You’ve been to weddings where babies are in attendance and you’ve been to weddings where babies are not in attendance. There are pros and cons to each. When they’re happy, babies can make wonderful additions to a wedding; when they’re out of sorts, they can be terrors.

You would like to think your baby would be bubbly, but you can’t know for sure. What is a new mom to do? Will you arrange for your baby to attend your wedding, or will you find someone to care for your baby at home while you say, “I do”?

Whether your baby attends your wedding depends first upon you. What is your preference? Is this your first baby? Would you be a complete and utter mess if your baby were not with you? Would you be wracked with worry? If so, you might want to arrange to have your baby somewhere onsite, perhaps not sitting next to you but with a babysitter in a room nearby.

If you are bit more relaxed, you might want to consider leaving your baby with someone at home, especially if you think your baby might pose too much of a distraction. You’re going to be busy, and so are most of the people in the wedding party—why add to the activity with a baby in need of constant care?

Your decision also depends upon your baby. What would your baby prefer? Is your baby rather congenial? Does your baby like people? If so, they might be perfectly at ease at your wedding and not mind being passed around and held by a lot of different people.

If, on the other hand, your baby is not comfortable around people and tends to cling to you, you might want to reconsider having them at your wedding. Do you really want to walk down the aisle and say, “I do,” with a baby on your hip?

You also need to consider the uncertainty factor. The best babies in the world have their moments. Your baby could be delightful right up until the exchange of vows and then let out a wail of terror and continue to fuss throughout the rest of the event.

Babies are also prone to accidents, soiling their clothes and the clothes of anyone who might be holding them, including you in your expensive white bridal gown, your spouse in his tuxedo rental or an out-of-town guest with no ready access to a change of clothes.

Only you can determine whether to have your baby attend your wedding. Should you do, be prepared. Understand that you and your groom will be busy and arrange for someone to care for the baby, preferably someone not directly involved in the wedding.

Your mother might adore her new grandchild, but remember, she also adores you and would probably like to see you get married. Your teenage niece, on the other hand, might rather be off in another room caring for your new baby. That’s right. You’ll want to set up a place onsite for the babysitter to take your baby for feedings, naps and play.

Don’t expect your baby to fall asleep and stay asleep during the reception in a ballroom with a lot of high-stepping going on. Finally, make sure you have ample supplies for your baby. You’ll be far too busy to make a mad dash home for diapers or formula.

Choosing what to do with your baby during your wedding is a big decision. Think it through carefully, and should you decide it would be best to keep your baby at home, don’t get wrapped up in the guilt. Your baby won’t know the difference, and you can always arrange to take some wedding photos with them later or have the babysitter drop by with them at the reception.

Kids or no kids? Enjoy a wedding that works for you

By MetroCreative

Weddings are a time for celebration and sharing good times. Some couples want to share their love and excitement with as many people as they can fit under one roof, while others may prefer a more intimate affair to enjoy with a select few.

One difficult decision couples must face when planning a wedding is whether or not to invite children to join in the festivities. Young guests can bring an energetic spark to the celebration, but kids unaccustomed to dressing up and enjoying a fancy night out may get swept away by the majesty of the night. Adult guests looking to have a good time may find it difficult to relax and let loose if they have to keep a constant eye on their children.

The topic of children at weddings is a tricky subject. Family and friends may have strong opinions on either side of the debate. Ultimately, the couple needs to come to an agreement regarding children at their wedding. Once a decision has been made, couples can employ some strategies to make the wedding as enjoyable as possible for every age group.

No children

Couples who decide to exclude kids from their guest lists should alert guests well in advance of the “no kids” edict. Be tactful when alerting guests. If you will be sending out save-the-date cards, include the phrase “Adults only, please” on the card. You also may want to include the information on a wedding website if you have one.

A website affords you more space to explain your stance on young guests. When it comes to the wedding invitation, your indications should already be clear. However, you can reinforce that kids are not invited by addressing the invitations accordingly.

Do not include the children’s names or “and family” on the envelope. Invitations should only feature the names of the people being invited. Be consistent if you do not want children at the reception.

It is not okay to allow one guest’s kids while excluding another’s. The only exception is children who are members of the wedding party. However, if you prefer a kid-free wedding, you may want to avoid a ring bearer and flower girl during the ceremony.

Chances are word will spread that the wedding is not for child guests. If you do not want to handle inquiries, ask a member of the bridal party to answer any kid-related questions.

Children allowed

Contrary to popular belief, children can be well-behaved at a wedding and add a youthful component to the celebration. Watching a child twirling on the dance floor or devouring a large piece of wedding cake can make a wedding day more memorable and special.

Couples who invite kids to the wedding should expect the unexpected from their youngest guests. Let the small things slide and speak with youngsters’ parents if any issues arise. Arrange for some activities to keep children entertained and out of trouble.

Have the band or deejay incorporate some child-friendly dances or activities. Designate the kids’ table and arrange some small toys or activity books. Be sure to choose some child-friendly foods during the cocktail hour. Hungry children can be that much more fussy.

Arrange a special menu with the catering manager and be clear about how many kids are invited. Usually kids’ dinners cost substantially less than adults’. Some reception sites may provide a separate room where children can gather. A television with a favorite movie or a few video games may be all that’s necessary to pass the time.

Hire a babysitter to stay with the children and give adults in the other room peace of mind. Limited children You may want to include older children at the wedding but have younger ones stay home.

As you would for a wedding without kids, spread the word that there is an age limit. On save-the-date announcements, request that “No children under age 12” attend the wedding. Be prepared for some opposition from guests whose kids fall under the age limit. Just be firm with your plans. 

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