Post # 1
Hi All —
Could use some advice/thoughts on a different type of children-at-wedding issue. Our friends and family are scattered all over the country, so the wedding will be a “destination” for most. We understand that our friends may need to travel with their children in order to attend, and our wedding reception will be totally child-friendly. However, the wedding ceremony will NOT be child-friendly… it will be on the longer side, about 40 minutes, and will have multiple moments of silence. A child would likely be bored to death, and crying babies during the silence would disrupt the atmosphere we’re looking to create.
Do you think it would be appropriate to provide baby-sitters during the ceremony and ask that parents leave their children/babies with those sitters? If so, how would I word that request?
Thanks for your help!!
Post # 3
I think you can let parents know about the length of the ceremony and that you are providing babysitters for during the ceremony as an OPTION but I don’t think you can really require that they use them.
Post # 4
I agree with gcwest. I don’t know if I’d trust someone I don’t know watching my baby, I’d probably rather just sit in the back and go for a walk if she got fussy.
Post # 5
@gcwest: I agree. I would probably want to have a kid so I would have an excuse to walk arround after 30 minutes. tehehe 🙂
Post # 6
I agree with the PP, I could understand if you weren’t inviting kids to the wedding as a whole, but just the ceremony? You should make parents aware of the length of the ceremony and let them know you are offering baby-sitting/childcare, but you can’t require them to use it. By having a child-friendly wedding, you know/accept that you are running the risk of disturbances during the ceremony.
Post # 7
I disagree. I think it is prefectly acceptable to invite the family to come to the wedding, then specify that the children are welcome at the reception only.
I would address the invitation to include all the family members. I would include a separate insert to explain that you are providing child care during the ceremony, but that the children are welcome to join their families after the ceremony.
I would include information about any child care arrangements I would be providing, plus other contact info for professional child care providers if they choose to make their own arrangements (at their hotel for instance).
The hosts have alwasy decided who was invited to any social occasion, not the guests.
Post # 8
Thanks for your advice and opinions everyone. I am trying to be courteous to my guests, but also want to be attentive to the type of ceremony we are having (which is a spiritual ceremony calling for silence as part of the ceremony ritual itself).
I would be hopeful that anyone would do as artbee stated, and excuse themselves if their child got fussy, but I have definitely been to weddings where guests have not stepped out with a screaming baby, and for this type of ritual, that would make things rather different than intended.
So maybe the right way to deal with it is to inform people fully about the type of ceremony and hope that they will use their discretion.
Anyway, thank you!!
Post # 9
We were going to do this, but then all the parents with really small children decided either not to come or to leave their babies at home with sitters. But what we planned to do was to hire a babysitter that would be located in a room upstairs in the same building as the ceremony but totally out of sight. Then we were going to provide toys, coloring books, and possibly a movie to keep the little ones entertained.
What you need to keep in mind: Only offer this service to REALLY young children. I would only let kids 6 and under into the babysitting room. Any older kids can behave through the entire ceremony. Hire enough babysitters that any parent will feel comfortable with the situation. If you are going to have more than 6 or 7 kids there, hire 2 babysitters. Lastly, give the parents a chance to meet the babysitter and sneak out of the room a bit before the ceremony.
I would put a special piece of paper into the invitations for parents of really small children stating something like this: “We welcome children of all ages to our wedding reception, but please note that during the ceremony a babysitting service will be provided for children under 6. We ask that all small children take advantage of this service. For more information about the babysitting room and our awesome babysitter, please call ***-****. Thank you!”
Post # 10
I have a long ceremony as well (Orthodox) and I have had this in the back of my mind. Unfortunately, I don’t have a babysitting option as the young children are our ring bearers are 3 and 6!