Posted tagged ‘include toddlers and babies at wedding ceremonies’

Should I bring my baby to a wedding?

November 12, 2009
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Should kids be included in weddings?

I’m amazed at how many people bring babies, toddlers and children to weddings these days. Some bridal couples kidwedding2make it clear, “Children welcome,” and go so far as to match the dress of the 1-year-old to her bridesmaid mother, who carries the tot down the aisle on her hip. Who can argue with that level of cuteness?

Because Bob & I had four children in seven years, spending a day at a wedding with our brood would have been exhausting. We sprang for the babysitter and left them behind to play Candyland, feast on chicken nuggets and have a special toast of ginger ale.

As soon as they could sit still and quiet during the service and entertain themselves during the party — by age 7 or 8 — I had no problem including them. It was one less meal to fix! They enjoyed it. As long as the wedding was earlier in the day, it didn’t tax their nervous systems too much.

Today’s families are smaller and children may be in day care all week, so parents want to maximize time spent with the children.

Provided children are invited, couples who wonder, “Should I bring baby to a wedding” should ask: “Will it tax the us or the little ones to attend?”

Little children like schedules. They like to make noise. They demand that their needs come first. Many parents are willing to sacrifice their own fun at a wedding to include baby in the festivities.

Baby might not appreciate being included, get cranky at the wedding and require a day to recover from the disruption in schedule. Many parents don’t mind paying the price, especially if they only have one or two children.

The ideal situation to include baby in the wedding is to have a babysitter on hand when she wears out. At the last wedding I attended, the young families stayed at the venue, in rooms adjacent to the ceremony and reception. Armed with a nursery monitor, parents got ot have the best of both worlds, sort of, because they still had to put baby first.

One final thought: every child wants to grow up in an intact family. Sadly, by 12th grade, the parents of about half of all children will be divorced. 

When couples constantly sacrifice their needs and their relationship in order to focus on the children, the primary relationship of the family — the marriage — suffers. Marriages need constant replenishment. Marriages can survive short droughts by calling on reserves. But marriages that always take second place to the children will dry up.

Wedding are a wonderful day-long “date,” and a time for a couple to reconnect to what brough them together, remember their special day, and to reinforce what keeps them together.

Every “date” is an investment in a marriage that will pay off for years in family togetherness.