Catering for Children at weddings and events
What venues need to do…
With an increased focus on 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 not just at weddings but for any event whether it be a corporate family event or a party.
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 doesn’t cut it… if this is all that’s on offer then I’m afraid you will find the little ones running amok around the venue 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!
As an event childcare company, we offer the perfect solution to not only consult with the 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 venue. 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:
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.
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 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 the amount 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!
The biggest key to the smooth-running event with children is actually the professional supervision of the children and not just the provision of a children meal or highchairs. If the children are occupied and made a greater part of the event, then everyone will be happy!
It is worth a venue considering that their terms and conditions cover the younger guests.