Having children at your wedding? Here are 10 ways to entertain your littlest guests.


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They scream through the ceremony. They careen dangerously close to the cake. They have meltdowns on the dance floor. They’re kids—and they can be anything but elegant. Still, many gay and lesbian couples tie the knot later than average and have children in their lives they wouldn’t dream of excluding. Sound familiar? With an arsenal of ideas keeping the kids on your guest list entertained, you’ll be able to have your cake—and keep it off the floor!


  1. Crayons and coloring books are an old standby. Kick it up a notch with puzzles, sticker books, glow sticks and temporary tattoos. Put favors in a bag for easy toting, and provide a low table for their more serious work.


2. Set up a mini-daycare, complete with hired babysitter, in a roped-off area. Have each child wear his parents’ names on a wristband to provide peace of mind for everyone.


3.  Give each tyke a set of finger puppets and place a puppet show booth in one corner. They’ll provide material for the videographer, and unoccupied guests can wander over to watch the undoubtedly hilarious show.


4.  Hire a face painter, magician, balloon artist or “superhero” to keep kiddos in a state of well-behaved shock and awe.


5.  Stock a playroom with Twister, hula-hoops, card games, beads and string, and the like. Be kind to parents and nix anything messy. That mini-tux is a ticking time bomb.


6. Supply a photo booth, a fun backdrop and inexpensive props. Hit vintage shops and dollar stores for feather boas, neon sunglasses, crowns, capes, wigs, pearls, etc.


7.  Children don’t enjoy ceremonies so much as tolerate them. So after getting the venue’s permission, appoint a chaperone and give the kids sidewalk chalk to make a congratulatory mural. Alternatively, they can decorate the getaway vehicle with car markers.


8. If these are your kids or your spouse’s, include them in the ceremony with family commitment vows. Older children can also perform readings, escort you down the aisle or serve as junior attendants.


9. Offer a buffet of kid-friendly food, and serve it during cocktail hour. This prevents hungry grouchiness and may save you money on the food tab since—let’s be honest—tuna tartare is wasted on toddlers.


10. If you’ve invited new moms and their babies, set up a quiet room with comfortable nursing chairs. Add naptime blankets so parents can move grumpy and overstimulated toddlers to a calming environment.