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Best dressed kids

13 March 2019

How to stop the kids throwing tantrums instead of confetti? Charlotte Duck gets top tips from mums and wedding experts. 

On average, a wedding lasts eight hours so is it any wonder that kids (and their parents) can find it hard to behave. Speeches, a sit-down meal and often church, weddings are fantastic but they’re not always the most kid-friendly of events. Keeping children happy and diverted isn’t an impossible task, however, as long as you are willing to put in the time and go prepared. First up, start talking about the wedding before it happens; show them the party invitation, explain that this is a very special day for the couple, your kids need to be on their best behaviour and, if the bride is wearing a wedding gown, they will be in the presence of an actual, bona fide princess. 



On the day itself, come bearing gifts. Keira O’Mara ( suggests: “A bag of goodies, wrapped up as presents and given out at intervals. They might be as simple as a pot of Play-Doh, a colouring book and pencils, and snacks.” While Sam of Gridcore Graphics ( recommends both the sensible: “Spare change of clothes and low-sugar snacks for them to nibble on all day”, and the silly: “Whoopee cushions, fake moustaches, joke glasses or photo-booth props so they can have some fun”. 

As well as playing independently, it’s great if the children can feel involved in what’s going on. Unless they are a member of the wedding party, this can be tricky, so you need to think creatively. For preschoolers, why not organise a treasure hunt around the venue with boxes of raisins or bubbles as prizes? If you’ve got older children to keep occupied, design your own customised wedding-themed wordsearch or crossword puzzle (there are websites that will help you), and include fun facts about the couple or the other guests that might get them interacting. 

Triinu of Creative Puddles ( found great success with her kids and one very simple idea: “Make up some bingo cards with wedding-themed words or pictures that they can cross off. This is a lot of fun, especially if you have competitive children like mine!” Just maybe avoid this come speech time. You could even get your kids to try their hand at a bit of wedding photography (albeit unofficial). “I provided both my kids (aged eight and 10) with some disposable Polaroid cameras,” says Al Black. “They had a blast going around taking pictures of family and guests. At the end we put them all together and the kids helped to give them out to guests.”

Some newlyweds give parents a helping hand when it comes to kids’ entertainment and arrange a crèche but, even if budgets are tight, there are little things that can be done for the younger guests. Wedding planner Natasha Corbin-Stewart ( suggests “an activity pack with a quiz. Questions could include, how many bridesmaids are there? What colour are the bridesmaids’ dresses? They could then be given prizes as an incentive.”

Understandably, many parents duck out when the music starts and the formal part of the day is over. But those hardcore enough to hit the dance floor should bring along a pillow, a favourite blanket and take it in turns to sit with them while they doze or watch the iPad. And if all this fails? Take Catherine Hackett’s advice: “Dress them nicely. People are much more forgiving of prettily turned-out children.” happily, the latter options is easy with Next’s new occasionwear for boys and girls. 


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