An "adults only" ceremony sounds nice, but for many weddings, it's almost impossible to keep the little people away. So what's a couple-to-be to do? Here are a few tips to prevent a toddler tragedy on your wedding day:
• Plan. More often than not, parents are just as nervous as you are about children, because they are unpredictable. To keep down the chaos, plan with the parents about time of day, feedings, naptimes and allergies to avoid uproar.
• Separate. Consider an extra room with a background-checked babysitter. Family and friends can take turns watching the kids. Even if the extra space is just for naps and feedings, you and your guests will appreciate the children-free time.
• Delegate. Kids feel important and appreciated when they have a special task, even if it's just passing out programs. Look for other kiddy roles than just ring bearer and flower girl. Tasks such as snapping photos with disposable cameras and handing out party favors will keep kids occupied.
• Prevent. Kids make messes. It is highly recommended that there is a lid for every cup at your children's table. Do not bother with fancy cups or even a fancy tablecloth. If there is a spill, you don't want to worry about sweeping up glass or removing a juice stain from expensive linen.
• Cater. Kids can be picky, very picky. Make sure you have some kid-friendly meals like chicken nuggets and fruit. You'll have happily fed children and a happy wallet, too.
• Entertain. Kids get bored easily. Though a magician or clown is an option, entertainment can come in the form of a simple goody bag. Toys and games are smart as long as they are not loud or messy. Coloring books are great, too, but markers are not advised. Each child should have his or her own individual and preferably labeled bag. Although you may normally encourage sharing, you might want to save that lesson for later to prevent a cry fest on your big day.