New Zealand Weddings

( five to 12 years)


“If you want everything to go perfectly, don’t include your toddler, but if you’re open to the unexpected, then having that young energy and laughter is lovely,” says Emma.

Preschoole­rs make gorgeous flower girls, page boys and ring bearers, so if you want them in your day, that’s a wonderful way to do it. Bear in mind their personalit­y, however, as the pressure of performing in front of an audience can send little ones into a spin, so you might like to walk down the aisle with them or have an older sibling or cousin hold their hand. An alternativ­e is pairing them with an adult they know and trust, for them to carry a sign saying ‘Here comes the bride’, and scatter confetti when you exit the ceremony venue or blow bubbles when you arrive at the reception.

As with babies, it pays to organise someone to take responsibi­lity for your preschoole­r if things turn to custard; seat them on the aisle at the ceremony so they can make a quick exit if there’s a meltdown. If your guest list includes several young children, it may be worth hiring a nanny or two to help their parents keep an eye on them. Or try Auckland-based Event Childcare (eventchild­, a mobile crèche service with fully qualified staff, toys and resources, safety equipment (including fences and gates) and child-sized furniture.

If you and your guests will be partying into the night, make sure arrangemen­ts have been made for babysitter­s, neighbours or friends to collect the kids and take them home.


Kids of this age are easily incorporat­ed into proceeding­s, making them feel special and creating memories they’ll treasure for years to come. Ask your children or a friend’s to do a special reading at your ceremony, be part of the bridal party, hand out order-of-service cards or usher people to their seats. Older children could even sign the marriage license – there’s no age restrictio­n but they would need to be old enough to understand what they’re signing. Work with their age and personalit­ies, advises Emma. “If your 11-year-old niece feels comfortabl­e speaking in public, have her do a reading, but if she doesn’t, don’t make her.”

There’s a big difference between what will engage a five-year-old and a 12-year-old, so you might like to ask their parents for suggestion­s as to how to keep their offspring occupied and quiz them as to which foods they like and don’t like to eat. Emma suggests working with kids’ love of technology and making your wedding a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) event.

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