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Top Three Kid-friendly Green Wedding Essentials

Top Three Kid-friendly Green Wedding Essentials
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If you are planning an adults-only wedding, skip this article. But chances are that you are part of the growing trend of couples who want to include children in your wedding activities. With that in mind, Ecopartytime's Green Event Guru has some surefire tips on how to make your kid-friendly wedding environmentally entertaining and memorable. From toddlers to teens, she outlines easy ways to make your kid-friendly wedding happy, healthy and oh so eco-chic.

We’ve all been at THAT wedding. Kids crying, running amuck or bored out of their mind; their parents frazzled beyond belief. What if I told you not all weddings with children are chaotic events filled with bored, fidgeting kids & distracted parents?

Kid-friendly Green Wedding Essentials from Ecopartytime - Kids Activities

As an event planner with 20+years’ experience, I’ve lived by a simple but still overlooked truth when planning weddings – “Kids are not tiny adults”. And expecting them to act that way is a recipe for disaster. They don’t get excited over the same things adults do & even the best of kids need to move, talk and be entertained.

When planning with younger guests in mind, a wedding is a wonderfully exuberant festival of fun. When you aspire to leave people talking about your big day, make sure you include all ages in that goal.

Kid-friendly Green Wedding Essentials from Ecopartytime - Kid Friendly Wedding Activities

Kid-friendly Green Wedding – Youngster Yummies

While your adult guests will “ooh” and “ahh” over grass-fed, locally grown beef and organic heirloom tomato caprese, kids will go gaga over free-range chicken nuggets, pizza with grass-fed mozzarella and organic fresh fruit juice, especially if they get to drink it with striped straws from Ecopartytime. I highly recommend a separate buffet loaded with all kinds of kiddie faves. It makes the younger guests feel special & quite honestly, giving a child half portions of an adult entrée is simply a waste of money since most won’t eat “icky” or “weird” food anyway.

Kid-friendly Green Wedding Essentials from Ecopartytime - Kid Friendly Wedding Fun

There are so many sweet temptations for young ones at a wedding. The cake, the candy buffet, etc. Pretty and sweet things are always a magnet for little ones. To avoid possible temptations, consider setting up your kid’s buffet in a separate room from your cake and dessert displays. Out of sight, out of mind works 99% of the time. Also make sure to have something dessert-ish on their buffet to satisfy their sweet tooth….pudding, rice krispy treats, whoopee pies, even frozen mini banana slices covered in peanut butter would work. That way, there’s no accidental finger swipes on the cake or spilled apothecary jars containing M&M’s all over the floors.

Kid-friendly Green Wedding Essentials from Ecopartytime - Kid Friendly Wedding Treats

Kid-Friendly Green Wedding – Engaging Entertainments

I think a separate kid’s room or at least designated area at a wedding is a must. The younger guests need a place to be kids away from the adults. When I design these, we usually fill these spaces with their special buffet & drink stations, and child sized tables and chairs. We include coloring books & recycled crayons, toys like cars & dolls, pillows and blankets if they get tired. It’s like their personal play room – they can laugh, play, & relax.

I always suggest fun names for the space to get the kids excited about hanging out. “The Pumpkin Patch” for fall weddings, “Candyland” for brightly colored weddings, etc. For our 1930’s themed wedding, we used “Munchkinland” with pictures of the Wizard of Oz Munchkins. It was a huge hit with parents & kids alike.

Kid-friendly Green Wedding Essentials from Ecopartytime - Kid Friendly Wedding Fun Costumes

Another must have, in my personal planner opinion, is a CPR-certified babysitter or two. That way, parents of young children can truly relax and enjoy themselves without having to worry about what Junior is up to! Some babysitters even go the extra step and dress like princesses or Mary Poppins and bring activities of their own to use. They are almost always local small business owners so your sitter fee goes to help the local economy vs. a national chain.

Kid-Friendly Green Wedding – Teen & Toddler-adjusted Traditions

When you think wedding, you think traditions, right? If your wedding is kiddie-filled consider modifying some of those rituals to include them. Two such customs are the bouquet toss and garter toss. As wedding couples & their friends get older, fewer and fewer women & men want to be called out on being single in front of the entire audience. Keep your current friends and make new kid buddies by nixing the customary flower and garter toss and replacing them with a new tradition designed to provide the next generation for some fun they will remember forever.

Have the girls 0-18 come up for a personal hug and thought from the bride, recycled paper crown and a locally grown rose or carnation of their own. A great song to play during this is “Your Crowning Glory” from Princess Diaries which talks about finding someone who loves you for your inner beauty.

Kid-friendly Green Wedding Essentials from Ecopartytime - Kid Friendly Wedding Dancing

For the boys . . . lose the garter toss, crank up that ultimate “wanna grow up now” hit “Just Can’t Wait To Be King” from the Lion King & let the boys 0-18 come up for a moment of the groom’s time, small candy and pair of snazzy 100% recycled shades.

When it comes to their ideas of what a wedding is, boys typically are just attending a party, but girls are already scouting ideas for their big (way in the future) day. The next time, you are at a wedding, watch the girls in the audience. They are captivated, memorizing every moment. To make them feel included, I always suggest opening the Father/Bride dance up to any father and daughters in attendance. It makes the moment so much more moving for everyone there and it’ll make the girls in attendance imagine they are the bride for just a moment.

Kid-friendly Green Wedding Essentials from Ecopartytime - Kid Friendly Wedding Activities Bride

A good wedding is all about making memories, no matter how old you are. Follow my simple steps and your kid-friendly green wedding will be one which shapes a generation of future brides and grooms. Please post pictures of your Brilliantly Green Wedding with the hashtag #Ecopartytime so we can share in your wonderful and earth-friendly wedding! We’d love to see your kiddy-inspired ideas. This is Melissa Wagner-Gens, Chief Chica Verde & your green event expert and I’m “saving the world, one wedding at a time”™!

Photo Credits: True Photography

About the Author

Melissa Wagner-Gens is Ecopartytime's Green Resident Expert. She is also a Green Event Educator, certified event planner & owner of Emerald Events and Weddings.

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