ADVICE - 20 Fun-Tastic Wedding Ideas For Kids

16th December 2019

The team from GREEN UNION partner, Bands for Hire, have compiled some great suggestions for keeping the little ones busy and content during your wedding day!

What sound could be sweeter than the laughter of little ones on your wedding day? There are few things this side of heaven that even come close! Unfortunately, as many a patient parent will know, such a beautiful thing doesn’t come for free. Children are ticking time-bombs, and when you take into consideration the amount of time they’re expected to sit still and behave themselves whilst all the adults chat away, the impending explosion of snot and tears starts to seem inevitable.

In order to spare you any unnecessary stress (because who in their right mind would want their wedding to be more stressful than it needed to be?), we’ve gathered a few fun-tastic ideas to keep your kids entertained during the reception:

1. Babysitter/Professional Nanny

You don’t need to shell out for a Supernanny Jo Frost-type, but we can’t stress enough how much of a life saver a babysitter or nanny will be for you on your big day. Whether they’re watching over the sleeping ones, sticking plasters on grazed knees, or keeping the kids away from the cake, you’ll be able to socialise without a worry or care.

2. Bouncy Castle 

The old ones are often the best! No child can resist flinging themselves at the inflatable ramparts of a bouncy castle – and, depending on how many ‘liquid refreshments’ your adult guests imbibe over the course of the evening, you might just catch a few of them having a go!

3. Colour-In Tablecloth

Children are creative beings, and it’s not for us to stifle their artistic impulses – even during mealtimes. Save yourself the stress of finding unwanted pen marks scrawled across your white lace tablecloth and instead lay down either blank butcher’s paper or specially printed out patterns for them to colour in – it’s surprisingly cheap to accomplish.

4. Craft Corner

If you’d prefer to keep the creativity separate from the food, set up an area dedicated to a child’s two major loves in life – bright colours and mess. Stock up on felt tips, crayons, glue and glitter, and the little ones will be busy for hours – but avoid paints at all costs. There’s a reason why Neil Buchanan never presented Art Attack in a rented tuxedo!

5. Video Game Station

These days, every kids has access to the latest Playstation or Xbox, so some pandering might be in order. However, hiring an old school arcade machine would also serve as a trip down memory lane for some of your adult guests who aren’t ready to grow up quite yet! Pacman, Asteroid and Tetris are all video game mainstays, and it’ll be pretty clear when a player’s turn is over, which will hopefully prevent arguments.

6. Outdoor Games

If you want to go even more old school, set up a few giant lawn games. These work particularly well in rural settings (and in fine weather), but your young ones will go absolutely crackers for a Jenga tower that’s taller than they are (especially when they get to knock it down!).

7. Indoor Games

Wrapping up the game theme, indoor activities such as jigsaw puzzles and board games are a winner come rain or shine. It might be a little soon for them to tackle chess, but your children will love a frantic game of Hungry Hippos, and an appearance from that crotchety old mule Buckaroo is always welcome.

8. Creche

Setting up a safe haven for toddlers and pre-schoolers who are still finding their inside voices is decision you’ll thank yourself for making! Fill it with cuddly toys and soft shapes and they’ll laugh and scream until they fall asleep.

9. Pop Band or DJ

Let’s face it – kids don’t really want to listen to Beethoven, Bob Dylan, the Beatles or anything that requires too much brainwork. Music is primarily for dancing, so hire a disco DJ or wedding band to churn out a handful of cheesy kids classics – Let It Go, the Cha-Cha Slide, Baby Shark – and watch the little tykes flood the dance floor before they crash out and the adults take over. As with a Children’s Entertainer, a pop band or DJ will know how to keep hold of the kids’ attention, leaving you free to bust some moves of your own!

10. Kids' Table

Speaking of special kids areas, spare a thought for the poor little things who’ve been on their best behaviour ever since the bridal procession – they’ll be aching to start being silly with their friends, not to mention starving! Decorate their table with puzzles and personalised placemats, and have a special kids menu that leans more towards ‘chicken nuggets’ than ‘coq au vin’. Throw in a bowl of jelly and ice cream and you’ve got yourself a deal!

11. Children's Entertainer

Whether you go down the magician, clown or balloon modeller route, as long as they’re garish and loud, your kids will be captivated. Little ones love a silly adult, especially one who gets them to join in and gives them prizes for doing so.

12. Candy Floss Machine

Speaking of sweet treats, a candy floss machine will bring all the sugar-spun fun of the fair to your wedding. There’s a certain sort of wizardry at work when you dip you magic wand into the whirling pink storm and pull out a tasty cloud to snack on – just make sure they leave room for their dinner!

13. Jumbo Chalk

To a child armed with a box of jumbo chalk, any section or pavement or tarmac is a blank canvas. If there’s enough space, you can even introduce them to the delights of hopscotch – the game you draw yourself! And the best thing is – no cleaning up is necessary, just wait for the rainclouds to part.

14. Ball Pond

A staple of any soft play area worth its salt, the ball pond contains many mysteries for our young friends. Is it swimming, or is it climbing? This is just one of the many fascinating questions a ball pond poses.

15. Petting Zoo

Kids love trips to the zoo, but it always comes as a disappointment when they’re told ‘don’t touch the animals’. Well, now’s your chance to right some serious wrongs in their eyes – enlist the help of a friendly farmer and his flock of alpaca, lambs and goats, and set your kids loose on their fleecy coats.

18. Piñata

If real animals sound like too much trouble, fill up some paper ones with sweets and give all the kids sticks and blindfolds! Rewarding wanton destruction with unexpected confection is a dream come true for many a child – just be sure to make it clear to them that they have to take turns.

16. Bubble Station

With a good supply of fluid and magic wands, your little tykes will be happy warping reality for hours to come – you could even hold a ‘biggest bubble’ competition!

17. Mocktails

Let you children join in key moments such as the Best Man’s speech with some teetotal drinklets in their raised glasses or beakers. All you need is an assortment of juices, cordials and sodas, then just make up some silly names for your concoctions. Who wouldn’t want a Ribena Colada, a Capri-Sunrise or a Cosmopoli-Tango? Cheers!

19. Kids' Photo Booth

Photos are the ultimate way to capture the fun and excitement of your big day, but a Kid’s Photo Booth is the ultimate way to capture your children’s imaginations! You can hire smaller sized booths which are both easy to use and packed with Disney, Shrek and Despicable Me faces and props.

20. Goody Bags

To a child, a party is not a party without a goody bag. Sometimes, it’s the only way to get them to leave quietly! Pop in a few sweets and small toys, perhaps with a wedding theme – gummy wedding rings and tiny teddies in bridal veil or tuxedos are bound to be a big hit!

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