Children’s Fun and Favours at Rustic Weddings
Updated: Nov 2, 2018
We brought 13 kids to our wedding. Yes, 13! They were our nieces and nephews. And if we had more, we would have brought them! Why? Well, we had designed our own unique, (aren’t they all, ha!) wedding that was centred around family, friends and fun.
We decided early on that we didn’t want to celebrate with people we barely knew to satisfy some traditions we didn’t feel were ours. Instead we had our wedding in a beautiful old Glebe house with gardens and a small woodland, a great place for kids to play safely yet freely. We didn't know it at the time but our wedding was very rustic, it just wasn't a used term then. The garlands hanging in the hall and in the dining room were made from the adjacent woodland the day before!
Right: My man and me on our "rustic" wedding day!
It’s funny, looking back, how much time we spent talking about including the children in the wedding, from flower girls, to page boys, to taking up the gifts. But our big concern was that they’d enjoy themselves. From my own memories as a child, going anywhere with my parents, it was a sense of freedom to run around that made me a lifetime of memories. For me, as a bride, I wanted to give that to our nieces and nephews on our day.
Left: My niece with me ... so sweet!
This does sound quite romantic, but there was a lot of work todo on and in the house as it wasn't lived in at the time, just lots of empty rooms and a kitchen. Rustic weddings are a lot of work, lets get real here! But the kids entertainment should be easy, and they will do a lot of it themselves.
Top Tips for Kids Fun with Rustic Favours!
Keep it Simple with Space to Play!
Ok, throw yourselves into their shoes, and think what would I like to do after I break free from the ceremony? Play, run around, make friends, right? So give them space to play and be a child with other children. This doesn’t have to be the generous gardens and adventurous woodlands that I mentioned above. If the venue doesn't have much in the line of outdoors or it's too freaking wet to put a duck out, why not make a den for them. Put up a sign that says, “Kids Only!”. You'll find they soon have a "best friend", (yes! yet another one!) in no time if they've a hut or a tent to hang out in. With some activities to keep them busy like drawing or colouring, they usually amuse themselves.
How about some outdoor games. Again keep it simple, and use what we throw out. Keep you cans after making dinner and paint them. Might want to use a soft ball, and definitely away from windows!!
Image from Vive Les Maries
2-in-1 Craft Favours!
Why not get them something that's fun for them to play with and is a great keepsake of your wedding dat also! Craft kits are a brilliant way of entertaining children and can be taken home with them as a keepsake. Often the problem is someone has to help them, there is lots of mess with glue and paint, and then there's packaging to clean up.
Not so with Flutter Tree kits. They are so easy to put together, they just click into place. There is no mess as they come with stickers and crayons, and they come beautifully packaging in a drawstring bag for them to use to carry their creation around. Ticks all the boxes! There is a gorgeous range to suit boys and girls. There are two different themes:
1. Flutter Tree Wedding Kits, which comes as Flutter Wedding Car Kit.
2. Flutter Wedding Arch Kit, which includes 4 kits from the woodland series: Train Station, Pumpkin Patch, Garden, and Pond Pirates.
All kits can be personalised with the couples initials and date of wedding etched into the wood. Have a look at this cute video to show you how they work.
These kits are great to keep them entertained before, during or after the meal. They come in eco-friendly jute bags so can be brought anywhere for on-the-go-fun. The pieces are interchangeable from kit to kit so the kids can swap pieces around. Once built they can use their imagination to play with their kits in their wonderland in their heads! They can come back to the toy later in the evening for fun imaginative games and, if they're friends or siblings have a kit too, they can mix and match the pieces for more longer term fun, i.e. more time for their parents to stay on the dance floor!
See Flutter Tree kits here for more kits and playful pictures.
These rustic wedding favours are are perfect to add a very rustic feel to the kids’ experience of your wedding and give them a take away gift that they can play with again and again, and a personalised wedding keepsake of your big day.
Give the adult guests a break
Ok, so kids need to have fun, but adults need to enjoy themselves. Not just the parents who brought these beautiful little tearaways but the other adults who either left there kids at home or who don't have any. It's not all about the kids. It's about having your family and friends there to celebrate and enjoy your wedding day with you. Be mindful that fun for the kids can mean noise and disturbance for the adults.
There has to be peaks and troughs with fun, otherwise it can get either boring or out of control. You know what they say, too much of a good thing! So when the kids are supposed to sit and eat, that's exactly what you want them to do, so that you and your friends can sit and eat and enjoy the day as much as them. There are a few things you could consider:
1. Eat at the same time as the kids but on different tables. This is a good time for a friend, or relation to be in charge. Generally though you don't want your guests at the kids table and you at your. If there are older children or teenagers around, they would be perfect for this time and you can reward them if you like.
2. Hire a babysitter! Much cheaper option than a whole entertainment crew. You should source one locally or someone who can drive to the wedding and stay till late. One of the parents who are coming might be able to source and interview them for you. After all, they are getting the benefit of it!
3. If you have a DJ coming, why not get them there a bit early and they can start a kiddy disco when you are chilling out and chatting with friends, before or after the meal.
Calming it down with Colouring Fun Favours
Kids get tired during a wedding, some earlier and have a second wind later on, and some power on all day but can be seen fast asleep on a coat when the dancing is going on! You can be clever about when you give the favours out or you can spread the favours out for different parts of the day - at the table, or during the evening when they are starting to fade.
Keeping kids chilled when they are tired is vital to their humour and behaviour during the day. Have a box or another goodie bag of colours and colouring/activity books on hand for mum or dad to fetch just when they need it. Having a small table with comfy seats can be a saving grace to let them potter off and do whatever they want. Give them a large page with lots of detail to colour in for a colouring competition. This can take some kids 20 minutes but others are there for an hour or more. These can be their take home items in a simple craft style bag with a few sweeties. Job done!
A chill out zone with lots of big cushions in a corner is perfect for taking some time out or a much needed nap until that second wind springs them back onto the dance floor!
DIY Activity Favours
If you're like me, and don't mind putting in the extra effort, go all out and make up and Arts n Crafts table. Bring all the bits and pieces you want from your local craft shop and maybe print out some "how to" guides from the internet to make different things with their craft pieces. This is lots of fun and the kids can go back to it, time and again through the day. And of course, they can bring home their creation as they're favour for the day ... plus the sweeties of course!!
Thanks for reading my piece today! Article by Deirdre Walsh, designer and owner of Flutter Tree