My Wedding Blog

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It's a biggie! And a question that can sometimes divide family and friends right down the middle. But after stumbling across this dilemma when planning my own wedding in 2018, I found that there are quite a few ways of approaching whether you invite the little ones to your big day.

Here are my thoughts...


1. No kids allowed!


Let's get this one out of the way first! There are reasons that you might choose not to invite children to your celebrations. The more people you invite to your wedding day, the more expensive it can get - and that includes when it comes to kids. Family politics might also make it impossible to decide whose children should attend and who shouldn't. If you decide not to invite children to your wedding, just make sure that you stick to it - maybe stick to an age limit - to make sure you're fair. If any of your guests are in need of childcare for the day, there are options available (read on for more!).


2. Setting a compromise...


This is what my husband and I settled on, and where most couples will find themselves landing. We ended up inviting children who were our cousins, but not our second cousins and third cousins, or our friend's children as there would have been so many!


As long as you set a clear rule and don't deviate, your guests should be okay with your decision, and quite often parents are looking forward to a night of letting their hair down without their little ones.


3. Inviting all the children!


This is my favourite of course! Don't forget that if you're inviting quite a few little ones to your wedding, you might want a plan in place to get them through boring grown up stuff like speeches and ceremonies...


Introducing.... NannyTap!!!


No matter what you decide, I have the solution for you! NannyTap is a wonderful local Liverpool based childcare service, created and managed by Annette - who has 18 years of experience within the childcare industry.


Annette and the team at NannyTap offer a flexible childcare and babysitting service that will fit around you and your wedding celebrations - whether you would like your children to be with you, or whether you would like somebody to care for them whilst you get married! NannyTap also offer babysitting services for wedding guests. I had the pleasure of learning a little more about the business from Annette herself....


Hi Annette! I've outlined my tips on inviting children to weddings - but as someone with 18 years of experience within the childcare industry, what are your own thoughts?


Weddings and civil ceremonies are special and meaningful days, that see two families come together for a beautiful and memorable celebration. Inviting children along to a wedding opens up opportunities for wedding couples, creating special roles, as ring bearer, flower girls and bridesmaids. With that; children bring so much fun laughter and sparkle to the day with their cheeky smiles and funny moments.


Many of the bridal party appreciate and value their children being invited, it helps guests with attending the day, to which in turn solves their child care arrangements, as its possible their chosen choice of babysitter may be attending the wedding too.


I love it when couples get the kids involved in their weddings too! What kind of services do you offer for couples who may be in need of childcare on their wedding day?


Nannytap offers bespoke wedding nanny services, this is a great service and ideal for bride/s and groom/s or guests that are looking for help & support throughout the wedding day or for evening babysitting. My trustworthy professional experienced child carers will look after the little VIPS, helping with anything from nappy changes, toileting, playtime, nap time, meal times and entertaining.


Alternatively if there is a larger group of children, Nannytap provides beautifully set up play creches within the wedding venue, offering a fun and comfy space to play and relax with wide range of toys, games arts & crafts. This is perfect for those times when speeches are taken place. All creche’s are supervised by highly qualified and experienced childcarers, holding DBS checks, and first aid training.


Amazing! Can you tell me a little bit more about the Nannytap team and childcarers that you have built?


I began adhoc babysitting at weddings for children I cared for at previous and current job positions. I attended and supported a wedding in Spain as part of my half term travel nanny position. The feedback from the parents was overwhelming in its praise for the role I had performed. They’d never enjoyed a wedding so much, and the children had loved it. I’d heard that more and more people in the UK were looking for children’s entertainers and child minders for weddings. I began to wonder - why didn’t I offer my experience and services as a ‘wedding nanny’ or gather my own Nanny team?


With working in the childcare sector for many years I knew lots of outstanding and highly experienced child carers that would create a wonderful team, that’s when Nannytap Wedding Nannies and pop up crèche services was created!


Do you have any memories of a special moment between a little one you were looking after and their mum or dad on their wedding day?


Children are so innocent and spontaneously say the sweetest things. I hear lots of lovely compliments children say to their parents. “my mummy is a beautiful princess”

“My daddy is a handsome prince”. Depending on the booking arrangements, we do get the privilege to see some beautiful moments during the photography shots.


When entertaining little ones - what is your favourite fun wedding day game to play?


Our pop up creche’s are filled to the brim with fantastic toys and games all selected specifically for the age group were looking after. We have lovely wedding related resources such as a Sylvian Families wedding car and figures, bride ragdolls, and brides & grooms colouring in sheets.


