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, tired, hungry and emotional children are quite another. But what happens when instead of jubilation, pandemonium keeps the joy at par. It can be distressing when instead of sharing joy with friends, relatives and well-wishers, children spoil the whole event.
“I once attended a wedding of a close friend and just as they were about to cut cake, their son who was about two years old, started crying that he wanted daddy. After a while, he changed his mind and wanted to cut the cake with mummy and daddy.
The nanny was so distraught because she could no longer control the child. Eventually, the child had his way and he was carried to the high table and he cut cake with his parents. This spoilt the magic of the day because the child was all over,” Steve Kiyimba, a hairdresser narrates.
Leave them home
“I ended up feeling agitated and it was quite clear that the parents themselves were flabbergasted with their own child because of his irritating behaviour,” Kiyimba notes.
The child may be yours but if they are too young to comprehend the meaning of a wedding, it is only reasonable to leave them home. After all, there are albums and Ds that they can watch when they are old enough. Besides, they will not feel hurt since they also need attention. Remember this is your day that happens once.
Sarah Nsereko, adecoration and events manager at Pearl Entertainment Limited, aises that in case children are already at the wedding, put them in one place and ensure adult supervision because if they are by themselves, they will get bored easily and start looking for attention.
Nsereko notes that gathering them in one place will not rid the chaos they cause but it will at least help manage them thus minimising the chaos. The Events manager aises parents to leave the children home or if they have to go, then one should carry a maid to monitor the child’s movements much as the maids can easily get distracted.
“Some people politely include in their wedding invitations that children are not allowed or should not be carried along. Others go ahead to stress a limit on the number the card invites,” Nsereko highlights.
Deborah Karungi, a mother of three, says her children are past the disturbing age. “Depending on the wedding I’m attending, I either carry my children along or leave them with a nanny.”
If it is a family event and most of my relatives will be present, I take the children along because they will have company to play with. However, if it is a distant friend or relative, she leaves her children to avoid any mishaps with the hosts since children are unpredictable.
Dennis Odoi, a bible children psychologist, aises that children should not be kept away from weddings or even social events because it is an indication that as a parent, one has no time with their children. Odoi highlights that if you can manage children at home, then you can manage them even at a wedding regardless of the age.
So if you cannot keep them away at the wedding, it is only fair that you manage them so that they do not ruin the fun for the other guests around.
Keep them entertained
According to Roland Banyenzaki, manager of Afro Impressionz Events Limited, here is how to deal with children at an event.
Feed them: Children are usually hungry and thirsty after the ceremony, so feed them soon afterwards “No matter how amusing you think the best man is, children will fidget, so it’s a good idea to provide some sort of entertainment during the speeches, too.”
Play: If you are playing party games, do that first, while the official photographs are being taken and let the youngsters work off some energy.”
Gadget busy: Try giving them a phone or a gadget that will keep them busy and quiet.
Bouncy castle: If the place allows bouncy castles, let them loose. But the older ones should not mix with toddlers as the noise and disturbance will be regrettable.
Seat them together so that they don’t loiter around the venue. This way, they shall concentrate on each other but an adult should monitor them.
Parents’ say Compiled by Christine Katende
How did you deal with children on the entourage?
“ I remember the children got tired and bored at the same time because of the many speeches. This prolonged the function. Luckily, they didn’t cry as it is with some others who fail to blend in or interact with new people.
Annet Pamella Lukanda, communications assistant, NGO FORUM
“ I remember having a colourful entourage with little girls, 25 years ago. They were playful and some even got dirty yet we had not carried extra clothes for them. They got tired before the function came to an end. Also, running after them all the time, made the function a bit disorganised which didn’t make me happy. Christine Kyazze,
“ From the barbershop, the children were okay, may be because they had had breakfast, but as we got half way done, they got restless and started crying. I felt bad but could not do anything about it. I only wished they had been excluded or if not opted for those that are a bit mature.
Henry Mukooza, salesperson
“ Having the young boy and girls on the entourage was beautiful. The only challenge was that they got too playful and unsettled because they could have been hungry yet food was to be served later in the evening. I also realised that these children got fed up before we got to the peak of the function.
Jude Luwaga, music trainer
SOURCE: Daily Monitor