Post # 1
I need etiquette help bees, I want to make sure that I am respectful of my guest’s children and I want to be supportive of my bridesmaid who just found out she was pregnant last night. To be honest, proper etiquette has never been my forte’.
I am not having children at our wedding per say, the only “children” at the wedding are a 14 year old girl, 15 year old girl, a 16 year old girl, and a 17 year old boy. They are family members and close friends of ours on my FI’s side, so it is no problem inviting them to the wedding. Everyone else invited is 18 and over in a guest list of 57 people.
It seems as I am getting married my friends are getting pregnant! Which I am totally stoked about, I love doting on the soon-to-be mothers and fathers, but I have never gotten along with babies or small children. I am only 24 and I am an only child so being around babies and very young toddlers has always been an awkward situation for me and when I first began planning the wedding I wanted no kids under the age of the 13.
Well now I am thinking of changing that rule. Our venue has a nursery oddly enough! And one of my guests gave birth in late September, another guest is 5 weeks pregnant and due June 5th, another guest is 31 weeks pregnant and last night I just found out that my bridesmaid is pregnant as well. She found out last night and took a picture of her pregnancy test and posted it on Facebook. I have yet to talk to her about her being pregnant and my wedding and she has yet to say anything to me, which I understand because it has been less then 24 hours ago!
- But now I am lost as to what to say to my bridesmaid. When should I talk to her about what she is planning to do about being pregnant and being in my wedding party? How should I…Or how would you handle this situation? What would you say? And how long would you wait to say it? She has already bought her bridesmaid dress a few months back too. I don’t mind having a pregnant bridesmaid at the wedding, so if she is willing to keep being a BM that would be great! What should I expect from her if she gives birth before my wedding? So many questions I am wondering about!
- I am also wondering what to do about all the new mom’s at my wedding too. I have not sent out the invites yet as my wedding isn’t until July 15th, 2013 but what if they do RSVP ‘yes’ and want to bring their infants along to the wedding? My worst fear is that their kids will start crying during the ceremony and if I have someone ask them to leave it could be too late, our vows could be ruined since we’re having a friend videotape our vows on his iPhone. And no, we cannot hire a professional videoagrapher – we’re broke. I don’t mind their babies at the reception so much, but the ceremony I just don’t feel I can budge on. So that brings me to the nursery idea, I’d love for the new mom’s to put their children in the nursery sadly though since we are paying for this entire wedding ourselves we cannot afford a baby sitter. What should we do? Would it be acceptable to ask them leave their infants at home? Or is that asking too much of them? Should we expect these young mom’s to RSVP ‘no’ to our wedding because they can’t bring their babies? Is it okay to leave the babies in the nursery unattended while everyone is at the 30 minute ceremony? (Though even I cringe at that thought….Safety issues and what not.) By the way if we leave a guest in the nursery to watch the babies that means they’ll miss the ceremony since the nursery is indoors and facing away from the ceremony place.
What should we do? What do you think is the best way to handle both of these situations? While being nice AND being nice to our wallets?
Post # 3
“She found out last night and took a picture of her pregnancy test and posted it on Facebook.”
First of all…really?!? Is there no such thing as a private, sacred moment anymore? Please don’t tell me that she posted this in real time.
Secondly, positive tests need to seriously be taken with a grain of salt. Nothing’s official until its been confirmed by a doctor. I’ve had a couple false-positives in the past, and I would have been horrified if I had jumped the gun and posted them to Facebook. In other words…you don’t know that she’s pregnant yet *for sure*, so cross that bridge when you get to it.
in terms of your other concerns…it is NEVER EVER EVER okay to leave babies unattended for any length of time, so you can go ahead and scratch that idea off your list. Since it sounds like you have 3-4 guests tops in this situation, I would approach them personally and explain that while you have no problem with babies attending the reception, you do not want them at the ceremony and have not budgeted for a babysitter during that time. Figuring out child care arrangements is the responsibility of the parent, so if you’re up-front about your expectations now, they’ll have plenty of time to figure out what to do with their children. Then stop worrying about it!
Post # 4
@LR2012: Wow. I think I love you. You handled both of these situations in a calm, reasonable way that will be helpful to the parents and to me. Thank you so, so much. You were a huge help.
Post # 5
- Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort
@LR2012: You’ve had false positives? Plural? That is so insanely rare. False negatives are common, but false positives are very rare unless you are over like 35/40(?) and have a specific health condition. Usually people who get a positive and end up not pregnant later had a chemical pregnancy.
But I agree, she’s really jumping the gun posting the pregnancy test… msotly because she could lose the baby in the first 8-12 weeks, not because the test could be wrong. That’s HIGHLT unlikely.
OP, your friends are responsible for finding their own childcare. Providing it for them is lovely, but not at all required. My friends with kids were plenty happy to leave the babies at home and enjoy a night out.
