If you've decided to welcome kids at your wedding, you're probably now wondering what to do about the littlest set. Children welcome usually means all children are invited, including infants and toddlers, alike. Here, we discuss ways to manage the baby guest list and ensure they (and their parents) have an enjoyable time at your wedding.
Be clear on the invitations.
Invitations should always be made out to the exact guests you're inviting, which means you should include the baby's name. While the outer envelope may be addressed to "Mr. John Smith and family," the inner envelope would name the parents on the first line and the children by first name only on the second line. If a baby is not yet born and named, it's acceptable refer to him/her as "Baby Smith."
Make arrangements for baby and caregiver.
Breastfeeding babies and cranky toddlers are likely to need a place to zone out and to feed during both the ceremony and the reception. It's important to designate spaces for this so the parents can soothe crying little ones and feed, change, entertain, or console them when needed. Be sure to let parents know where this space is prior to your wedding day.
Be positive and encouraging.
If you've decided to include babies at your wedding, you've thought through the interruptive crying and fussing and you've chosen to trust parents to remove their kids if they have a meltdown during the ceremony or a speech. If your close friends are telling you they're worried their babies will be too interruptive at your wedding, be positive and encouraging and let them know their presence is more important to you than a silent ceremony.
Hire babysitters if you can.
Hiring babysitters isn't an option for every couple, but if you can get a couple of on-site sitters, it might mean that the parents you invited to your wedding can take a break from baby and enjoy mingling with other guests. They'll appreciate this gesture more than you can you know.
Dealing with unexpected babies.
If an uninvited baby attends your wedding, there's not a whole lot you can do in good etiquette, so it's usually best to embrace it without causing a scene. It's entirely possible that the parents aren't planning to stay for the entire wedding and they (of course) can't expect any help with their uninvited baby.