Choosing to welcome children or a separate kids table at your wedding is a big decision. On one hand, wedding receptions are typically an event where couples pay per attendee. That being said, some will opt out of inviting children to attend the wedding in order to help lower expenses. Yet other couples choose not to include children to create a more adult and formal atmosphere without the worry of having to care for children. On the other hand, children bring a warmth and whimsy that can make the reception much more fun and memorable.
Some of the most memorable pictures I have seen over the years include a group of kids dancing the night away on the dance floor or doing something comical like digging in at the treats station. Also some couples consider the fact that a wedding day is all about family, and family includes all the kiddos too! Including kids at your reception may also mean less stress for parents for young children who would otherwise have to hire a sitter and leave their kids home.
If you end up deciding to invite children to your wedding reception, a new challenge comes up. Where will the kids sit?
Some couples choose to have them sit with their family while others opt for a kids table. Here are a few considerations and ideas to help you make the choice between having kids sit with their family or at a kids table for your wedding reception.
Option 1: Seating Children at a Kids Table
When planning for your kids table, consider how many kids will attend and how old the kids will be at the time of your event. The age and amount of kids in attendance will have a direct effect on the type of kids table you should have at your wedding.
Every couple manages the kids’ table differently. Some choose to welcome kids of all ages, while others suggest only ages 5 and up sit at the kids table. The advantage of suggesting kids 5 years old and up sit at the kids table is that this demographic tends to self-entertain fairly well.
By keeping the “under 5” kids with their parents, you can rely on the table to keep themselves occupied most of the night. The decision on this really depends on how many kids you have on your guest list and the age of the children. I have also seen some families have one table for younger kids and another for older. It’s really up to you!
The best part of this first option is entertaining the kids is a breeze. There are many ways to keep the reception fun for kids of all ages!
You could also welcome them to the table with fun wedding coloring books and crayons or an age appropriate craft. You could even have them sign their artwork and have it put into a book at the end of the night for you and your spouse to keep as part of your wedding reception memories.
Adding games they may know to the table is another great idea. Things like dominoes or go fish are sure to please a variety of ages.
Consider having a special guest show up just for the kids! A face painter, or balloon twister may help them to stay entertained as the adults enjoy the evening. There are so many way to keep kids entertained at your reception.
Consider a sitter at your wedding? Your family and friends are excited to have their kids with them on your big day, but they also want to enjoy celebrating you. Consider hiring a sitter to act as a chaperone for each kids table. This makes it easier for parents to enjoy their night, and frankly for the kids to enjoy theirs. A sitter is an awesome gift to your guests and can be more affordable than you think.
And finally, if your venue has the room to accommodate, consider having a separate room just for kids! Have games, entertainment, and crafts all in one space. With this option the sky is the limit, and it can be a great place for kids and parents to have a little extra fun at your wedding.
Option 2: Seating Children with Family
A major consideration is that some family members will be coming from out of town. Your wedding reception may be a wonderful time for family and friends to reconnect if they don’t see each other often. Seating the kids at the adult tables gives friends and family members an opportunity to spend more time interacting with the kids. Where there’s sure to be a lot of “wow, they’ve sure grown up” comments!
However, if you don’t have many children attending the wedding, a kids table may not be the best option. Another great idea is to make one of your tables at the reception a “family table”. Consider seating all guests who have kids at one table. This will make for a fun evening allowing the kids to interact and the parents to be able to swap stories about their little ones.
Encouraging children to sit with their families instead of at a kids table can mean magical memories for everyone at the table. A wedding is all about creating memories together. If children are seated with their family then everyone gets to enjoy creating new memories about your wedding day together. We all know that family is important, and kids always bring a unique joy.
What Should You Do?
A wedding reception is so personal and unique to you and your family. Considering a kids table versus traditional seating at a wedding can be a delicate but an important decision to make. Only you and your soon-to-be-spouse can decide on the best solution.
You can also think back to the many weddings you’ve attended. Was there a kids table? What advice would you give to a friend deciding on options for the kids? A few small considerations for kids of all ages can make your wedding reception go as smoothly as possible with just a little extra planning.
And finally, you can always reach out to us to help with your wedding planning or feel free to start a discussion in the comments below.