Post # 6
One thing, breastfeeding babies (and those under a year usually) are kind of considered a package deal. Some moms are totally okay with leaving a few month old baby with a sitter, some aren’t. So if you REALLY want to say “No babies period” at your ceremony, be prepared for people with new-ish babies to not come. I have friends with babies who were totally okay with leaving their 3 week old baby at home with a friend to go out for their sanity, I have others who have never had their 6 month plus baby away from both parents for more than 30 minutes so it is so dependant on the people involved. Obviously leaving babies alone is NEVER okay so just be prepared if you don’t want the babies at the cermony you may lose out on their parents too.
On the pregnant BM thing, wait and see if her dress is still going to it, is it super tight or is there give in the belly area? Lots of ladies have found BM dresses that are similar to the others off the rack different places close to the wedding date to accomidate the pregnant bridesmaids size.
Post # 7
- Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort
re: bridesmaids dresses
A number of designers offer maternity versions of normal dresses or maternity dresses in different styles but the same colors and fabrics as other dresses. A maternity dress can be ordered at any point in the pregnancy because the belly measurement will not matter. I will be 8 months pregnant in a wedding soon for which I ordered the dress when I was like 8 or 9 weeks pregnant.
And @chasesgirl: makes an important point about breastfeeding babies.
Post # 8
I think you should make an exception for young babies and allow their mothers to bring them. They don’t run around (and before 6-9 months, don’t even crawl), so are very easy to handle so long as they’re fed and clean. Plus. leaving baby when you’re breastfeeding is hard. Even if mum pumps milk and finds a sitter, her boobs keep making miik so she’s probably got to pump sometime during the day. In other words, a very big inconvenience and if at all possible it’s better to let them bring their babies.
That leaves the issue of baby crying and interrupting. A good mum will stop baby crying, either take baby out or feed him/her and the crying stops. I brought my 2 month old to a wedding. She was no problem. I was (and am) a regular church goes so I was used to the idea of taking the baby out if she made a fuss (though I didn’t have to). So make sure you talk to the mothers beforehand about the nursery and your desire for them to take baby out if he/she makes a fuss.
EDIT: As others have said, there is absolutely no way babies can be left unattended in the nursery. I think the best bet is have mothers mind them and take them out as a last resort.
Post # 9
Thank you ladies who have helped me. I’ll be talking to my bridesmaid tomorrow, and we’ll discuss our options. I am glad to find out from you bees that there are materinity dresses which I would not mind changing or finding the same dress as she grows bigger for the wedding, seriously thank you!
I’ll defintely scratch off leaving babies alone in the nursery, and I’ll start talking to the mom’s to be about their children and the wedding and see what they would be comfortable with.
Thank you all for helping me through this and thinking about this situation clearly.
Post # 10
I’m not inviting anyone under 13 to the wedding. This includes babies. I will address the invites to parents and I will have spread word of mouth that the even is adults only. Though it is an ettiquette faux pas I’m considering including the words “adults only event” on our website or RSVP card so that there is no misunderstanding. I have witnessed a ceremony ruined by small children. It’s not happening to me. Luckily the only person who will have a baby got married 2 years ago and her wedding was the one ruined by a baby screaming. I’m hoping she will remember this and not be offended.
Post # 11
@arendiva: That is what I am afraid too, I would be furious if a child ruined my vows or any part of my ceremony. I am pretty sure I’d pop a blood vessel. On my wedding website I put a disclaimer on there too about “do not bring a +1 unless other wise stated on your invitation, thank you.” Of course I said it a lot nicer but honestly my FI’s family is so large that they feel everyone is invited to a wedding even if their name is not on an invite, so no I didn’t feel comfortable with just word of mouth or hoping they’d understand the etiquette of names on the invites means only invited. Sometimes people have to be told flat out what your expectations are.
I talked to my BM and she is pregnant, her due date is around July 3rd – a week before my wedding. She said everything is up in the air right now (understandable) but she says she still wants to be apart of the wedding as a BM, but says she might leave after the ceremony.
I also talked to all but one of my pregnant / new mom guests and told them their options and so far everything has gone very well, they’ve all been very understanding and willing to work with us.
Thank you bees for your help, you’ve been amazing!
Post # 12
@mrsSonthebeach: Ah sorry, should have clarified. One actually was a chemical pregnancy, but the first was just test misuse (I was 17, stupid, and thankfully got a period the day after).
@JoJoDahling: I’m happy that everything worked out for you. I always advocate for handling problems like these on a case-by-case basis. People really can be reasonable and understanding when shown the same consideration!
Post # 13
@LR2012: Thank you so much, you gave wonderful, sound advice that went a long way in talking with my guests and BM. You were awesome!
Post # 14
one word of advice,
my friend left her bridal shower and stagette to one of the pregnant bridesmaids to set up (its was supposed to be at her house and everything….other bridesmaids were willing to do it but this lady insisted she do it) well 3 weeks before the wedding out comes baby and needless to say my friend did not get a shower or stagette because the whole family was gaga over baby.