CONVERSATIONS: 5 Things To Consider With Children At Weddings

India and Sophie. Photographer:  Rachel Wybrow

India and Sophie. Photographer: Rachel Wybrow

Recently we received a wedding invitation that began with the words:

“Greta Elley would like to invite you to her Mum and Dad’s wedding”.

An invitation by the couple’s adorable two year old was so touching it brought tears to my eyes. It then got me thinking of the choice to include children in your wedding day and all that that involves.

Kids are wonderful and joyful, but also unpredictable, and things don’t always go according to plan. So if you’re planning on involving children in your wedding day here are a few tips for you to consider to make it as smooth and enjoyable as possible.

01 | HAVE REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS

When we got married we had a young niece and nephew who we asked to be our flower girl and page boy. While we wanted to include them, we didn’t excessively plan or place too many expectations on them, which helped us to relax and really enjoy the moments they were present. While plans are great, they also breed expectations - expectations that do not lend themselves to the unpredictability of kids. Try not to hold onto high expectations as it only sets you up for feeling anxious or disappointed.  

Nuku. Photographer:  Fiona Andersen

Nuku. Photographer: Fiona Andersen

Layla. Photographer:  Fiona Andersen

Layla. Photographer: Fiona Andersen

02 | KEEP THEIR SCHEDULE LIGHT

We chose not to take Nuku and Layla on our bridal shoot as it would’ve been too much for them after a busy morning and ceremony. Instead, they went home for a nap and some quiet time. Work out what parts of the day you’d like them to be involved in (could be photos whilst getting ready or bridal shoot and/or walking down the aisle in the ceremony) and make sure the other parts of the day are unscheduled and relaxed as much as possible.

03 | ENSURE SOMEONE THEY KNOW & TRUST IS WITH THEM ALL DAY

Earlier this year our daughter Kaea was a flower girl. I was in the bridal party so Julian spent the day with her - from getting her ready, running her to the photos, providing comforting cuddles and taking her off for a nap when it all got too much. If you are the bride or in the bridal party and you have a young child make sure they have someone they love and are comfortable with as their caregiver on the day. They may still need you at times, but it means you can relax knowing they are in good hands.

Kaea and Julian. Photographer:  Brijana Cato

Kaea and Julian. Photographer: Brijana Cato

04 | DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF

Unbeknown to us Kaea had an upset tummy the day of her flower girl debut which resulted in an emergency bath and dress change post-ceremony (thanks hubby for dealing with that!) While there was momentary stress on our part, the day still ran smoothly, the guests didn’t notice and Kaea returned, refreshed after a nap, and ready to party. The odd accident, tantrum or meltdown may happen, but don’t let it upset you. It’s such a huge day for young children with lots of people, missed naps and sensory overload, so take things as they come and don’t let it detract from the occasion.

05 | ENJOY THEIR PRESENCE

Whatever the relationship to you, be it your own child; a niece/nephew or godchild, children bring a magical spontaneity, warmth and lightheartedness to a wedding that cannot be matched. Regardless of what happens, don’t lose sight of all the wonderful reasons for including them in your special day.

Layla. Photographer:  Fiona Andersen

Layla. Photographer: Fiona Andersen