When you are putting together your guest list for a destination wedding in Italy, one of the hardest decisions to make is whether or not you want to keep the day adults-only.  When you ask your family and friends to travel so far for your wedding, some will make a family vacation out of it.  In that case, leaving children at home is not an option.  On the other hand, you may want to give your guests (and yourselves) the chance to drink as much as they want and act accordingly … not always a moment for innocent eyes!

Here are some ideas on what to do with the little ones when you’re planning your guest list.

The Apples of Italian eyes

Italians love their bambini! They are the apple of mama’s eye, the core of la famiglia, and the center of attention. They reap all the benefits of the adult world: they get to stay up late, they get to go to all the parties, they even dominate the iPad for netflix. Anywhere you go, there are always some little rascals running around bringing joy to their parents’ hearts. They are especially cherished at weddings. A pat on a child’s head is the ultimate good luck charm for a couple getting married. The traditional (and a little chauvinistic) wedding wish in Italy is Auguri e figli maschi! (congratulations and fingers-crossed it’ll be a boy!).
So if you ask an Italian, they will say YES, bring the bambini!

Poisoned Apples at weddings

Sometimes the adult view of a ‘good time’ is too far removed from a child’s concept of fun.  Weddings are unbearable for kids. Sitting still for an hour-long Catholic mass in a stone-cold church is impossible for them.  Moreover, waiting for a forty-minute civil ceremony to end is a test of tolerance even for the best-behaved. Yawns of sheer boredom, non-stop whining, sulking, sassing, and sighing, when all they get from their parents is reassurance that the never-ending end is near.
From fidgeting to fussing to festering, the little ones keep mommy and daddy (and guests!) on their toes by wandering off and getting into trouble. Some classic examples are
  • soaking themselves in a basin of holy water in church,
  • climbing up (and slipping off!) medieval statues,
  • running up and down the ceremony aisle,
  • picking flowers from carefully placed (and costly!) decorations.

These miniature guests (read: pests) get to the reception venue on high energy and low obedience.

And in the meantime, their disheveled parents – moms ready to secretly slip off the heels and put on dancing flip flops, dads ready to hang out with the boys puffing on a celebratory cigar – are hoping and praying that the children will find some non-life-threatening thing to do to keep themselves busy  …

Golden Apples

Precious relief for parents and guests alike is to provide entertainment for the youngsters. Affordable costs and priceless value, there are plenty of clowns, playgroups, and actors ready to tire out the kiddies, keeping them busy for two to three hours or more.  Balloon blowers, song singers, role players, magicians, clowns, dj’s are just some of the entertainment professionals available for hire, even if your wedding in Italy is in a remote countryside castle. The entertainment squad can reach your venue for an additional travel fee and make your wedding party enjoyable and memorable for everyone.

wedding italy entertainment kids

Gauge by Age

Your wedding invitations may include a separate card to survey for age ranges and scout out popular themes, here are some examples:
  • Harry Potter games (ages 8 to 12) split the children into the 4 houses of Hogwart and they play magical games that aspiring wizards thoroughly enjoy.
  • The Treasure Hunt (ages 8 to 12) involves solving puzzles and guessing clues, aimed at finding the valuable treasure to be shared with everyone.
  • Star Wars(ages 8 to 12) engages everyone in being a part of the universe, discovering new planets and asteroids, competing against each other in outer space games.
  • Storyteller (3 to 6) stories and fables which amaze and engage even those who try not to believe.
  • Princes, Princesses and Dragons (3 to 7) dress-ups and dancing in a magic kingdom.
  • If you’re not sure of what’s ‘in’ with the teens, go for ‘Art Attack‘ – arts and crafts for all ages.
  • A playstation corner may do the trick as well.
  • If you just want to tire them out so they’ll mellow out at a certain point, a ‘Baby Disco‘ where they can dance till they drop will wear them out for sure.
Entertainment companies provide materials including balloons, specialty art supplies, child-friendly make-up, favors and prizes, you need to provide the space. If children on your guest list figure at least 10% of the total number, this addition to your budget will make the difference for remembering your wedding celebration as one in a million and ensuring that everyone lives happily ever after!