With an increased focus on relaxed, family friendly weddings and events, more and more venues who want to get ahead and beat the competition need to look at how they provide for children.  Today’s blog is brought to you by Stephanie, childcare expert and owner/founder of Safe & Sound Events, who is the go-to provider for many an independent wedding planner (myself included) seeking the most professional, varied, creative and safe childcare solution for their clients’ weddings.   Over to you Stephanie …

Childrens indoor party playroom | Kelly Chandler Consulting

Lack of facilities such as seating and cutlery along with limited activities involving a few crayons and paper alongside some games bought from the local store just don’t cut it for the modern wedding…  if this is all that’s on offer at your venue then I’m afraid you will find the little ones running amok causing mayhem and ultimately spoiling the event for everyone, staff included through no fault of their own. A higher standard of provision is a must!

High end childrens party and entertainment | Kelly Chandler Consulting

As an event childcare company, we offer the perfect solution to not only consult with venues enabling them to offer a higher standard of service but to also remove the logistical nightmare when inviting children to events. We offer a bespoke service for any event, taking away the stress for both clients and venues.  It’s worth a venue looking at their terms and conditions as literally ‘left holding the baby’ is something they are not insured for. Neither is an entertainer solely in charge of the children or the obligatory bouncy castle sufficient.

To get it right here are my 6 Top Tips for Venues:

Space

So often enough space for children to play is just not considered.  We often move rooms during a wedding to utilise the best for the number of children we have as the wedding progresses through the schedule.

Outdoor childrens softplay | Kelly Chandler Consulting

Highchairs and Seating

Highchairs are often provided but are not necessarily the best style and are missing straps.  This is a real health and safety issue. Style is often chosen for the look rather than for the practicality, and many highchairs are only suitable for children who can sit upright.  There are styles of booster seats to consider which offer a better alternative for varying ages of babies and toddlers. Just as you consider the style of the chair for your adult guests, the same consideration should happen for their children.

Cutlery

Cutlery is usually of the size to be able to perform a tonsillectomy on the average small child!  They really don’t need the full setting of an adult. We appreciate that it makes the table look lovely, all matching, but what do the parents do with a mountain of items they can’t use.  There are some lovely sets of metal children’s cutlery available and plastic cutlery can always be laid out after the photographer has taken all the shots or handed over to the parents once seated. Long stemmed glasses are not required either!  Get your provider to invest in beautiful designs for children not just for the adults

Feeding the little ones

Food for children…hmmm… chicken goujons and chips…so outdated…tomato pasta…just not great for beautiful wedding clothes.  This area really needs updating and to be put together with the chef. Most children have a well-educated pallet and are rarely brought up on the outdated idea of ‘traditional children’s food’.  Having said that, chips are always a hit as they are often a real treat!  The size of the portions in line with costs needs to be updated too.  The average 2-year-old eats at least half that of a 10-year-old, but usually, all children are classified as one.  It’s worth having at least 2 different portion sizes for the age range with the appropriate costs attached.

The Fun Stuff

If a venue is offering toys and games they need to be well maintained, compliant with all the various regulations and actually worth playing with.  As mentioned previously, colouring is just not enough!

Kids outdoor games and entertainment | Kelly Chandler Consulting

Professional Help

Uniformed professional party childcarers | Kelly Chandler Consulting

The biggest key to the smooth-running event with children is actually the professional supervision of the children and not just the provision of children’s meals or highchairs.  If the children are occupied and made a greater part of the event, then everyone will be happy!

Thank you, Stephanie, for these tips.

How proactive is your venue in suggesting entertainment and childcare for your clients’ weddings? Most of the time young couples without children do not have an understanding of the complexities of what’s required, so do need a lot of advice and guidance as to the right provision for them (if they are having children attend their wedding). If in doubt, then a discussion with Stephanie and team to come up with some bespoke solutions for your venue and clients could be just the thing!

In addition to more traditional event childcare, Stephanie and Andrew at Safe and Sound Events provide a unique interactive entertainment experience for all ages. Bringing together the premier award-winning bespoke luxury childcare specialist, Safe and Sound Event Childcare, with the UK’s original unique full-length photo booth studio experience, Boutique Booths, they create a distinctive event experience that will bring families together and create lifelong memories that will be cherished forever.

Three little children with sunglasses | Kelly Chandler Consulting

For more information on event childcare and Safe & Sound Events, do contact Stephanie on:  stephanie@safeandsoundevents.com and www.safeandsoundevents.com

Children with daisies | Kelly Chandler Consulting

If you’d like help upleveling your venues offering in providing fantastic creative and safe children’s entertainment for your high-end wedding couples, get in touch.

Images:  Buzzfeed // Bijou Wedding Venues // My Scandinavian Home // Safe & Sound Events // The Little Top via Coco Wedding Venues // Temple Square // Little Hens Childcare // Dizzy Ducks // Mrs P and P // Mobile Creche // Emmaline Bride // Safe & Sound Events