Keeping kids occupied while the ceremony is going on and well behaved during the reception can be a problem. If the site where the wedding is to be held has a separate room close by in the same building, it can be turned into a nursery of sorts. Most wedding ceremonies take from 20 to 30 minutes but be prepared with activities for at least 60 minutes.
Children can color pictures of the bride and groom. Play pin the bouquet on the bride or boutonnière on the groom, or make wedding bouquets out of paper flowers. In expensive activity books for several age groups can be purchased and then divided up among the children.
If the facility allows it consider providing a snack and drinks. Ideas might include string cheese, children love it, precut apple slices, and boxed cereal. Keep drinks to juice boxes to cut down on spillage.
The children can be supervised by one adult and perhaps a preteen or two. If the wedding is held in a church, the church most likely has a nursery area which allows everything to be seen and heard.
One sweet way for children to commemorate a wedding is to give each of them a bag of rose petals and have them throw the petals in front of the bridal couple after the ceremony. No matter how hard a little boy might throw the petals they don't go very far. Or each child could be given a bottle of bubbles and bubble wand.
The reception can include special activities for children as well. A table at child's height filled with small toys and treats should keep them occupied for hours. The dollar store is a good place to collect a few toys. Stuffed toys in the bridal party colors tied with a ribbon and perhaps a few silk flowers is a favor the children will treasure. Consider taking a group photo of all the children with the bride and groom. It's a lovely keepsake for the bridal couple and each child's parent can receive a copy as well.
Older children and preteens can participate in the wedding festivities at the ceremony and at the reception with special tasks. Perhaps they can help serve the cake after it's cut. One child could ask people to sign the guestbook. Children can hand out wedding favors as the guest leave. If you plan on throwing bird seed or rose petals as the bridal coule leave the children can hand out the packages. Give each older child or preteen a disposable camera with flash and tell them to take pictures. You will be amazed at the photos.
Keep the children occupied and everyone will have a happy time.