Monday, May 01, 2006

KIDS + WEDDINGS = ? (PART IV)

To kick off my next post entry (related to question of: HOW MANY IS TOO MANY?), I wanted to draw upon the words of wisdom (and these words definitely are wise) of a reader who commented upon the last "kids" post:

"The best wedding receptions take in consideration the little ones who will be in attendance. Create a special place for them to gather (kids tables or a separate room) full of activities to keep them having fun all night long. Appoint someone to oversee this area as well. Consider serving them cupcakes and sprinkling their tables with activities ranging from toys to coloring books and crayons to occupy them for a couple of hours..."

See, this is why I LOVE hearing from readers -- I don't have all the answers (although I DO like to think that as the Wedding Fairy, I can provide at least some helpful insight from a practical perspective!), and it's always interesting to me to hear what other people have to say on the same subject.

The reader's comment goes to an interesting issue, and raises larger questions to dwell on -- HOW MANY KIDS IS TOO MANY? AND WHOSE KIDS DO YOU INVITE?

I agree that having activities and a baby-sitter to look after the children in one separate area is an interesting idea that provides a potentially effective solution to the problem of bored/restless kids potentially throwing a temper-tantrum at the reception or ceremony.

An issue that arises when it comes to having children at weddings, in my opinion, is knowing where to draw the line when it comes to inviting family and friends with their children and how to effectively accommodate children of varying ages and temperments. While it may work well to have them assembled in one place, what if they are of varying ages--or nine of them are "tweens" and one of them is three?

I am raising these issues because I want to emphasize that there really is no answer, and the issue of children at weddings varies--depending on WHOSE CHILDREN YOU END UP INVITING AND THE AGES OF THOSE KIDS WHO ATTEND.

One thing to keep in mind is that you shouldn't really worry about "rules" when it comes to inviting children--because, no matter WHOSE KIDS you invite, it never will end up working out in terms of children of the same age, temperment, etc. It just won't! And that's ok.

Should you feel guilty if you invite your cousin's two and four year old, but you and your fiance decide NOT to include his uncle's teenage son? It really depends on how close you are with the individual you are inviting--in my previous example, it MAKES SENSE not to invite the fiance's uncle's child, if the fiance isn't particularly close with the uncle (or the kid). If your closest family friend(s) have children and you want to have a wedding that includes kids, of course it makes sense.... it all is very COMMON-SENSE DEPENDENT. You need not include EVERY child that is related to someone on the guest list. While this may seem obvious, it's something to keep in mind as you tackle the daunting task of shaping (and paring) your guest list.

You should also keep this in mind after the guest list is solidified and you receive your RSVPs--and you shouldn't FREAK OUT when you realize that the number of children is too daunting, or too disparate (in terms of age) or too [fill in blank here].

So long as you have a game plan--much like the one described by the reader above in that very well-said comment--it should turn out fine--though, one never knows that these ideas translate well in practice (whether or not a child has something entertaining to do, they still are up past their bedtimes, and they may get fussy regardless of what they're doing). It's important to keep in mind that no matter how good ideas seem, there is always room for error.

Having said all of this, I understand that the issue of children is NEVER easy--but isn't it the Boy Scouts who always say "Be Prepared"? -- you'll be so happy you were--no matter whose children you decide to invite and who RSVPS.

Stay tuned!

2 comments:

Anne said...

I really appreciate what you had to say in reply to my comment. One of the biggest things I'm struggling with is how many people are coming and especially KIDS! Once again, I appreciate your insight!

amy said...

Here I am again... still catching up slowly with old posts (I'm the one that recently posted about dresses and about second cousins).

Here's what we've planned for kids at my wedding next Saturday (I have a huge family, about 18 kids 12 and under are coming, ages varying all the way down to 1 month old): Kids' favors. Each kid gets an age-appropriate toy at their place, instead of a favor. We ended up deciding not to do adult favors (we donated money instead, in memory of my little brother and my fiance's nephew -- don't know if you've posted on loss and dealing w/ recent deaths at weddings, but might be good to explore)... anyway, so each adult place has a rolled up piece of ivory paper tied with a red ribbon, stating where donated in their memory, in lieu of favors. Each kid gets a toy wrapped in ivory tissue paper and tied with the same red ribbon. Good way to involve them and also to keep them busy.

Just keep in mind, if anyone decides to do this... nothing with multiple parts/small parts... you don't want them spread hither and yon throughout the reception area!