Prior to having Amelia, I had never been to a wedding before so I had no idea what to expect. It was daunting enough without having to take Amelia along too especially as she was only a toddler. Weddings tend to be rather long days which can be rather testing especially if you're taking a baby or toddler long it's best to be well prepared. Weddings are most popular between Spring and Autumn but wedding planning is almost always months in advance, which means you might be able to receive a new round of invitations to weddings in 2016. I've recently been invited to one of my close friends weddings next August and I'm already planning for it.
Children are often a cherished part of a wedding day especially if the bride and groom have children too, if you are invited it's always best to make sure that you are organised so that everything can run as smoothly as possible so you all get to enjoy the day.
Here are a few tips for bringing your children to a wedding:
1. Find out if the venue is child friendly
While many venues aren’t expressly built with little ones in mind, they will often have options to help you out, such as changing rooms. Check out the venues website to see if they offer any advice. Staffordshire wedding venue Sandon Hall notes their highchair availability directly in their FAQs. If you can’t find what you need to know on the website, call or email the wedding venue or ask the married couple to be to contact them with your queries. Staff will always aim to be as accommodating as possible, especially if you ask ahead of time. Some venues will even have a room set aside for the children to play in or to sleep.
2. Take plenty of food!
Double of everything especially for a toddler. We ended up running back home because for some reason she decided that she was extra hungry that day so we had to stock up on more! Take plenty of snacks to keep them quiet during the ceremony as you don't want a screaming baby running about. I packed plenty of cucumber, strawberries and cheese for finger foods along with some quavers and milky bars as a last resort.
3. Ask about entertainment or creches for children
Packing to travel with children, especially for days out, often means packing everything and the kitchen sink. But with a wedding you want to keep it as simple as possible. The big advantage with a wedding is that its planned long in advance so you can plan meals (often included and with fussy eater friendly options available), naps and travel to the venue in advance. If a number of children are being invited to the wedding, check with the betrothed couple about any entertainment or creche plans for the day as they will likely have thought about this for you.
Wedding blogs are ripe with ideas on how to keep children busy during the couple’s big day if the you need recommendations. Some examples are: movie rooms, sandboxes or hayrides. If there isn’t any pre-planned entertainment then bring a small bag of quiet toys, books and snacks for the day. You also might be able to group up with other parents to take turns watching the kids and chatting with other guests.
4. Take an iPad/dvd player
This was a lifesaver! It kept Amelia occupied for a lot of the day especially is she was being fussy. It allowed us to be able to sit down with other guests and not have to worry about Amelia running wild. We gave her some snacks and she sat happily in her pushchair next to us.
5. Take a break
If you live close to the venue or have a car it's a good idea to take a drive to get them off to sleep at nap time especially if you are there all day. We timed it just right with Amelia's nap time and took a 15 minute drive around the area and she was fast asleep by the time we got back. We then transferred her into the pushchair and then carried it over all the pebbles back inside and this allowed us to sit and enjoy the rest of the evening.
6. Take a change of clothes
It's a good idea to take a couple of spare outfits, you never know how dirty they will get and if they have any accidents. You can always leave these in the car, but it's best to have them just incase. Also depending on the weather you may want to have different outfits for the day time and then evening event.
7. Don't stress
I was so worried how she would behave before the day, at one point i was even tempted not to go. However i thought heck there will be other kids running riot there they probably won't even notice Amelia unless she's having one of her dreaded tantrums. Relax and have a great day!
Weddings are wonderful celebrations but if you're not quite sure about taking your child to a wedding as you don't really know the couple well then perhaps getting a babysitter will be a better option. Children may have more fun spending time with close friends if you want to attend the wedding without them.
Do you have any tips to share from your experience of attending a wedding?
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