Post # 1
I’m relatively new here. Wanting some advice on the age old debate of children at weddings.
To clarify, we are not excluding children on our Invitations (wedding is in December 2013). My Fiance’s cousin will have a four month old baby, his other cousin will have a two year old (we’re not worried about him, he is very placid) and my good friend has announced she is due in September. Everyone else will be adults. We are not at the age of feeling anything maternal (I am 22 and Fiance is 25). We have both never had anything to do with babies (both the youngest) and have never even held a baby before.
We are only concerned for the ceremony aspect of our wedding, where we want to share our personal vows. We both cannot imagine anything worse than a baby screaming out during the ceremony (there is no where to really take them without sound travelling unless they walk a very long way). We are having a professional videographer on the day as well.
We are happy to offer babysitting services, and have someone on site in the venue building (away from outside seremony).
My question is, is this acceptable for young babies and will my guests accept this?
My fiance is actually the one who is a lot more against having children at the wedding, he has come around to having them at the reception but I know it means a lot to him for them not to be at the ceremony.
The only wedding we have been to had a crying baby the entire time, we could not hear the bride and groom speak.
Any advice on this matter would help greatly, thank you in advance.
Post # 3
I’m in a similar position, but with a lot more kids so I wanna hear answers!!!
Post # 4
I think the problem you will run into is a cut off. If your problem is with babies, and you tell people “No kids under 2 at the ceremony”, you’re going to offend people. Not to mention, as with any other type of invitation, it’s rude to invite someone to the reception but not the ceremony.
I have children and I couldn’t imagine letting my kids cry or act up during a ceremony. I’d just take them outside. I think most parents would do the same.
I think you either need to invite children to everything or nothing. It’s perfectly fine to have a no kids celebration.
Something else to consider, babies aren’t the only ones who make noise during the ceremony. Ever gone to church only for someone to cough loudly the entire time? Or heard a three year old randomly (and loudly) exclaim “I really have to potty!” Or even heard a set of teens snickering in the back. I’m just saying, there’s no guarantee you’re going to have a quiet affair.
Post # 5
Given that there will only be three guests with very young children/babies, this is something you can possibly address with them individually.
Perhaps just let them know “Hey, we were at a wedding a few months ago and a baby cried the entire time through the vows and it was really uncomfortable for the bride, groom and other guests, so we were wanting to know if there is anything we can do to make sure we have you and darling [baby’s name] there and make everything as comfortable as possible for everyone. Perhaps if we supply some toys for [toddler] to play with up the back? Or a separate space you can go if [baby] starts crying? Have a babysitter on standby if you want to pass [baby] onto someone else so you don’t have to miss any of the ceremony.”
Make sure you stress that you’re not uninviting their child, you just want this to be as comfortable for everyone as possible. If they’re offended at the suggestion that their precious angel might cry, then that’s their decision.
Post # 6
I think if you offer babysitting services either off site or somewhere well out of earshot from the wedding ceremony location, then you’ve done your job as a host. If parents are too anxious to leave their kids with a babysitter for a few hours, well, that’s really their problem and not yours. There are a LOT of sacrifices that go with having children (which is probably the main reason why I never had them), and sometimes in the real world you can’t have every single thing exactly as you want. If some parents have to pass up on attending the wedding, then oh well!
Also, it doesn’t matter if parents promise ahead of time to remove their kids if any misbehavior starts. Darling Husband and I recently attended a beautiful, formal wedding that was ruined right at the “I Do” moment when a toddler started having a screaming tantrum. His parents walked him out, but the damage was done.
Be smart, put your foot down and stick to your guns. You only get married once! There will be plenty of occasions throughout your life when you can invite the kids as well! (Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.)
Post # 7
Where is your ceremony taking place? I see you said that there is no place to take the children if they start to cry, so I’m assuming its not at a church? Most churchs that I’ve been to have, what I’ve always called, a “loud children room” at the back of the church that allows the adults to see the ceremony and also has audio so they can hear as well. Very convinient. If there is not an option like this at your ceremony location, then honestly I’m not sure that it’s acceptable to ban children from the ceremony. Especially a four month old. And even more so if they’re invited to the wedding. I guess you can offer babysitting during the ceremony, but I don’t see how this could be any more than an offer instead of a demand. Hopefully someone else will have better advice or a better idea for you!
Post # 8
The problem is that kids of nursing age (the 2 and 4 month old) cannot easily be babysat, especially if they are breastfeeding. (Yes many women can pump milk, but not all can, or some can but find it a huge bother. I hated it). When my kids were that age, I would not have left them with a sitter. Because if they cry, it almost certainly means they need a feed anyway, which means someone has to come and get me.
