A Destination Wedding for the Whole Family: How to Give the Adults a Great Time, While Keeping The Kids Happy
You can keep everyone happy:
Never fear, there is an answer! There are many locations and places that you can have a destination wedding and cater to the adults, but still keep the kids happy. There are few steps you should take to help pick out the perfect location and destination for both the adults and children
Pick A Destination That Makes Sense:
Let’s face it; the most important thing about a destination wedding is the location! That is why you have a destination wedding! It is important to think about a location that will be somewhat easy to get to. A location that has a lot of direct flight options is ideal, and a destination that requires more than one connection, I don’t recommend if you are traveling with children. You also want to pick a location that is safe and has easy access to get to all of the events and activities that your group will be doing. For grandparents and small children, it is important to have easy transportation to the locations you will need for the rehearsal dinner, or welcome party, the wedding, and the after party, as well as any special events you will be asking your guests to attend.
Pick a Resort that meets both needs:
Once you think you have narrowed down a destination, then it will be time to figure out where should you and your guests stay. There are some important things to look for when you are trying to find a good resort to have your wedding at and involve children at the same time.
Find a Resort:
That has a great reputation for giving incredible adult amenities, as well as, specializing in what children want. Look for resorts that offer kid zones or kids clubs.
You should look for great “adult options”, Great restaurants, fitness centers, spa treatments, large pool areas, and a great beach
Try to book a resort In a location that allows some easy and safe excursions that are good for all ages and fitness levels. Some of your guests may want to just sit back on the beach and not go anywhere and that is OK too. Make sure the resort is large enough to handle all of your guests and has a good variety of kid and adult areas.
Look for the resorts that has great perks like a good variety of a la carte restaurants, 24hr room service, nightly entertainment, spa service, and, as I mentioned above, kids clubs or daily activities for the kids.
Some Activities Can Be Kid Free
Even with the kids at the resort, you can have certain parts of your wedding be without kids. Some brides prefer to have the ceremony and reception to be adult only, while the kids are in a kids club, or with a sitter. Some resorts, that do cater to children and adults, have their own child care system, professional nannies, or a child care service that the resort would recommend. It is good to let people know ahead of time, what you are requiring and how much it may cost, if you are going to request something like this. This will give your guests with children time to either save up the extra it may cost, or make arrangements to possibly bring a sitter with them. You are not obligated to pay for your guests child care, but if you can help, you will be a superhero to your friends.
Some resorts can set up a separate party for the children, while the adults are having their fun at the wedding reception. A kids party will include adult supervision from the resort, possibly some video game systems, movies, crafts, a pinata, a Dj for the kids music, and possibly even a clown. A Kids party is usually close to the adult reception, so that parents can quickly check on their kids if needed. Of course these are extra costs, and if you are requiring that kids go to the kids’ party, then you may need to pay for that. Most parents will love the idea of having the kids at a separate party. They know that the kids are having fun and are safe, while they can relax and enjoy adult fun. Most parents will help chip in for a tip for the staff, and may even offer to help pay for it, just let them know in advance.
Including The Kids
It may be very important to you to include the kids in as much as possible. Obviously, if you are picking a destination wedding resort that includes kids, you do want the kids included in some of the activities. There are many different ways to include the kids in a destination wedding. You can:
Let some be in charge of throwing flower petals during the ceremony
Have some blowing bubbles during the ceremony
Have some read a special passage
Let some pass out wedding favors
Greeting your attendees
Taking photos (if old enough to do a decent job)
Let some remind your guests to sign the guest book.
There are many other roles and jobs you could include the kids in the ceremony with. Ask your wedding planner at the resort for help to find roles that will help the kids fit in the destination wedding ceremony. If kids are at the reception, you can set up some arts and crafts for them to help keep them engaged. You can also have a separate kids buffet set up with kid friendly foods, like hamburgers, chicken nuggets, and macaroni and cheese.
When getting married with each of your own children, you should definitely include them in the ceremony. When you are blending families, it is imperative that you have a time in the ceremony where the two families are coming together as one. I have seen some kids help fill a sand jar, where Mom and Dad, and all the kids help fill the Sand Jar together. It is also a nice touch to include the kids in your vows to each other.
Go With The Flow
The most important thing to remember is that when dealing with kids, you need to expect the unexpected. If you are the type that can’t handle anything not going according to plan, than having kids a part of your ceremony may not be a good idea. Kids can be unpredictable, and you should think about your “plan B” in case the ring bearer is throwing a fit, or the flower girl is pouting and having a meltdown, just do your best to go with the flow. You may have to make some last minute changes based on how things are going. Remember, most people think kids are precious, especially when they may be acting on the fiesty side, or have fallen asleep during an important moment. You will be more bothered with it, than your guests will.
Still Not Sure?
Maybe you are on the fence about having children at your wedding, maybe you’re okay with it. In the end, this is your wedding day and as the bride and groom, you will be setting the tone for the entire experience. Having a destination wedding designer guide you in choosing a locale that will be a reflection of who you are as a couple, plus give consideration to those with children, will ultimately allow you to have the wedding of your dreams. So, it is possible to have the best of both worlds, you just have to dig a little deeper!
Tami is the lead Honeymoon & Destination Wedding Designer for Paradise Getaways. Tami is continually updating her knowledge of resorts and destinations, so that she can give the most accurate advice to her clients. Her travels have taken her to Antigua, Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Mexico, St. Lucia, & Turks & Caicos. She is a Preferred Sandals & Beaches Specialist, Sandal’s Star Awards agent, Master Agent for AM Resorts, & Gourmet Inclusive Vacation Consultant for Karisma Resorts.