It’s hard to pick a favourite, but I would say classic games are always a huge hit with both the nannies and the children! Snakes and Ladders, Monopoly, Connect 4, and Guess Who are always popular and give hours of fun!


Can you offer any advice for keeping older kids happy during speeches and all of the other 'grown up' stuff?


Older children and teenagers tend to stay at the wedding breakfast and evening reception, which means listening to lengthy speeches. A great way to keep them engaged and less bored, is creating a busy bag that is left out on the table for them. Some fun ideas are things like a wedding I-spy card and wordsearch sheets.


Throw away cameras are also cool and something different that some children may have never used or experienced before! "Showing our age here!!!" - Gem


Giving older children a job or task is a creative way of keeping them on their toes and involved; acting as ‘toastmaster’ for example. If they have a special talent or memory to share, you could let them preform or give a speech maybe.


Thank you so much for your time Annette! If readers would like more info, or to get in touch - where should they go?


Nannytap can be found on various platforms and wedding directories such as Instagram, Facebook, Bridebook, Wedding business awards directory and not forgetting the Nannytap website that’s also linked below.


When so much money is invested in getting weddings to be just right, to be as perfect as they are imagined in our dreams and wishes, it seems that Nannytap Weddings has a great part to play in making those dreams come true. And it feels great to be able to offer this service and to be putting all those years of training and expertise to such a happy and memorable use.


You can visit my website: NannyTap.com

Check out my Instagram page: @nannytap1

Or catch us on Facebook: @nannytapweddings


Updated: Apr 1

So your big day is nearly upon you, and you've put soooo many hours into planning it. It's time to relax and enjoy celebrating with your loved ones! These are three of my favourite tips on how you can make sure you really make the most of your best day ever...


1. Before you walk down the aisle, ask your guests to put their phones away.


It's your special day. All of those months or even years of planning have led up to the moment you walk down that aisle. You step through the door to your favourite music, the mood is set, the wedding planner fixes the train of your dress, your bride or groom turns to face you for the first time....


And you can't see anybody else because they're all watching you through the screens of their mobile phones!


This is a personal bugbear of mine, but I would always suggest prompting all of your guests to keep their phones in their pockets. Even if it's just for the ceremony. Let the professional photographer do all the work, and the shots they get will be so much more stunning as there will be no phones in sight and your loved ones will be fully immersed in your love.


2. Make time for just the two of you.


Your wedding day will rush past in a blur, believe me. You'll feel like you haven't spent very much time with anybody because you'll have so many people congratulating you, asking you how you are, and asking you if you'd like another drink! It's lots of fun catching up with your nearest and dearest, but don't forget about your number one.


It's difficult to spend more than a minute with your brand new husband or wife after your wedding breakfast. To make sure you get that breathing space together, ask a trusted friend to find a quiet place for you to both get away from the crowd and take it all in. You won't regret it!


3. Get someone to save food for you.


If you're anything like me, you will have put a decent amount of time into making sure the food you serve to your wedding guests is spot on. Whether it's a daytime roast or a nighttime food truck, or canapés, or a cheese cart, or a doughnut wall; make sure a plate is kept aside for you!


As soon as the buffet is announced people will flock to it. And you'll probably be too busy bouncing from person to person to even notice! Even if you're too busy celebrating to tuck in, somebody should be appointed to bring a taste of everything over to you so that you don't miss out. You don't want to put lots of effort into your planning and not get to experience everything.


Above all, do what's right for you and have lots of fun!

Updated: Apr 1

Ahhh! Budget planning! This is the bit that every newly engaged couple loves to plan out.... ammiright?


Well, maybe not. But it's definitely going to be the most important part of your wedding planning journey, and the most difficult bit to keep in check!!!


So here are my tips and info on setting your budget. And sticking to it!

1. So how much does a wedding actually cost???

There's no easy or set answer to this. According to Hitched, your average wedding in the UK in 2019, was ***are you sitting down?*** £31,974. Which was actually down £300 from 2018!!!


But don't panic! There are plenty of ways to make sure that you have the day you've been dreaming of - whatever your budget.

Read on for more ideas...


2. How much do people spend on each element of their wedding?

According to Wedding Wire, in 2019 we spent our wedding budget as follows...

