She looks happy enough!
Children at weddings is one of those topics that’s been debated half to death, here and elsewhere, among couples and families and wedding guests. Some people maintain that children simply do not belong at weddings, while others counter that weddings ought to be family affairs where children are absolutely welcome. The simplest solution, of course, is to defer to the wishes of brides and grooms. If children are invited, then they’re welcome at that particular wedding. If children are not invited, then that particular wedding is an adults-only affair. Simple, no?
The same goes for infants. When La Paloma was very young, The Beard and I were invited to a wedding – our invitation said ‘The Terrys’ – and I made a point of getting in touch with the bride to ask if babies were invited. Because I was not going to inflict an unpredictable 8-month-old on someone’s special day unless she was definitely going to be welcome. She was, we went, and there were no difficulties with the exception of my trying and failing to nurse in the confines of my automobile.
Which brings me to the topic of this post, the concessions brides and grooms can make for their littlest wedding guests. I don’t mean the toddler+ set that can amuse themselves by sticking their fingers in the backside of the wedding cake and crawling under tables, but rather those wedding guests confined to strollers or bucket car seats, the guests who sup from breasts and bottles, and yes, the guests who may not only cry during your ceremony, but actually scream. Babies at weddings aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, that’s for sure. But if they’re yours, then here are 5 things you can do to make your littlest guests (and their mamas and papas) more comfortable in an unfamiliar situation.
1. Make sure that parents of infants know that the infants are invited. Not every invitee with a wee one is going to take the initiative like I did, which means that some may decline simply because childcare isn’t an option. The easiest way to ensure that babies’ mamas and papas know that the whole family will be welcome at your ceremony and reception is to include the little one’s name on their invitation. That doesn’t leave much room for confusion – though don’t be surprised if people are still confused since wedding invitation etiquette is not something taught in school these days.