A considerate mother (which I hope I always was) will stay near the back, and duck away if the baby begins to fuss. Babies do not usually randomly start screaming, it takes a while to build up (i.e. it begins with waking up, moving, small noises etc). So in that time she has time to move far enough away to not be an issue. The problem, though, is that some parents (like at that wedding you went to) AREN’T considerate. Whether your cousin and her friend are, I cannot say. What I recommend is talking to your cousin and friend about your expectation that their babies are quiet.
Your alternative is to say “no babies” and insist they leave them with a sitter. If I was in that situation I would stay at the building and skip the ceremony. (Of course for you that might be the better option than risking a crying baby – it’s your choice).
Post # 9
@xoxoapril: You are a wonderful, thoughtful bride! Your guests are going to LOVE you!
I would be THRILLED to have a place to drop kids off for your ceremony! The only thing worse than being the bride listening to the screaming baby is being the mortified parent who has to try to sneak out!
Just make sure it’s a decent sitter! Not your 13 year old neighbor.
Post # 10
I would really love to hear some more advice as well. My ceremony is a civil one outdoors and I too have been to weddings where kids have been crying and couldn’t hear anything and it sucked! We don’t want crying kids at our ceremony, even if the parents promise to take them away – it is still a distraction in the moment! My mom is a big stress case too so I can see this making her more upset than us.
Since our ceremony is only 20 mins long I don’t see what the problem is asking people to leave kids with a couple sitters we have hired for this exact reason (but then again, I am not a mom so…?) We considered not having kids for ceremony OR reception but my Dad got upset and wanted kids there, plus a lot of our guests are from other provinces/countries and will have the kids with them at the venue anyway (its at a Lodge and people are staying overnight Sat and Sun) so it would be sucky for them to not enjoy any part of the wedding at all.
We have 20+ kids, ranging in age from 2 who will be 3 weeks old, to 10 year olds. There are also some ROWDY 5 year olds that I wouldn’t trust not to make a scene (parents have no control…whole other story!)
However when I mentioned this to my Future Sister-In-Law who has 2 kids, she seemed a little horrified that her kids could not be at the ceremony (one will be 2, one is 5 – both normall well behaved). She said the sitter would be a stranger to them and that her kids would be well behaved (which I believe but I can’t just make an exception for her and ask everyone else not to bring kids!) She is usually so calm and rational too, I figured if she reacted like that then I don’t know how some other people are going to react! Anyway she calmed down and saw what I was saying eventually but I was really surprised at her intial reaction – its only 20 minutes to be apart from your child with a qualified childcare professional recommended by our venue! c’mon!
Anyway this is what I wrote in my wedding website to try and give people the hint that although the kids are welcome at the reception, they should not be at the ceremony:
We will have childcare on site to take care of children during the ceremony so there are no distractions and everyone can enjoy this short, special time. If you choose to bring your children to the dinner and reception, we will have a children’s room with childcare and entertainment like movies, coloring, etc. so the big kids can enjoy their grownup time. Dinner for kids will be chicken fingers and fries. Please let us know if you will be bringing children to the wedding and how many on your RSVP card so we can make suitable arrangements for the number of meals and sitters. We can’t wait to see the kids showing up the adults on the dance floor before bedtime:)”
Does this sound ok or is it rude? My mom wants me to leave the childcare part off the website altogether as she says is is encouraging people who might not have brought their children in the first place to bring them…… it is frustrating to know what to do!
Post # 11
@xoxoapril: You can offer a babysitting service for your guests convinience, but you can’t force them to use it.
Post # 12
at the last wedding I attended, the flower girl was 2.5 and pretty loud. she wasn’t crying, just making loud comments that were quite cute but very distracting (honestly don’t remember much of the service as I was trying to keep her quiet). so even older kids can be very loud and disruptive.
Post # 13
Thank you for all your responses, it’s good to see others perspectives on the matter. I’m not wanting in anyway to be rude but I also want to respect my fiance’s wishes.
@BelliniChic: That’s what we’re worried about, once it has happened the damage is done. Did you have this issue?
Post # 14
@stuckinwonderland: I see where you’re coming from. The rest of our family/friends are adults though, no one under 18. We only have the two newborns and a toddler that will be attending. The problem is it is an outdoor ceremony, there isn’t really anywhere to go without the sound travelling.
Post # 15
@WannaBeeMrsB: We’re getting married outdoors in a garden, so there is no room we can utilise for children. I agree that we won’t be forcing a babysitter upon anyone. We just want to make it easier for everyone but i’m not sure if that is possible for younger babies.
Post # 16
@paula1248: Thank you for giving me some more insight into the matter from a mother’s perspective. It’s really good to have that as it’s hard for us to understand the other side (also we know very little about babies).