Weddings are a great way for the whole family to get together and catch up, but they can be a really long day, particularly if you are bringing your toddler with you.
Thankfully, there are a number of ways you can keep your little one entertained and enjoy the day yourself.
Bring plenty of activities for them
Weddings can be really long, so you will need to bring plenty of activities to keep them entertained. Colouring books, bubbles, Lego, stories and teddies are easily transportable and can keep your little one amused for hours (hopefully!). As a back-up, why not download a game or two onto your phone for during dinner or the speeches.
Feed them first
Make sure your little one is fed before it’s time for you to sit down and eat – a hungry child is a very grumpy child! Bring your own food or buy your little one something to eat right after the ceremony. This should keep them going until dinner is being served, but pop a few snacks into your bag just in case.
Let family members mind them
If you are attending a family wedding, let aunts, uncles, cousins and your own parents look after your little one if they offer. They are not going to offer if they don’t want to so don't feel like you are putting them out. In fact, you might find that some will use minding your little one as an excuse to enjoy time away from the day.
You won’t be up dancing on the dance floor until the wee hours of the morning – you will be in bed long before the child-free adults are. And while this doesn’t mean that you will miss out on all the fun, you do need to be realistic about how the night is going to go. This way you will be better prepared to walk out with a screaming toddler just when the speeches are getting in full swing.
Try to stay
If possible, try to stay overnight so that your youngster can enjoy some downtime when things start to get too much or a tad boring for them. If the hotel or reception is too close to your home to warrant an overnight stay, phone them prior to the big day and see if you can organise a room where your little one can have a nap or enjoy some space for a few hours.
Set up a child-friendly area
Talk to the bride and groom about maybe organising a child-friendly area – but only do this if you are close to them or you know that kids are welcome. The last thing you want to do is to burden an already busy bride or groom with more things to do, so why not suggest you will take on the task of organising an activity table or some form of entertainment.
Organise a sitter with other parents
Contact the bride and groom and see if there are any other parents bringing their children. This way you can perhaps organise a sitter to share or even take it in turns to watch the kids if there are no onsite facilities.