If you’re planning on taking a baby to a wedding you might be worried about how you’re going to cope.
The main anxiety around weddings and babies tends to be the crying during key moments like the ceremony and speeches.
The thing is though if you just plan ahead a little, there’s really no reason why you can’t enjoy the wedding and relax, even if your baby does cry.
Remember that the reason you are probably most anxious about taking your baby to the wedding is what other people will think if your baby cries a lot.
Please don’t let this panic you. Babies cry. If anyone stares or judges then they are the one with the problem not you.
Even though going to a wedding with a baby is not as relaxing as your usual wedding experience, you can still have a good day, particularly if you’re prepared but also ready to go with the flow.
These tips will go through every little thing you need to think about when taking a baby to a wedding!
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Is it OK to take a baby to a wedding?
If your wedding invitation has not specifically said your child’s name, then you need to double check it’s OK to take your baby.
A baby is not going to cost the bride and groom any additional money for their big day, so it’s really down to whether they are OK with the potential interruptions on the day.
The vast majority of couples will be more than happy for you to bring your baby. They should be understanding, particularly if you are breastfeeding.
If you are told a firm no to bringing your baby, you definitely shouldn’t just turn up with them! Think about what you will do instead.
One option is to have a close relative care for the baby at a separate venue that is close by. If you are breastfeeding you could travel there to feed the baby every few hours over the course of the day.
In an ideal world, you could have the baby staying in a room at the wedding reception with a relative and you just nip upstairs to the room every now and then.
But if your baby has been invited to the wedding, check out these tips for how to cope:
1. Speak to the bride or groom
If the wedding invitation stated no kids, but you want to take your baby because you are breastfeeding or they are very young, have a gentle chat with the happy couple.
Most couples will be happy to accommodate tiny babies as it costs them nothing extra.
Ask them about the venue and whether there are stairs you will need to navigate, if there is baby change and if you can have a highchair if your baby is weaning.
You could also ask if there is a quiet room at the venue where you could go and feed or pump if you want some privacy.
2. Go through the logistics
Where is the actual wedding happening? Is it different to the reception venue? How much space is there at both venues?
Have a think about the timings and how you can fit in feeds and naps. It may be that you just have to wing it and go with the flow. That’s absolutely fine.
Even if you’re in a rigid routine that you love, just one day is not going to ruin that.
Try to plan for any eventuality on the day, such as where you will change the baby and where you will feed the baby.
3. Plan to share the load with your partner
Even if you are breastfeeding it doesn’t mean the baby has to be superglued to you all day.
Ask your partner to take on the nappy changes, or to take the baby for regular walks so that you can catch up with friends at the reception.
During dinner either have the baby in their buggy or take turns to hold the baby on your lap. You both need to eat.
Discuss who will take the baby out if they are crying, or if you are going to take turns. If you decide it ahead of time then you’ll both know what to do on the day.
4. Take the buggy
If you’re on the fence about taking a buggy along with you, let this be the push that tells you to definitely take it!
If you want to have a bit of a dance in the evening, you may be able to steal a few hours without having to carry your baby if you can get them to settle in the buggy.
Some babies will be much easier to settle for a nap in the buggy. If the reception has large grounds then one of you, or a relative, could take the baby for a walk to help them settle to sleep.
You may also want to take a sling with you if your baby usually enjoys being carried in the sling. This means your hands are free to have a drink!
5. Consider buying baby ear defenders
If you are hoping to stay for at least some of the evening reception, it’s going to be loud with the band or DJ performing.
You could try baby ear defenders to protect their tiny ear drums and to help them get to sleep so that you can have a dance.
Use them combined with gently rocking your baby in the buggy to try and get them off to sleep, then you can keep them in the room with you but still enjoy the party.
6. Pack your changing bag
You’ll need to pack a few extras just in case because a wedding is a long day! Plan ahead when it comes to packing this bag and make a list to ensure you don’t forget anything, because getting out to buy extras may be tricky.
Things to remember include:
- 3x spare outfits for baby
- Sun hat
- Cardigan in case it gets cold in the evening
- Pyjamas (you can change your baby into their PJs at the usual time and hopefully get them off to sleep in the buggy)
- 3x muslins
- 10x nappies
- 2x pack of wipes
- 2x dummies (if your baby uses them)
- 1x breast pump or Haakaa
- Food for weaning babies
- Toys and books for distraction
- Breast pads for you
7. Choose a comfortable dress
If you have given birth within eight weeks of the wedding, you will definitely want something comfy. This will be especially true if you had a C-section.
You’ll also want something with a little room, so there’s no pressure on you to squeeze into something tight. Honestly, you should not be worrying about weight loss right now! You’re perfect just as you are.
If you are breastfeeding, you’ll need to get easy access to your boobs for feeding. So there’s a lot to consider with the dress.
Thankfully comfort does not have to be frumpy or casual! There are so many gorgeous breastfeeding dresses and maternity dresses out there. Many maternity dresses are made of comfy jersey material that look just as good postpartum as during the pregnancy.
8. Take spare breast pads
No one wants their fancy outfit ruined by leaky boobs. Remember to pack spare breast pads and change them frequently during the day so that you have no issues.
9. Think about accommodation
If you are having to travel a long way or it’s just more convenient to stay overnight, try to get accommodation close to the venue.
If possible, get accommodation at the actual venue and remember to check if you need to bring a travel cot or the hotel can provide one.
10. Prepare bottles and food in the morning before you leave
The readymade bottles of formula are more expensive, but this is a one-off so I suggest buying a few of those for your bottle feeds during the day.
Take extra bottles, as you probably won’t be able to wash and sterilise them at the wedding venue. Have a plastic bag where you can pop the used bottles and keep the others organised in a bottle bag.
If your baby is over six months, take some of their food with you. Sachets of supermarket-bought baby food will be much easier for you to cope with on the day.
If you prefer making your own food, ask the kitchen if they will gently warm it up for you.
If you are using baby-led weaning then you may simply want to feed your baby a few items from your own plate. Check what the meal is going to be first!
11. Accept offers of help
Other guests may be desperate to give your little one a cuddle. Accept the chance to rest your arms and take a bit of the pressure off.
If it’s a family wedding then you could ask some of your relatives to take turns helping you out. People won’t mind taking 15 minutes at a time to hold the baby and walk them around.
12. Pack a spare outfit for yourself
You’ll be packing spare outfits for your baby, but remember yourself too. You never know when you might be covered with vomit, wee or poo, and that’s going to put a bit of a dampener on your day!
Pop an emergency dress into your car, or find somewhere at the venue you can tuck it away just in case. Don’t forget to put a spare bra in your changing bag too!
13. Go with the flow
Your baby may cry during the entire wedding ceremony and you might end up standing outside in the churchyard. This is just part and parcel of having a baby.
Have a plan with your partner beforehand about who will take the baby out and when depending on the circumstances.
If your baby is really fussy all day then be prepared to change the plan. Maybe you will have to walk them around longer than you had hoped.
Try not to let the situation stress you out and just go with the flow. Give yourself a break and have a glass or two of bubbles to help you relax!