Singaporebrides | Fine Dining
In January, we published an article about how to politely tell your invited guests that their children are not invited to your wedding. But what if you do want children at your wedding? Here’s how you can make your Big Day fun for them too.
Let’s face it, even some adults get bored at weddings, what more a young and inquisitive child? Since weddings take place at any time of day, most kids would either have missed a nap or be kept up past bedtime (read: cranky alert!) and sitting through long dinners or church receptions are certainly not on the top of their fun list. It doesn’t take a parent to know that a bored child is more likely to get up to mischief.
Children are best behaved when entertained, so keep an array of activities available for them. But before you dash out to hire a clown, remember that you just want to make sure the activities keep them entertained and out of trouble, and not turn your wedding into a circus.
Just The Bare Basics
When you meet with your wedding coordinators, find out if the venue has a nursing room (that’s where breastfeeding mums can feed their babies, and diapers can get changed). Then let your reception team relay that information to guests who arrive with young children. They would really appreciate that. “Our hotel has a diaper changing area in the restrooms but not a nursing room,” says Fiona Lau, Marketing Communications Manager, Holiday Inn Atrium Singapore. “But if there is such a request, we can always arrange for a nursing room for the guests.”
If you’re having a religious ceremony, find out if it is possible to have a small private area blocked out for parents on diaper duty as most religious places are not likely to have these facilities.
Kids Zone – ADULTS KEEP OUT!
If your wedding venue does not provide for it, ask whether you can set up a kids area. You’ll be amazed at what two kids’ sized tables worth of colouring pages (you can print out bride and groom characters for them to colour!), crayons, stickers and building blocks can do. Cover the tables with paper so that they can colour directly onto the tables!
If you are having a wedding banquet, arrange to have the area set up at the reception area. Sometimes, children do not react well to loud noises in an enclosed area. So being out in the reception area will allow them to calm down, and your dinner can go on without a hitch.
Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa Resort, Singapore, has a kids’ club, the “Cool Zone”, which can accommodate kids with ages four to 12 years old, while the Mini Toot’s Club caters to toddlers below four years old, accompanied by their guardians. If you want to book the facility just for your guests’ use, you can approach your wedding coordinator for the rates. Their recreation team offers a series of daily activities at the recreation room, and is complimentary for in-house guests, except in cases where art materials are used or if a child would like to use the giant tree house slide individually without following the standard recreational programme.
If you’re having an outdoor reception, see if you’re able to erect a children-only tent, and stock it up with games, toys and books, so that children can hang out there and interact with other children. If you have a considerable number of little guests, consider setting up a mini eating area (with special kids’ menu) for them too. They’d love the adult treatment, and their parents would be able to socialise better as well.
Nothing complements an outdoor wedding better than bubbles. And the best part is that children love them – they love blowing them, and they love chasing them. Remember to get non-spill bottles!
SHHHH… Silence, Please
Attempting to keep a child quiet in church is like trying to keep a shaken soft drink bottle from exploding. Find out how many kids will be attending, and prepare a few quiet (Bingo and UNO are out) and non-messy (keep the paints and Playdough for another day) items to be put into little bags for them to be given before the reception. Some ideas are little jigsaw puzzles, stickers and crayons with little notebooks. You can even customise the bags with each child’s name.
Prepare little snack packs for kids consisting of sugar free juices (sugar only makes their energy go up!), and other child-friendly snacks like raisin and cookies. Even if your wedding has a kids’ menu, or your guests bring food for their kids, children never turn down a snack. And when they’re munching, they’re usually quiet.
Hotels are fairly accommodating when it comes to children’s culinary needs, even though most of them do not have a children’s menu included in wedding packages. Damien Soh, Crowne Meetings Director, Crowne Plaza Changi Airport, suggests, “Our hotel does not have a special children’s menu in our wedding packages. However, if requested, we can provide menu items from our in-room dining menu.” The chefs at Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa are able to tailor-make a menu especially for your young guests at $15 to $20++ each with a minimum of 20 children.
Let The TV Do The Sitting
If your wedding venue has television sets at the reception area, ask if you can play a cartoon on one of them relatively near to your banquet hall. Most children will have their eyes glued to the TV when a cartoon is on, even if it’s one they don’t like.
Send In The Professionals!
Some couples engage professional help in providing activities for the kids. They could conduct specific craft activities, read stories, or sculpt balloons into lovely shapes for kids. In years to come, your nephew probably won’t remember ever attending Aunt Jodie’s wedding, but will surely remember a fun night out!
Some Quiet Time
After all that action, chances are, your little guests will be really tired. Ask your wedding coordinator if they can spare a small room where your guests can bring their young children too for some time-out. All the room needs is some comfortable chairs, so the little ones can chill out, away from all the “yamseng-ing”.
Remember that your friends and relatives find you important enough not to miss out on your big day, and brought their young children along, knowing full well it was going to be a challenge. If the kids make a mess despite all your efforts, just take a deep breath, smile, and take notes … in a few years’ time, you might just find yourself in the same situation!
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