Children or no children? Many couples debate this for a while before making a decision on if they want to have children at their wedding reception, and it sometimes can be a stressful debate. If the answer is yes, and there are going to be many there under the age of 15, it is great to have a plan in place for the kids, whether it be babysitters, activities, or other fun ideas. Below I have gathered a list of things to keep in mind and plan for children, and the parents of these cuties, on your wedding day.
It is great to have something for the kids to do to keep them busy, especially during cocktail hour and after they are done with dinner. Consider a corner of the room with games, puzzles, coloring books, etc. Maybe buy some Cape Cod themed activities - shells to paint, sand art, etc. to include them on your destination theme.
Hire someone for activities while the adults eat
If you can, it is so nice for the parents to be able to sit and enjoy their dinner, so hiring a couple of activities “counselors” to take the kids on a scavenger hunt, build sand castles, or play beach games can be such a nice touch. Most larger resorts on the Cape, like Chatham Bars Inn, have activities departments during the in-season and would be more than willing to put together a package for you.
If you would prefer that the kids leave the reception right after dinner, then it is great to offer the parents a list of certified babysitters in the area. This way the kids can still be involved, but can leave to go to bed after having dinner. Cape Cod weddings can check out www.summersitters.comor www.careforkidsinc.com.
All reception locations and caterers offer kids meals at a lower cost to you. Options are usually chicken fingers and fries, mac and cheese or pizza. Be sure to let your venue know ahead of time how many kids and what you need for them, as most likely the youngsters will not want the filet and fish, and I am sure you don’t really want to pay $100+ a head for it!
If there is a space at your venue you can dedicate for children, it would be awesome to bring in some babysitters and rent a screen and projector to watch movies! What fun for the kids and what a relaxing time for their parents!
Buckets O’ Fun
If the kids are going to stay at the reception most of the evening it is best to provide some fun things for kids to do throughout the evening. Some ideas are coloring books, crayons, disposable cameras, candy, mad libs, books, beach toys (if you are on the beach), etc. This will make the kids feel special and the parents relieved that their kids have something to keep them entertained, even if just for 30 minutes!
If you are really having a hard time making the decision about having kids, talk to the parents of those children and get their feedback. Some parents would love an evening out without their children, while others - depending on how far they have to travel - may not want to hire a stranger to babysit. There are lots of factors to consider, but whatever way you choose to go, be sure to provide the parents with information on either sitters or the plans to entertain them during the reception.
Cape Cod is a beautiful place to get married with all sorts of ranges of locations to suit your vision and your budget. When starting to research venues, be sure you have a set budget in mind, as the reception location, food and drink will be the most costly portion of your planning. Here are some tips on keeping the budget down without having to do a lot of negotiating.
May venues on the Cape offer discounted rates in the off-season - November-March. If you do not have your heart set on a beach ceremony or beach photos, having a wedding in the off-season on the Cape can be absolutely beautiful. And if you love the winter and are hoping for a “White Wedding”, the winter months can be stunning, especially because a lot of the venues will be decorated for the holidays. Also, many vendors may also offer seasonal discounts, as it is so quiet we are always looking for off-season business!
Saturday weddings are the most expensive day of the week to get married, especially in July and August. If you are open to a Friday or Sunday wedding, you have more flexibility with venues and what they will charge for food, rental fees and more. Friday weddings are definitely becoming more popular. You may not be able to get pricing down on a photographer, DJ or planner for a Friday or Sunday wedding, but saving at the reception location will allow for more wiggle room with your other vendors.
Call me crazy, but weekday weddings are also a great option. Seeing that venues and vendors hardly ever book weekday weddings, you almost have the upper hand when booking. If you are having a destination wedding and most guests are coming from out of town or from out of the country, why not have a Monday wedding? Worth looking into!
Renting a House with a Tent
Many brides come to me with a small budget and think that renting a house and putting up a tent will be the cheaper option. Depending on the size of your guest list this could be possible, but more than likely it can be the same price or more expensive when comparing to a venue. Caterers, bathrooms, rentals of linens, chairs, tables, china, glassware and more can add up quickly! If you do go this route, I highly recommend talking to a planner to help to keep everything organized and managed the day of the event.
With the explosion of Pinterest, many brides are finding great ideas and going the DIY (Do It Yourself) route for centerpieces, favors, escort cards, etc. This can help you to save hundreds of dollars (although it will cost you some time) if you are creative and have friends or relatives that would be willing to help you put it all together. Again, you do not want to be doing all of the DIY elements the day of the event, so look into hiring someone to execute all of your vision.
Plan. Relax. Enjoy.
At Cape Cod Celebrations, your vision is our brand. Learn more about how we can help you pull together your beautiful Cape Cod Wedding.