It’s wonderful to have children at a wedding. Their excitement and enthusiasm is infectious and can create a great atmosphere on your big day. However, happy smiling children are one thing, overtired, hungry and emotional kids are quite another. We’ve asked the experts for their top tips on how to keep the little ones entertained during the big day.

Advice from the experts

Children generally form a big part of a wedding day. You might have chosen to have cute flowergirls and pageboys. You and your fiancé might both have young nieces and nephews that you want to be there.

But what keeps an 11-year-old boy happy, is quite different from entertaining a 6-year-old girl. So how do you keep young children busily occupied throughout the celebrations?

“Children are usually hungry and thirsty after the service, so feed them soon afterwards,” says, Peter of Twizzle Parties. “No matter how amusing you think the best man is being, kids will fidget, so it’s a good idea to provide some sort of entertainment during the speeches, too.”

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“You’ll also need a back-up plan, just in case of wet weather,” adds Peter. “If you’re booking an entertainer let them know what to expect. If there are 30 children with accompanying parents, he’ll probably want to bring a PA system. If you’re playing party games, do that first, while the official photographs are being taken and let the youngsters work off some energy.”

Top tips to entertain children on your big day

Garden games galore

Garden games like Jenga, Connect4 and giant dominoes always go down well with children of all ages.

Quiz time

Make up a quiz for the older children and ask them questions like ‘Who is the oldest person in the room’ or ‘draw the wedding cake.’ Make sure that everybody who completes the quiz gets a small prize. Check out the Wedding Ideas Shop for more brilliant game ideas.

Bouncy castle fun

Think about having a bouncy castle but remember, boisterous 12-year-old boys and little toddlers don’t mix, so you’ll need to have an adult keeping an eye on them. Some venues might let you put up a bouncy castle indoors, in an empty conference room, so you’ve got a rainy weather option.

That’s magic!

Magicians are a useful wet weather standby and are ideal for entertaining young and old guests at winter weddings.

Remember that the magic tricks that entertain a 12 year old won’t be the same as the ones that appeal to a five year old, so make sure you brief the entertainer beforehand on the age groups you’re expecting. Make sure you book a reputable entertainer who is CRB checked, too.

Happy snappers

A camera scavenger hunt is a good way to entertain older children. Put a disposable camera and list of things to photograph by their place setting and it will keep them occupied for hours!

Funny faces

A really good face painter is always popular but just make sure you’ve had all the formal photography done before they start working their magic on the little ones!

Treasured memories

Finally, have a photograph of all the children present taken with the bride and groom. They’ll love to be involved closely with your big day and it’s an image that you’ll treasure in the years to come.

We’ve got lots more clever ways to keep children entertained at your wedding in our amazing planning section!