Post # 1
Without a doubt my worst fear about my wedding is having children cry and or run around during my wedding ceremony. Seriously, the flowers could not show, the groom can be late, we could drop the cake and it would be better than a three year old screaming during our vows. Especially being I would like to have the ceremony filmed so we can enjoy it forever.
The fiancée and I have discussed not inviting children however many friends and family members would not come because of it so thats not an option.
My question is, what can we do to make sure the ceremony is quiet. I’m already planning on having “super hero kits” for the kids at the reception, complete with a mask, cape and probably a sticker book or something so they have a toy to play with. But that doesn’t help my ceremony.
– Put a note about please remove screaming children (politely) on our wedding website.
– Put a note about please remove screaming children (politely) in our programs.
– Child care?
What have you done to keep the peace during the ceremony? Did you even think it was an issue? Have you ever seen kids running a muck at a ceremony?
Post # 3
@ImperialRed: How to prevent it: Don’t invite kids. Simple
But since you stated that its not option, there really is no way. Kids will be kids, they will scream, act up, get tired, fussy, its expected. The parent should have common sense to take them outside. But common sense is so rare these days.
Maybe get a bunch coloring books and have them handed out when people start entering for the ceremony?
Post # 4
Is there any way you would be able to have someone watch the children in a separate room?
You could put a sign up or something, but honestly if someone is inconsiderate enough to allow a screaming child to disrupt a ceremony they’re probably inconsiderate enough to ignore a polite sign.
Post # 5
@ImperialRed: Does your venue, whether or not it is a church, have an ante room where children can be taken if they are acting out?
If so, you can add an insert to the invitations sent to the parents:
“Please be aware that there is a room to the left of the chapel entry door for you to use in the event that your child needs a break. As the ceremony is being recorded, we know you will be mindful of background noise.” ( or, We appreciate your cooperation in using this room so that background noise is kept to a minimum.)
This is just a quick rough draft. I am sure someone else will be able to add polish.
Post # 6
Your problem is not one kid, but what I like to call the “kiddie corus.” You will have one kid act up a little bit, their parents will calm them down, and then the next kid will act up.
The best way to handle it is like PP suggested, have a seperate space the kids can be in and pay someone else to watch the kids.
Post # 7
Our venue is actually a hotel (where guests are staying) with several ballrooms and and meeting rooms. So there is lots of opportunity to have a seperate area.
Lets say I hire a babysitter or two for the 30-45 minutes that the ceremony will last. I can park them in a meeting room, fairly close to the ceremony tent. I could even provide baloon animals or give them the activity kits early or something.
What does etiquette dictate about telling people to banish their children to the play area? 🙂
Should I have a sign? Put it on the website? Tell the ushers?
Post # 8
@ImperialRed: I would definitely put it on the website, so parents who are uncomfortable having their children out of sight can choose to go sit with them in the separate room instead of leave them with a stranger. You can also ask them to include on their RSVP how many children they are bringing to allow you time to arrange enough people to watch them adequately.
Post # 9
I would make sure the parents know up front (even with phone calls or a separate lette). ‘We want to make sure Little Jimmy isn’t bored, so we’ve arranged for all our Kid Friends to have an awesome play area next to the ceremony room. We’ll have toys, games, and professionally supervised play. After the ceremony, all the kids will join us for the reception!’ If the child is too young to be sent to the play room (or his mom won’t let him out of her grasp), make sure you have someone – usher, wedding planner, Annointed Friend, who will swoop in at any crying ans escort them from the room. Don’t depend on the parent getting up and leaving without being told to. Good luck!
Post # 10
There are actually companies who cater to looking after children specifically at weddings- if there is somewhere you could set up a “kids room”, this would definitely be the way to go! Then, you can put on your website or in the programme “to prevent little ones getting bored during the ceremony, there will be an activity room with qualified childcarers and lots of toys and games, so please feel free to use this for the benefit of your little one’s enjoyment!” I’d bet that the parents would actually really appreciate being able to watch the ceremony without distractions lol
Post # 11
Honestly I’ve been to a ton of weddings and can only remember a baby being fussy during one of them, so it’s not as common a problem as people make it out to be here on the weddingbee pages, but if you’re worried, then provide a nanny/babysitter in the same location where the ceremony is. Like if you’re getting married in a church, most have kids’ rooms so people can take their kids there if they get restless during services. Pay for the babysitter yourself and let all the parents know that you’re providing supervision and entertainment for the little ones while the grown ups enjoy the ceremony.
Most kids I’ve seen at weddings are just fascinated about what is going on, even the very young kids, so they tend to behave pretty well.
You can have the babysitter stick around and supervise the kids for the reception too. That’s when i usually see kids losing their attention spans and manners.
Post # 12
I’m wondering how many parents would leave their kids with a hired babysitter. It’s great thing to provide, and it sends the message that while you want them there you don’t want them to act up during the ceremony, but there are many parents that wouldn’t leave their kids like that as they (I think all parents) will likely feel their child is well-behaved or will be for the 30 minute ceremony.
That being the case, I like @julies1949: idea of putting an insert in the program to let parents know where their child can be taken to.
Post # 13
@ImperialRed: I would hand out some other kind of activity, toy, snack etc. to keep them occupied during the ceremony. I’m not sure what etiquette snobs would say, but if there were a bunch of kids coming to my wedding that gave me a reason to worry about this situation taking place, I would write something in the program like, “out of respect for other guests and the bride and groom we ask you to please exit if your child becomes upset.” or something like that. I’m not sure how to word it politely LOL.
Post # 14
- Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry
I haven’t seen kids act up, but one of my MOHs does part time Day of coordination, and she has witnessed temper tantrums right in the middle of vows (more than once), so I get it!
I think having a “kids room” for those guests under a certain age is certainly reasonable. Can you call the parents ahead of time and advise them? We had an adults only event, and I personally told all the Moms on my side, and let everyone know we could arrange for a babysitter if needed.
I really like Julies1949’s wording- “in the event that your child needs a break.” Coloring books are always a plus.
Post # 15
Hi Bees –
I really like the sentence,
“out of respect for other guests and the bride and groom we ask you to please exit if your child becomes upset.” from @beetee123
How do the etiquette snobs feel about this? Id rather you guys get me than my guests 😀
Post # 16
@ImperialRed: I like that explanation.
Also, I would personally call each guest, if possible, and let them know you are hiring a person to watch the children during the ceremony.