Monday, February 8, 2010

Notables: Children's Reception Week

Notable Inspiration has been up and running for about a month now! I'm so thankful to all of my readers and hope you enjoy reading the blog as much as I enjoy creating it! This week I'm trying another something new that I've been thinking about prior to launching Notable. About once a month (give or take!) I'm going to incorporate "theme weeks" to break up my daily postings and really focus on topics I think are important in today's wedding world.

(via Flickr)
First up is a focus on children's receptions... yes, you read that right. Most couples stress about whether or not to even invite children to the wedding, but for some people there is no choice. I'm here to show that not only can you invite the kiddies to your reception, you can create a space just for them to keep them (and their parents) happy! So every day this week I am going to provide ideas and inspiration for these children's receptions.
(via Flickr)
First of all! Let me break down a few options you have for children-specific receptions and spaces. This of course depends on your venue and your budget.

  • Ideally, budget and venue aside, you can hire a few babysitters and set aside a separate space or room just for the children within your venue. Here, the parents can come back and forth to check, but they can also enjoy themselves in an adult setting, knowing their children are in good hands.
  • If your wallet doesn't provide for this luxury, you can set up a table or two in a corner of your venue where the children can gather, even an "activity area" if so allowed. Hire two sitters or college students to supervise and you still have seperation, but not to the same degree. 
  • If your a couple that just can't comprehend having kids running amuck at your formal reception, rent out a hotel room or small meeting room where your guests are staying and allow the children to stay behind (with their sitters, or sitters you've hired) but still have a reception of their own.
Now that we have that covered, I can begin to show you how to make these little receptions a part of your wedding, not just an afterthought. They can incorporate your wedding style and palette or you can go all out and give the kids a palette of your own, stay tuned this week for more ideas on that! In the meantime here are my top five tips and ideas for a children's reception that'll keep everyone happy!

1. DIY the Decor: The children's reception is one of the easiest places to DIY because as long as kids are having fun, they don't care what the place looks like! Use cotton candy for edible centerpieces and make paper pom poms to hang over the table. Set up a fun kid's photo booth like these pictured below. Either tailor it to your theme or create a mock "bride & groom" cut out and have your photographer snap a few shots, leaving the rest of the picture taking to the sitters.
{Paper Pom Poms via Martha Stewart, Wave Photo Booth Shot by Jessica Peterson via Snippet & Ink, Dress Up Photo Booth via Birthday Girl Blog, Cotton Candy Decor via Martha Stewart Weddings}

2. Think IKEA: The word IKEA can bring joy or horror to one's mind, but one word everyone associates it with is CHEAP! Where else can you get a coffee table for $30? They also have a great children's section with items that may, or may not, be cheaper then rentals (depending on how many kids you're having!). The stool for example is just under $8 and the table and chair set is a mere $25. Even if you get just a few to set up around a craft area for the children, you can't beat those prices and can sell the items afterwards or keep them for your own kids one day!
{All Photos via IKEA}

3. Keep Them Busy: If you're entertaining the children within your main reception area, allow them to do this adorable scavenger hunt and give them each a disposable camera to take pictures of what they find! Print off these flags and have the children update your guests on what event is happening next (First Dance, Cake Cutting, Toast, etc!) to help them feel like a real part of the wedding. If they have their own space to run around in, make homemade play dough and set up a clay station or allow them to make their own silly smiles and mustache faces to bring to the photo booth.  
{Scavenger Hunt via Martha Stewart Weddings, Message Flags via Martha Stewart Weddings, Homemade Play Dough via Cooking on the Side, Smitten Sticks via Twig & Thistle}
4. Minimize the Mess: Usually when kids are asked to stay behind, it's because couples are worried about a mess. Well, there's no guarantee when it comes to kids but there are certainly several ways to minimize the damage! Offer fun aprons and dress-up napkins to keep their fluffy dresses and handsome suits looking good. For the tables, roll out paper overtop them for write-on/draw-on table cloths. And stick to colored pencils and crayons, no markers or paint! Display the machine-washable friendly mediums in old Smuckers jelly jars and voila! A table they can draw on and you can roll up and toss away.
{Paper Tablecloth via Ritzy Bee, Colored Pencil Shot Belathée Photography via Once Wed, Aprons via Moolka, Dress Up Dinner Napkins via The Spoon Sisters}

5. Have Fun with the Favors! Give the kids their own special favors, wrapped in DIY packaging like this from Martha Stewart. You can buy bubbles in bulk and print out custom labels for them. Or, if the kids are of age, give giant gum balls or let them to make their sundaes in personalized ice cream dishes!

{DIY Flower-wrapped Flavors via Martha Stewart Weddings, Bubble Favors via Martha Stewart, Gumball Favors by I Luv Sugar via Etsy, Ice Cream Parlor Buffet via Eat Drink Chic}

Tomorrow I'll be bringing you a brightly colored Color Inspiration for a complete children's reception! The rest of the week will entail Etsy products for kids and of course an Etsy children's reception. And don't miss Friday for a kid-friendly menu of PB&J cupcakes and puzzle sandwich cutters!

Aspiring to Inspire,


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