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Posted by Cayla Capri
Sesame Treat Children As Guests
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There’s nothing more endearing than a wide-eyed tyke, all gussied up in his or her Sunday best, inspiration-driven and skepticism-free. That is, until the mud-pies come a’calling and their latest sugar-high hits rock bottom. As bride-of-the-hour, if you just so happen to have an aversion to well-meaning cherubic handfuls, keep the peace with a few simple Miss Manners maneuvers, and sidestep that unwarranted misnomer of Lady Grinch, not to mention the cold-shoulder aftermath of disgruntled mother hens.
birds of a feather
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If you’re the kind of gal who blossoms in the presence of a super close-knit fam’, don’t hesitate to ensure your whole brood is there to take in the tear-inducing beauty of your day. If the thought of a curly-haired niece or chubby-cheeked nephew makes your face light up, then trust in their parents abilities to instigate appropriate behavior for the occasion. Clarity is key – nip confusion in the bud by addressing your invitations to Mr and Mrs AND family, just to makes sure everyone’s on the same page about the kid-friendly environment.
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So you’ve checked yes for Kids ‘R’ US. Booking a babysitter is now a must. Depending on your expected numbers, you may need a series of supervisors (plan one adult for every 8 children). Give the ‘rents a full run-down of the surveillance sitch’ - let them know that their tots will be left in experienced hands and entertained to the very best of ability. Have them in turn notify you ahead of time of any allergies, health issues, or potential emotional qualms that their child may experience, so as to ensure a no-surprises zone and fully prep your temporary team of guardian angels.
Make sure to scope out your ceremony and reception venues in advance for safe, well-equipped, designated areas where children will have no hesitation about going to imagination-town in. Most institutions, whether religious or commercial, will already have just such fun-dens up and running, or at least available for reservation and decorating.
here’s the church, here’s the steeple
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There are plenty of ways to incorporate your young loved ones into your ceremony. Traditionally, those aged four to eight inherit the roles of flower girls or boys, as well as ring bearers. If you’ve got a tyke with a thing for the limelight, ask him or her to read a previously selected poem, verse or prose piece mid-service. A sibling may be happy to play piano, or a gaggle of cousins tickled pink if asked to sing together. For the Twilight-bright tweensters in your life (think 9-14), consider positions of junior bridesmaids or groomsmen. Seek their assistance when it comes to handing out programs, tossing petals, or serving cake. Make sure that adult-aged help is consistently on duty and readily accessible, in case of any spur-of-the-moment incidents or valid questions. Try and shake off anything that might pop up in an off-the-cuff-like manner. This kind of vitality, exuberance, and sheer earnestness is what makes these up-and-comers so uniquely engaging.
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If you do decide on a sippy-cup free venue, be clear and upfront in your communication of such a fact, ensuring any problematic potholes are kept at bay. Include the invite caption, ‘Adults Only Please,’ and then ready a few preparatory responses if curiosity gets the better of your fellow Brady Bunches. Nowadays, everyone can appreciate sticking to a budget, as well as wanting to keep your ideal day sweet and simple. If you anticipate a bit of disconcerting back-lash, you may want to personally broach the sensitive subject matter with a prompt phone call. Keep in mind that out-of-towners may not be able to pull-off the just-adults vibe. Try and understand their plight if they must keep their kids in tow to pull off an appearance.
a pocketful of artsy
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Whippersnappers need to be busy, busy, busy! Offer an arts and crafts bonanza (no one will be expecting Martha Stewart) but a little macaroni and glitter can work wonders. If you want to incorporate a little community star power, contact your nearby library and line up a local story teller or author. Face painters, magicians, buskers, and balloon artists are also timeless crowd-pleasers that you may want to consider. If kids are returned to their folks during the reception, conjure up a crayon corner, play-doh hollow, sticker center, or puzzle station ahead of time, in order to relieve the parents from any unfortunate cases of bad-mood bears and bored s’mores.
on top of spaghetti
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Assuming separation anxiety can be overcome, designate a pint-size table for these little apples of your eye. This is usually most appropo for kids aged 3-12. Flower girls and boys will most likely enjoy the atmosphere of this set-up more so than inclusion alongside the wedding party. Consider fruit cups, granola bars with a bit o’ribbon, or a daintily arranged cheese and cracker plate already laid out to help combat any grumpy grumblings while waiting for the main course. In order to formulate a children’s menu, caterers should be informed well ahead of time how many children will be in attendance and of any food allergies. That doesn’t mean plates must be all pizza-pockets and tater-tots, but familiar, comfort staples will keep tummies pleased and chequing accounts appeased.