Children are hilarious, they behave for weeks and sure enough on the day of all days – your wedding day you hope they listen, sit quietly during the ceremony, pose perfectly for photographs without falling in the nearest puddle first……………….but by that time they have had 3 fruit shoots and a packet of skittles!! Kids want to have fun at weddings to!!
Being a Family & Wedding Photographer it is no surprise that 8/10 of my weddings are family affairs, Not just 2 families coming together but with the couple already having their children. It is more hectic, there is more organisation but there is waaayyyyy more love, giggles & entertainment. I have put together a list of ways to either help the day run smoother, add more fun or ways to involve your little ones during the day.
1. Involve your children during the planning stages, I’m sure helping to design the cake and go to tastings would be up there with anyones favourite things to do! Beware you may end up with a yellow minion or even a wedding shopkins cake! I think if it were down to my own children I would end up with a half & half cake.
2. Childcare/Nanny – I got married pre children and if I am honest I would love to have had my children there, especially at the age they are now (4 & 6) They could last longer into the night dancing away, and be able to sleep at least till 7am……..However there are some other options if that isn’t the case. With the increase of children at weddings there are many services out there, here are a few; If you know or can recommend any other family wedding suppliers, please leave a comment and the end of the blog.
3. Get a Papa! Or a Nanna, Or an Aunty, Or an Uncle…..See where I am going here 🙂 It is usually the ceremony, and the most quiet and intimate time you’ll get a shout out from a 2 year old, or the moment when they want to get up out their seat and run around. It’s all love & romance for adults but for under 10’s it is the ideal moment to get noticed and inject some fun into the show. I recommend 2 options, either have an emergency grown up to run around and catch fun loving child and in turn providing me with a great photo opportunity OR expect it, run with it and enjoy the show…….
4. Speeches & Evening Meal – Depending of the age of your Children you may have them involved in the speeches, whether it be their own speech or giving of gifts or flowers to bridesmaids or grandmothers. Child friendly meals are almost always an option now, as are favours. Have a kids table with colouring in, bubbles or even bringing out the big guns – the tablet! My personal thought is that if a child has been on the go all day, sometimes they need a little down time. Headphones and peppa pig are a perfect combo whilst you enjoy your wine and roast pork 😉
5. Photographs! Yup that is where I come in, and I am not going to lie……There is roughly a 2 hour window to get your portrait style photographs taken & also to spend time with your guests, break that down to 1hour for me and 1 hour for guests. If I were to allocate 2minutes per shoot for making sure all relevent persons are there, getting party into position & then actually taking the photo, that is 30 pictures ….. as long as everything runs smoothly, and everyone looks at the camera and Aunty Betty isn’t at the bar or the kids have ran off. These 30 Pictures are also including Bride&Groom portraits, What I would recommend is having between 10-15 family group shots and a list giving to the photographer and best man or ushers to help get everyone in place, I would also be realistic depending on the age of your children on how easy it will be to A. Catch them, B. Get them in a smiling mood and C. With hair & outfit still fully in place and looking immaculate.
With my full package I offer either an engagement or a family shoot, The latter can be used as a post wedding option, another reason to get on your dress again and choose maybe a different location. It is a busy enough day to worry about the perfect family picture, let me take the candid & relaxed shots on the day, then on a later date we can spend the time getting your perfect family shot.
6. Jobs on the day – Throw petals down the aisle, be a ring bearer, hand out favours to the table (Tequila shots not included..). There are numerous little jobs that could be allocated, but beware – for a 3 year old has their own mind and the perfect job that they have been excited about for weeks could end up being the worst chore in the world, I would say get them involved, get then to feel like they have a role but don’t hype it up to the point that they feel under pressure.7. Routine – Going from a normal day of everyday routine where kids know their surroundings & the people they see everyday, to a huge new venue and over 100 new people trying to chat and tell you how cute they look may be overwhelming for most children. However the tips from past families have been the keep the day as close to a routine as possible. Especially the morning, If staying at hotel try get a family member to take them a walk away from the general hustle and bustle of getting ready.Lastly, have fun – from what I have seen is the less you worry, the more fun you have. Guest generally don’t remember what the favours were after a year, or what your colour scheme was – Guest remember the love, the laughter and the life you all have together.