Weddings are a magical time, and if you and your children have been lucky enough to be invited to one, they are probably very excited. If you have never taken them to such a fancy event before, you may be wondering how to prepare them for the day. These are some tips to make sure that all of the guests, young and old, have a great time at the wedding.
For children who have never attended a wedding before, preparation is key. This is especially true for the little ones, such as three or four year olds. They likely have no idea what goes on at a wedding, and are probably making up fantasies in their heads about it, which may or may not match the reality. To be sure that they understand what will really happen during a wedding, it is a good idea to talk them through it.
Busy children should be forewarned if they are going to be expected to sit still for a very long time during a religious ceremony. If you know that you have a squirmer on your hands, bring along a few quiet and discreet activities to keep an active child quiet during the vows. Ideas include things like small books or puzzles. Since there is usually a gap between the ceremony and the meal, be sure to keep a snack in the car that children can munch on as you travel from the ceremony to the reception sites.
Another way to prepare your child for being a wedding guest is to show him or her books ore movies that feature weddings. Little girls, in particular, will love seeing pictures of brides in their long white gowns, flowing veils, and fancy wedding jewelry. Any of the books that are geared towards flower girls or ring bearers would be appropriate for pre-schoolers. There are also cute little sets of toys that feature a bride and groom figurine.
Make sure that the morning of the wedding is not the first time that your child tries on his or her fancy outfit. The dresses that little girls wear to such occasions often have crinolines or lace collars that can be too scratchy on sensitive skin. If you find this out in advance, you can have a seamstress add a lining or remove any itchy trim.
Little girls who are usually tomboys may not be too happy about wearing a big poufy dress; consider making the experience less traumatic by letting her have input in her dress. Perhaps a more simple dress could work just as nicely, making her more comfortable and pleasant on the wedding day. To help her understand the importance of a wedding, you might want to give her a special piece of jewelry that she can wear on the big day. Look for pieces that will grow with your daughter, like a small string of pearls or a dainty silver bracelet.
The final thing to think about when taking your children to a wedding is your exit strategy. If the party is going to be going strong well past their usual bedtime, then either plan to turn the kids over to a babysitter after the ceremony, or to head out from the reception after the cake has been cut. On the other hand, some children have so much fun at weddings, that they are the ones cutting a rug on the dance floor all night! Either way, when you have planned well, you will know that the wedding will be a fun event for the whole family.