Man meets woman, they date, fall in love, move in together, get engaged, get married, have kids, live happily ever after; or so the fairy tales tell us.
But these days, many couples find that there are already children on the scene when it comes to organising their wedding. Whether this is because you had children before walking down the aisle or this is your second/third/fourth marriage; organising a wedding with children creates a whole new layer of complexity. More considerations, but hopefully not more stress! Here are some things for you to consider when planning your special day.
What type of wedding do you want?
Formal sit down dinner, cocktail party or relaxed backyard affair? Some of these types of wedding suit couples with children better than others. This isn’t to say that if your dream wedding is a sit down formal reception that you can’t do this. All it means is that you need to start thinking about ways to make this more child friendly. Is it possible to have a separate area or room for the children to play in? Depending on their age, can you hire a babysitter (or two) to watch the kids? What about entertainment? Hiring a magician or clown to keep the kids entertained could be worth every cent if it keeps them happy and busy.
If you are going to have babies at the wedding, is there a comfortable area where mums can feed and change them? What about somewhere quiet for them to sleep so mum and dad can keep dancing away? And as for older kids, what will be on the menu for them, as they may not appreciate the fine dining options you have organised for your adult guests?
What time of the day will it be?
It is becoming increasingly common to have daytime weddings. When there are children involved this may be a better idea as you don’t need to worry about overtired children being awake past their bedtimes. A brunch or high tea are alternative options to the traditional wedding reception.
How much will we spend?
Priorities shift once children come on the scene and this can certainly impact upon your wedding budget. Whether having children has limited the amount of money you have been able to save or have just made you reassess what you are willing to spend; agreeing on a budget is an important part of your planning process. Once you know how much you will spend, the rest of the planning process can begin.
How can you involve the children?
Most couples who have children like for them to be involved in their special day. The age of your child will impact upon what role they can take. Whether you have a bridesmaid carry your baby down the aisle, your child is the flower girl or page boy, or they are old enough to say a poem during your ceremony, involving your children will help to make them feel special and an important part of the day. It is also worth thinking about whether there is a family member or friend who can take responsibility to look after your children on the day. This will free you up to spend more time mingling and dancing.
Having children at your wedding will change the whole dynamic of the day. Their presence can often bring unexpected humour and make the day more relaxed and enjoyable for you and your guests.