How To Succeed In Entertaining Children At Your Wedding

Children and weddings are one of those combinations that seem great in your head, but don’t always work out in reality. Of course there is nothing more adorable than a tiny ring bearer shuffling up the aisle, or a little flower girl dancing with the groom (on his feet, of course). However, for most children weddings are interminably boring affairs which only become bearable (and maybe even fun) when they are being entertained.  The question is; How to entertain children at your wedding?

If you are having children at your wedding, it is worth planning a few activities to keep them amused during the particularly ‘boring’ bits (the service, the photographs, the speeches). Just remember to cater for every different age group, and ensure that there’s a bed (and a babysitter) waiting for them when they need to call it a night.

bored children at a wedding
Try not to let it get to this. Wedding photographer Melissa Jill, USA

0-3 years

Small kids are easily pleased, but need near-constant stimulation. Hire a ball pit for indoor weddings, a mobile farm or a sandpit for outdoors, and make sure that they have constant supervision as well as a shaded, comfy place to take a nap (hired floor cushions or beanbags help ensure a smooth operation).

4 – 6 years

You can’t go far wrong with a dressing up box. Fill an old trunk with pirate gear, princess dresses, and all sorts of crazy accessories. If you have hired a photo booth, encourage the kids to use it. Another idea is to hire the services of a craft party – where young guests get to engage in creative activities such as bowl painting or making hats and masks.

unoccupied children at a wedding
Make sure you prepare something to keep the little ones occupied. Wedding Photographer Jamie Bott, UK

7 – 9 years

No one wants a clown at his or her wedding (no one), but a magician is a different story. During the speeches, they can entertain the older kids with a funny magic show in another room. They may even be willing to show off some of their tricks for the adults later in the evening.

10 – 12 years

There is nothing like a game to catch the interest of a child. Set up a games room with an Xbox, Wii or Playstation, and leave out a few games (and ample control sets) for the kids to play. Or go old school and arrange a few outdoor games (e.g. rounders, croquet, or football) or a treasure hunt around the venue with prizes at the end for the winners.

For most children weddings are interminably boring affairs

13 – 16 years

Bear in mind that most teenagers will already consider themselves to be adults, so you may want to give them the option of joining their families at the reception and after party. However, it is worth having a discreet back-up plan just in case they lose interest. If possible, get your venue to set up a large screen or projector and show popular movies on a loop all night. And don’t forget the popcorn!


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