; they’ve all RSVP’d in delighted acceptance; and you find yourself with a wedding gathering that includes 20 little people… its best not to just leave it there!

You are going to need to do some “small person planning”.  The good news is THERE ARE SO MANY OPTIONS!  And here are a few thoughts to get the wedding inspiration juices flowing…

  • Consider the ceremony – will it be longer than an hour?  Possibly not child-friendly if so… See what your minister can do to accommodate children; simply addressing them and making them feel part of the service will draw them in and encourage them to sit a little more still and attentively. There might even be a special place they can sit to get a better view of proceedings! You could ask one or two of the older kids to do a reading – there is a fab link here to some suggested readings for this exact scenario: kids wedding readings in church. You could also involve some of the kids by giving them a job the ceremony such as distributing programmes with the groomsmen or confetti cones at the end of the service.
  • At the reception make sure there are child-friendly meals available for your littlun’s  – this is a chance to REALLY make them happy, channel your inner 10-year old and think nuggets, chips, jelly, ice cream… you get the idea.
  • You can have a lot of fun with putting together a table JUST for the kids – they will feel so special having their own space that looks much MUCH cooler than the adult tables…! Why not cover the table in kraft paper so they can colour it in during the reception?!

Putting together activity packs is a MUST!  This is what’s going to keep them occupied during the meal (and possibly speeches), so don’t scrimp!! Colouring, stickers, games, play doh, puzzles, lollipops…

I absolutely love the idea (if wedding venue space permits) of having a separate area where the kids can be “entertained” – if budget allows you could hire a fairy princess to dazzle them and then paint faces and lead some dancing/games.  If not, in this space you could have a dressing up box, a piñata, a mini cinema… Like I said there are a LOT of options!

This may all sound like a lot of work, but I totally think its worth it – you get to have those little beacons of joy with you all day, but none of the negative stuff because they are having the BEST DAY OF THEIR LIVES!

If you really do have a large number of kids you could even organise some babysitting – hook the parents up ahead of the event so they can coordinate sharing babysitters during the evening – ready for some adult party time!

Enjoy the planning… and if you are starting to feel stressed by it just get in touch, and I will be your wedding-wing-man!

(what a lovely idea this is – posh milk and cookies!)

Guest List Dramas


A sensitive subject for many couples during wedding planning is the streamlining of the wedding guest list. The politics of not upsetting a family member you haven’t seen for 5 years; or colleagues that you don’t really class as “friends” is often too much for some Brides to bare – they bite the bullet (it consequently blows up in their mouth) and they open the floodgates to distant relatives, tenuous acquaintances and others who’s only real link to the bride or groom is that they rubbed shoulders on the street way back when… Before you know it, your budget has tripled and you are on the road to losing control of your Big Day!  And so the stress begins…

Listen up girls – it does not have to be this way! Planning your guest list can in fact be an enjoyable experience, as you reflect on all the lovely friends and family that you DO want at your wedding.

So how is it done?

  1. Decide on your ideal wedding size with your fiancé. Is it a cosy affair with 50 of your nearest and dearest? Or are you going all out with a party for 500? Also you need to decide at this point whether you want to invite children and whether you will have separate evening guests.
  2. Split your chosen number in half so that you have you a quota for the Bride and Groom separately.
  3. Individually write down all of the friends and family that you would like to invite.
  4. Now prioritise them… Remember – each person on your list will have a considerably large pricetag. Use an excel sheet to highlight those that are absolutely non-negotiable. Then highlight your second rung in a different colour – those who you would really like to be there for the whole day, but you could live with yourself if they were bumped to an evening invite.
  5. Now tally up your numbers.
  6. You may have to go back over this process a few times to achieve your perfect number – but it IS doable.

The main thing to bear in mind throughout is that this is YOUR big day – with a bit of luck it will be the only one you have! Yes it is important to be sensitive to family politics, and you will have to make some hard choices – but don’t lose sight of the fact that THIS IS YOUR WEDDING. Enjoy it!

I found this very useful (if slightly brutal) guide on