48% on the wedding reception,

16% on the honeymoon,

10% on photography and videography,

7% on the bridal attire,

3% each on the music, and flowers & decor,

2% each on the ceremony, transportation, jewellery, and groom's attire,

1% each on the invitations, favours, and beauty...


BUT! I'd say not to use this as a cut-and-paste template for your own wedding, as everyone is different and will have very different priorities for their big day. For example, my husband and I spent less on the flowers and more on the band - less on the transport and more on the honeymoon... So have a good think about how you'd like to split your budget first and do a bit of research into how much stuff costs (or get a planner on board, who will do all the leg work for you!)


3. Work out the 3 most important elements of your wedding...

I will ALWAYS recommend sitting down with your fiancé(e) and figuring out what your biggest priorities are for your wedding day.


Do you want a stunning, stylish affair with tonnes of flowers and table decorations? Are you after a top notch caterer, or planning on blowing the budget on the best dress? Always work this bit out super early in the planning process; and then if there are any compromises to be made over budget limits, you know where you can cut costs first.


4. Keep a spreadsheet of your spends!

As I mentioned above - it is SO easy to get carried away when it comes to your wedding. You'll find yourself setting a budget of a grand for your dress, and then spot that designer gown for twice as much! Or your nan will want to invite along her friend Dotty from down the road. Or you'll forget that you need to bus 65 people from the church to the reception.


Always keep tabs on your spends. It's really boring, but even if you're buying a few votive candle holders it's worth keeping track, as a few extra quid here and there can turn into £100s and soon your budget has spiralled. Again, if you really want to stick to budget, you can hire a planner who can do all of this for you.


5. When do my suppliers need paying?

Keep this in mind when planning your wedding. Most suppliers will require a non-refundable deposit upfront in order to secure your wedding date. The rest of the payment will need to be made in the weeks running up to your wedding date, with each supplier having a different requirement. When you sign your contract with them, be sure to check this over so that you know when to pay them. (Just a note: I offer payment reminders as part of my planning packages if you need them)


6. Keep an eye on your guest numbers...

The biggest driver of your wedding budget is often how many people you invite! Don't forget that you will need to feed and water all of your wedding guests, and maybe provide transportation, cake, favours... even chair hire and chair covers can drive your costs up. A lot of venues will include a certain amount of daytime and nighttime guests in their wedding packages, and you'll be charged per head for everybody over that amount.


This bit is easy to go spiralling out of control. You'll never know how many people you're related to until you sit down and hash it out with your folks. But more on guests lists at a later date...


7. Delegate, delegate, delegate!

This tip comes with caution. If you're asking friends and family to help out (if your aunty makes cakes, your dad is a florist, your bridesmaid is a hairdresser); make sure you're absolutely sure that they are reliable and you adore their style and how they work.


I know first hand that having your friends and family kindly lend their talents to your wedding day celebrations can not only greatly help you along with costs - it will make your big day that much more special and personal to you. I highly recommend it!


8. What are you including in your budget?

Are you buying your bridesmaids' dresses, or are they going to be providing their own? If your bridesmaids are wearing their own dresses, you will need to be more relaxed about the style of them as they will naturally want more of a say over what they are buying. Will your wedding rings be included in the budget? What about sending wedding gifts to your bridal party? All of these things add up and need to be taken care of!


9. Is your honeymoon part of your budget, or coming from a separate pot?

You don't have to go on your honeymoon immediately after your big day if it will help you to save up some more money. Another option that has become popular is to request donations towards your honeymoon as wedding gifts, particularly as many engaged couples have been living together for a while and have all of the homeware that they need already.


It may depend on the formality of your celebrations as to whether you can request monetary gifts, but if you feel that you can, you could include a nice card in with your invites, set up a JustGiving page for a really modern wedding, or join a website that offers guests the opportunity to donate towards particular activities for you to enjoy if they want to.


10. Oh wait... Did I mention hire a wedding planner?!?

I might have touched on this once or twice, >_< but it's going to be the easiest and most cost effective way of sticking to your budget. Your planner will have links to the wedding supplier world and will know where you can get the best quality products and services for the most competitive price.


They usually charge a percentage of your budget, but could save you a lot more; and they'll be able to advise you on how you can work together to achieve your dream day without blowing the bank.

Let's go!!!

It's time! Grab your partner, a calculator, and a brew. Get your spreadsheet fired up and hash it out. What do you have to spend, who can you rope in to help out, and what do you want from your wedding day?


Remember you can always give me a shout if you get stuck. Good luck!!!