For our daughter’s 2006 wedding at our home, the guest list went round the full “circle of life,” from infants to the elderly.
All were welcome, but, especially for the smallest guests, accommodations had to be made. In order for little ones and their parents to enjoy themselves, extra planning was required. It took some effort, but in the big picture, it was not a major expenditure of time or money.
Our first consideration was seating for our 8 youngest guests, ages 0-4 years. Reaching out to local friends, we borrowed enough high chairs for the babies and booster seats for the toddlers. The high chairs were wrapped with gold organza bows, just like the adult chairs. The booster seats were strapped securely onto the regular adult seats.
The next issue was table service for the junior guests. Fine china was used for all the place settings, pulled from my china cupboard as well as borrowed from family and friends. None was suitable for our little guests. The last thing I wanted was a broken piece of Mary’s Lenox or the bride’s service for 12 from her paternal grandmother.
So plastic children’s plates, cups, sippy cups and silverware were purchased on clearance for less than $2.50 per place setting. The wedding was in October, so summer clearance picnic items had been marked down again and again.
The gala juvenile design certainly added nothing to the elegant atmosphere in the wedding tent, so I kept the dinnerware face down, bagged in a zip lock until the seated parents unpacked them. Still, it was preferable to using fine china for the tiny tots.
In this same bag at each child’s place were smaller zip locks of baby wipes, Cheerios and an embroidered bib. Because Harvey, the groom, grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the wedding had a Cajun theme. So the bibs and some other accessories reflected that culture. The bibs were white, with a pink or green border for girls or boys.
In place of the framed picture place cards (scroll to end of post) which the adults received , every child (the oldest was 9) had his place was marked with an ultrasuede name tag attached to a teepee bag made of a playful wedding novelty print. The ultrasuede name tag was suitable for diaper bag, athletic bag, luggage or whatever.
Inside each of these bags were Mardi Gras beads, glow-in-the-dark bracelets, bubbles, candy and a 3″ teddy bear. For the boys, the bear was dressed simply with a black ribbon bow tie. The girls’ bears had a tulle veil stitched to their heads with a tiny cluster of silk flowers serving as a headpiece.
To keep the youngsters entertained as the evening wore on, two child sized tea tables were set up with dolls, bears, porcelain tea sets and tiny cookies I had made and frozen weeks ahead. We all had to laugh when we realized that 2 ½ year old Laurel had rushed the table and eaten all the cookies before any other children joined her for “tea.”
Fortunately, I had stashed more tiny treats in a plastic container and reloaded the plates before other children could be disappointed. A few teddy bears and dolls were already seated at the table. Who knew the children would pop the mini cookies in their mouths and race back to the dance floor. Oh well. The children enjoyed the music of the Cajun band as much as the adults.
The children added an uninhibited exuberance to the mood and the elderly added perspective and dignity. In my opinion, the presence and accommodation of babies, elderly grandparents and relatives serve to remind the bridal couple of the joys and responsibilities of a long, happy marriage. If they are too besotted with the emotion of their wedding to notice at the event itself, the bride and groom must at least be reminded of this fact of life when they see the wide age range in their wedding photos.
Have any other readers hosted a wedding at home? What sort of sewing projects did you have? If children were invited, how were they accommodated? I’d love to hear about your wedding sewing and experiences.