Kids at the Wedding Rehearsal
While some wedding websites advise choosing child attendants who are no younger than six years old, we know that your adored nieces and nephews may be younger than that, and you very much want them to be your flowergirls and ringbearers. Here at our wedding banquet hall and wedding gardens, we’ve seen children as young as two perform quite well as child attendants, and the key is smart preparations for the little ones at the wedding rehearsal.
Our wedding staff, as well as the top wedding coordinators and special event experts in the New Jersey region, has helped many brides and grooms during their wedding rehearsals, offering our expertise in helping flowergirls and ringbearers prepare for their big moment at the wedding. The key, we’ve found, is making sure kids are comfortable, know what to expect, and know what they might earn by behaving well.
Here are some top tips for helping kids at your wedding rehearsal, improving your odds of a tantrum-free day:
• Be sure that child attendants will be comfortable in their wedding day clothing. Itchy lace collars and shirt tags that poke, too-tight bow ties and other wardrobe issues are the #1 cause of kids’ acting badly at weddings. So be sure the kids’ dresses and tuxes have been checked and adjusted to allow for the little ones’ comfort.
• Be sure that kids have eaten before the wedding, and that they’ve had plenty of water to drink. Hunger and thirst are also top causes of kids’ misbehavior. So practice the same Musts for the rehearsal.
• Tell kids what they’ll see when they walk down the aisle. A practice walk down empty rows is very different than the people-filled rows, flashbulbs, flowers and other distractions. From the youngest kids to the teens, spell out the things they’re likely to see as they walk down the aisle.
• For small children, have a treat waiting for them at the end of the aisle. A grandparent might be holding a big, colorful lollipop or a (silent) toy that they can have when they reach the end of the aisle.
• Allow kids to sit down during the ceremony. This big trend provides for kids’ comfort, they can sit with parents who can shush them if needed, and kids won’t be tempted to wander around, fidget or panic in the face of so many people looking at them.
• Let kids practice their walks down the aisle a few times, and test out who they’re most comfortable walking with. There’s no rule saying the flowergirl has to walk alone. If she’s happiest walking with the maid of honor, that adjustment may be made.
• If children are frightened, talk with them privately to ask what they’re concerned about. A child is more likely to open up about her shoes being slippery on the aisle runner than she might be with a dozen strangers looking at her.
• Prepare children for what happens after the ceremony, that they’ll pose for photos, then be introduced into the room at the reception, dance and sit with the other kids. When children know what to expect, they don’t act out as much.
Keep these tips in mind, and your child attendants will have more fun, be happier and more comfortable and thus be a wonderful part of your wedding day.
Michael Mahle, Director of Communications, Pleasantdale Château