Post # 1
I don’t mean to sound horrible, but I really don’t want small children present during our wedding ceremony. Don’t get me wrong, I love kids! I just don’t want extra noise and distractions when we’ve invested so much in those few moments. I have arranged for special childcare in the nursery area of our church during the ceremony. I am looking for suggestions on ways to make parents aware that this is available and politely, but strongly encourage them to utilize this service. I was thinking of including a special insert in the invitations we send to families with young children. I’m not sure how to word them. I’m also trying to think of creative ideas to make it sound like fun, so they would prefer being in the nursery instead of the ceremony. Has anyone done something similar to this?
Post # 3
Maybe you can have someone, or a few people, stand by the entrance of the church and when people walk up with kids have them say, "Oh how cute your kids look, let me show you where the nursery is so they can have a good time while you are enjoying the ceremony." Or something along those lines.
Post # 4
First, don’t feel bad about this! It is completely OK to want an adults-only ceremony, and it’s sweet of you to provide child care for the couples with young children.
I would put in an insert that said something like, "During the ceremony, children under X are invited to join our babysitter for games/coloring/movies [insert whatever you’re planning here] in the child care area." You could even decorate it with clip art of crayons, games, toys, etc. — things that might catch the child’s eye and make them think it will be way more fun than going to extra church. My guess is most parents will be delighted to leave their kids with a babysitter during the ceremony — getting little ones to sit still through even a short ceremony can be so hard, especially if they’re in a fidgeting mood!
Post # 5
You do realize that while this might work really well for toddlers, it’s not going to work as well for infants. I don’t know any mother’s of children under a certain age who are going to be persuaded to leave their kids with someone they have never met. And probably that is the age you’re more worried about for things like random crying.
Most new parents are pretty aware that their crying baby is not a welcome addition to your wedding. Most churches have a "crying area" with large windows, so that parents of very young children can still see the service; many also have sound piped in, so that they can hear the service as well. If you point the "crying area" out to new parents as they arrive, it is more likely that they will make it there quickly (with the child) should there be any issues.
Post # 6
First Suzanno, I agree on the new mothers standpoint but most churches do not have this crying area. That is only scene in some new churches. In fact all of the churches in my home town do not have one. I only recently heard about it from someone who recently went to a Bar Mitzvah ceremony at a synangog other than her own. She had never scene it before also. — To that end perhaps you can set up a video camera or speaker from the ceremony to where the kids are so a mother with a fussy infant can still see the ceremony.
Many new mothers may be nervous reagrdign leaving thier infants with a stranger. On the other hand most new mothers are considerate enough to excuse themselve when the infant only jsut starts to fuss.
I think a combination of Lillindy’s ideas and MellissaB’s would be great. If this is not thier church parents may not know where to take the kids so it would be great to have somone directing them. The insert in the program for people with children is great as well. Be specific as tot he types of activities so that parents know that there are plenty of activities for differnt age groups. Some slightly oder children may want ot sit out the ceremony as well. Perhaps listing things that are fun for the kids but won;t get them dirty, like coloring books and crayons, toys, gmaes and songs, etc..
You also might want a headcount for the number of people who will be utilizing the service so you know how many sitters to have.
Post # 7
I plan to offer free childcare during our ceremony and reception. I’m certainly not anti-children but I do want more of an adult party and I want our guests to really be able to relax and enjoy themselves.
My plan is to include a handwritten note with each of the invites going to families with children (I will also only address the invitation to the adults) to let them know there will be childcare available for little Bobby or Suzy. I don’t think I’ll necessarily enforce it but I will have someone at the door able to escort people to the childrens room. I’ll also stock the room with movies, games and kid-friendly food.
I hope that by having childcare at our venue, parents will feel comfortable leaving their children. They’ll only be a few steps away if anything were to happen.
Post # 8
@tberry – I guess it depends on your church, or maybe on the area of the country in which you live. The church I attend was built in the 1970s (I certainly don’t consider it new), and has a nice crying area. I have been in several churches old enough to be historical buildings that have been remodeled to have a nice crying area. I don’t think it’s that rare (and I don’t live in a really big town – it’s about 40,000).
Post # 9
I think its a very reasonable request. Recently I was at a wedding, where not only 1 child but 2, (a toddler and a baby) had crying fits and although it was cute for a minute, I am sure it was a moment that could have been less distracting (from a guest’s point of view). And now as a bride, I would be majorly distracted.
I think like Kini said, include a little handwritten note, it will be personal and interpreted as a more of a favor your doing instead of a formal request.
Post # 10
We contacted each guest that had children and let them know that we would not have children at the ceremony or the reception, but that we had made arragements for an accredited service to provide care if they would prefer that to leaving their children at home. In the end, only one person used the service, but we were able to convey the message personally and take away any of the ‘bite’ that people may have felt for not having their kids invited.
Post # 11
I think Ms Corns idea is really the best.. You are having an adult only wedding PEriod– however you have graciously decided to provide childcare for those who can not mange to get their own (ie out of town guests) I think everyone can understand that.
HOWEVER– be prepared that during the reception (a long period of time for small children) they will probably pop in and out.