Post # 1
My Future Sister-In-Law and Bridesmaid or Best Man wants her baby to be the flower girl at our wedding. The baby will be 1 at the wedding, and she’ll be there whether or not she’s in the actual wedding party. so in that sense I’m already prepared that even if she’s in the audience, she might cry. Whatever, life will go on. We’re having a pretty casual wedding and the only thing I ask is that someone takes her away if she’s full-on screaming during the ceremony.
I told Fiance that it was up to him if he wanted the baby to be our Flower Girl, since it’s his niece and the first/only child that age in either family. He said that it is important to him that she’s part of the wedding and that it would be hard to not have her be part of the wedding without offending his sister and he wants his niece to grow up knowing she was part of it. And i truly do want him to be happy on this, so if he wants her in the wedding, then she will be.
What’s the best way to handle the planning of this? I told him there absolutely has to be a plan for who is going to take her and leave the ceremony if she’s screaming, and that I would rather ask the officiant to stop the entire ceremony and wait for the baby to be removed rather than have her scream through it. I don’t think the wedding will be “ruined” by one outburst but neither am i going to try to struggle through my own vows being drowned out by wailing.
FI also thinks if it’s clear that the baby is fussy the day of, we can just ask Future Sister-In-Law not to bring her down the aisle after all. i’ts not that I think Future Sister-In-Law is selfish, I just think people get so caught up in having their “cute baby moment” that she is not going to want to respect that the day of, nor is she going to want to hand her off if she does start getting fussy. And I don’t think Future Sister-In-Law or Future Mother-In-Law will be willing in the moment to miss the ceremony because she’s crying. How can we make appropriate boundaries on this?
Do you think we could compromise and say that Future Sister-In-Law can carry the baby down the aisle and show off her dress, but then she gets handed off to someone in the audience during the actual ceremony?
Post # 3
I think having her walk/be carried down the aisle but then quietly slipped away down the side and not expected to behave at the front for the whole ceremony is a perfect idea. Have someone close but willing to walk out of the ceremony with the baby if it cries assigned and near by.
Post # 4
We did something similar with my niece who was about 16 months old. Her mom and dad were both in the wedding. We had her walk down the aisle with her mom and then she sat with a relative during the ceremony. I had told my SIL that if on the day of the wedding she wasn’t having a good day then I wouldn’t care if she wasn’t able to walk down the aisle. I just wanted to make sure everyone had a good time. My SIL was grateful for the consideration…but really, my niece was 16 months old. I was not about to force a toddler to do something just for the sake of having a pretty processional. In the end, my niece toddled down looking adorable and was great the whole time.
I don’t think that you’re being unreasonable with your request so long as there is a guest there that the baby would be comfortable going to. Maybe make sure that Persian sits on the aisle to make the handoff as smooth as possible.
Post # 5
If her grandma on the other side going to be there? Maybe she can be prepared to step in and “rescue” the baby should she start crying during the ceremony?
Post # 6
@cbgg: That’s what I was going to suggest as well…my DH’s sister had a baby who was about 8 months old at our wedding, and I was very concerned about him getting very loud or upset during the wedding, because obviously my Darling Husband didn’t want his parents or sister to leave in the middle of the ceremony. So we invited her husband’s parents to the wedding as well, and they held the baby during the ceremony.
Post # 7
@hollysprig: Do you think we could compromise and say that Future Sister-In-Law can carry the baby down the aisle and show off her dress, but then she gets handed off to someone in the audience during the actual ceremony?
I think that is completely reasonable. My 2 year old neice was my “flower girl” (although she just HELD a basket of flowers and waddled down the aisle with a big goofy grin on her face!). After the short trip down the aisle, my BIL took her and held her in the audience. It was perfect for us.
I don’t think it’s wise to have such a young one up front the entire ceremony and as the Mom, I’m sure your SIL would agree.
Post # 8
It’s pretty typical with a flower girl that age that after they are brought down the aisle, there is someone in the audience (if mom and dad are in the wedding party) who will sit with the baby and take her out if she has an outburst.
If mom and dad are both in the wedding party, I’d suggest a cousin or someone. You really don’t want to give the baby to the grandparents – because they will want to see their son get married.
Or, hire a babysitter to take care of her during the ceremony.
Post # 9
I disagree with your FI’s reasoning that “he wants his niece to grow up knowing she was part of it.” I don’t think that’s important. I’ve got double experience here: when I was married, I had nieces aged 2 and 1. Then when my sister was married, I had a 2 year old girl (and a newborn girl). None of them were flower girls – in both cases it was decided 2 was too young. All nieces were at the weddings, were in a few photos, and were part of it, without being FGs.
I think you should do the same: the 1 year old should be at the wedding, in the photos, but not in the wedding party. At 1, she might not even be walking. I just don’t see the point. This is your wedding, not a baby show. If Future Sister-In-Law gets upset she can just get over it. It is your day, not her baby’s.
As for taking the baby out if she fusses – at 1 year old, I don’t think it’ll be a great problem. They’re fairly easy to settle at that age (with some appropriate amusement like a toy). They don’t scream randomly like newborns. I think if the father isn’t in the bridal party, he’ll be able to mind her just fine. (Without needing to leave the ceremony).
Post # 10
Not sure if this is an option, but could you have FSIL’s husband/significant or one of his family members there to help with the baby if it goes south during the ceremony?