Weddings can be extremely exciting, not just for the bride and groom but also for the guests that are sharing the occasion with them. However, taking your family to a wedding can be nerve-racking for many people, especially if you have kids that you might worry will not be on their best behavior. If this is the case for you, here are some of the best tips for taking your family to a wedding and ensuring that the day goes smoothly.
Check the Menu in Advance
With a large family, it is unlikely that there will be no picky eaters within your clan, either children or adults. To ensure that there are no tears on the day itself, you should consider asking the wedding organizers whether it is possible if you could see the menu in advance. This will enable you to see whether there is anything that your family likes to eat and can allow your family to choose their meals before they arrive. This will ensure that no one goes hungry and that you can bring your own meal for your children if there is nothing on the menu that they like. You should also make sure that you let the hosts know about any dietary requirements that you or your family have in advance, such as if you have any allergies or if you are a vegetarian.
RSVP to the Invitation
There is nothing worse for your hosts than not knowing who is coming to their big day, as this means that they are unable to prepare a seating plan or ensure that they have enough food to go around. You should make sure that you RSVP to the invitation with ample time to spare. It is also important that you mention that you will be bringing your family or ask for a plus one if you need to, as this will ensure that you do not turn up with several people in tow when your hosts might have only been expecting you to come along.
Pack Your Bag Right
Before you attend the wedding, you should spend some time packing a bag filled with everything that your family will need throughout the day. This is your chance to avert disaster and to make sure that you are well prepared for every eventuality. For instance, you should consider packing snacks that can stave off your children’s hangry moods throughout the day, and you might also want to pack a first aid kit that will ensure that any cuts and bruises can be cleared up in no time at all. Also, consider whether you will be staying overnight after the wedding itself. If you are packing for this as well as the day itself, several bags might be necessary.
Find the Right Outfits
Before you head to the big event, though, you need to look around for the perfect outfits for them. First, you should check whether there is a certain dress code or a theme that you should follow. If there is not, you should discuss with your family what they would like to wear and help them to choose outfits that both meet your budget and can allow them to feel great throughout the day. For instance, Presley Couture’s twirl dresses can make perfect occasion outfits that can make your children feel like princesses. Additionally, these dresses can also be worn throughout your day-to-day life, meaning that they will not go to waste or need to be saved for only special occasions.
However, once you have chosen the perfect outfits for each member of your family, you should then consider packing a spare outfit in your bag. Not only can this allow them to transition between the ceremony and the reception, but it can also ensure that they have another outfit ready to go if they stain or rip the clothes that they are wearing or if they simply feel like changing into a different outfit throughout the day.
Go Home in Between the Ceremony and the Reception
Weddings can be long days for families, and you may find that your kids – and even the adults – become tired and grouchy halfway through the proceedings. Therefore, rather than dragging them around to every event, you should consider going home in-between the ceremony and the reception if you live nearby. This will allow the adults to refresh in time for the evening event while giving your children the time to let off steam or have a nap before returning for an evening filled with fun and entertainment. By doing this, you can prevent moods and tantrums and ensure that you can party until you drop at the reception itself.
Keep Your Kids Entertained
One of the major issues with taking your entire family to a wedding is that what is entertaining for adults is not always entertaining for your kids. Kids can quickly become bored amid adult chatter, and this can mean that they start to play up or try to get your attention. Therefore, you should try to make the experience great for everyone involved by keeping your kids entertained. For instance, you could bring along toys for them to play with, consider taking coloring books with you or look at travel games that can keep them engaged on the go. This will ensure that they have something to do when they are on the cusp of something that they find boring. You should also try to keep them engaged by asking them to dance, by chatting to them and including them within your conversations, and by getting involved with the activities that the adults have planned. They might love the idea of being more involved in the activities.
Teach Your Family Etiquette
One vital thing you must do prior to the wedding is talking to your family about the appropriate etiquette for a wedding before you leave the house, instead of presuming that they will innately know this. For many children, this might be their first experience of a wedding, and each wedding is different, meaning that there will be different expectations made of your kids. Therefore, you should make sure that you sit down and have a two-way conversation beforehand where you can explain what is expected of them, and they can ask any questions that they have. This is especially important if they have a role at the wedding, such as that of a bridesmaid, flower girl, ring bearer, or page boy, and you might want to rehearse the ceremony with them if that is the case.
End the Night on a High
Although you might be used to staying out all hours, when you have kids, you might have to say goodnight to the happy couple early. Rather than waiting until your family becomes tired and grumpy before you go home, you should consider ending the night while you all still have energy within you. This might not feel like the best time to leave a party, and yet it can ensure that you still have enough energy to get home and that you have only good memories of the celebrations, rather than ones soured by the moments after your family started to grow weary of the occasion.
Know the Seating Plan
Before you attend the wedding, though, it is important that you know what the seating plan is. For instance, you might want to know whether there will be a children’s table and whether children will be supervised at this table, or whether you will have to sit with your kids. A children’s table can give your kids the opportunity to mix with people their own age and to make their own entertainment, though. You should also try to sit with people that you like spending time with and that like your children, as this will make the evening easier and can ensure that there are no unpleasant surprises.
You should also try to avoid any unnecessary family drama by looking at the seating plan before you arrive. This will allow you to prepare yourself for the worst and to avoid any confrontation that might occur.
Keep Your Travel Time to a Minimum
If you do not live near the hosts, or they have decided to get married far away from their home or host a destination wedding, this might mean that you have a long journey before you get to the wedding. However, you should try to keep travel at a minimum; otherwise, this could make the day unnecessarily long and could mean that you are always clock watching rather than enjoying the present moment. If you must travel a long distance to get to the wedding, you should consider booking accommodation near the venue or halfway between home and the venue. This will ensure that your family can spread the travel time out and that you are able to be fully refreshed for the wedding itself, without having to worry about getting there on time or getting home afterward.