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to wonder what you DO with children at weddings?

(57 Posts)
LiegeAndLief Sat 25-Jun-11 21:09:19

We have been invited as a family to a very good friend's wedding (2 dc aged 4 and 2). It would be lovely for us all to go as we have no one to take the dcs all day, so if we left them behind I would have to go on my own.

However... there will be no other kids there and although it has been a while since I went to a wedding I seem to remember rather a lot of standing around drinking and chatting. And sitting still being quiet in the church. Obviously we can take loads of books and toys etc, and the children are generally pretty well behaved so not likely to run around screaming, but I'm starting to wonder whether it will be more trouble than it's worth and they will get under everyone's feet all day. So if you have taken your kids to a wedding with no one to play with and no entertainment etc laid on, did you regret it?! Any tips for making it easier?

HooverTheHamaBeads Sat 25-Jun-11 21:13:58

Well, they'll be bored I'd say and may spoil your enjoyment of the day itself.

Can you bring them for a while then take them home and leave with relatives or a babysitter?

cjbartlett Sat 25-Jun-11 21:15:53

Mine have had a ball at weddings
they love music, dancing, confetti, balloons and cake
for the boring bits ( speeches etc ) you can take them out

worraliberty Sat 25-Jun-11 21:17:25

Just amuse them as you would if you were at home

lovemyskinnyjeans Sat 25-Jun-11 21:17:47

I love having kids at a wedding gives me an excuse to skip the speeches which are invariably dull as shit.

LiegeAndLief Sat 25-Jun-11 21:18:56

That's my worry Hoover. No relatives to leave them with. There are a couple of friends I could ask but it's a good 1.5hr round trip to bring them back so I think we'd rather take them for all of it or not take them at all.

Wouldn't really feel comfortable asking a friend to have them for the whole event as they already have a couple of kids of their own and would never need me to return the favour as they have grandparents on tap.

LiegeAndLief Sat 25-Jun-11 21:19:49

Ah next few replies are looking up! They do love music and dancing. Definitely do not love sitting still unless there is food involved.

DogsBestFriend Sat 25-Jun-11 21:21:00

I wouldn't have children at my wedding if I remarried which makes me a bit of a fraud for saying what I'm about to. I went to a small, registry office wedding today, followed by a wedding breakfast. There were 4 young children there, all belonging to a brother of the groom, ages ranging from 8 to 3.

I'm no big fan of others' small children but they were PERFECT! Not a peep from them. They were silent during the ceremony, ate nicely at the reception and then played with bottles of bubbles supplied, party poppers and their 14 and 15 yo cousins (quietly). Going on that, if you know your DC are generally well behaved you'll have no problem.

MissTinaTeaspoon Sat 25-Jun-11 21:21:54

My dd is 3 and I just give her snacks during the ceremony (something non noisy or messy like raisins), let her run around outside during the photos and take a magazine with stickers/colouring for during the speeches and other sitting around not eating bits. We haven't encountered too many problems (yet!)

itsastrawpoll Sat 25-Jun-11 21:24:19

In your shoes, if it was just a very good friend of mine and not DH's then I would MUCH rather go without them.

Difficult if it's a friend of you both.

worraliberty Sat 25-Jun-11 21:25:16

If they're well behaved, the 4yr old should be ok during the speeches and sit still when told. The 2yr old probably wouldn't understand maybe you could go for a walk with him/her and leave the 4yr old with your DH?

CointreauVersial Sat 25-Jun-11 21:26:04

They won't find the service particularly appealing, so have some quiet toys to hand. But other than that, they will have fun, run around, get plenty of attention, enjoy a bit of dancing, eat cake and, if they're anything like mine, eventually flake out on a chair so you can enjoy the disco.

It is different from being on your own (you can't get legless and dance on tables til dawn), but it'll be fine.

This assumes your DCs are welcome at the wedding - nothing ruder than people turning up at child-free weddings with uninvited littlies.

cosysocks Sat 25-Jun-11 21:27:43

I remember at one wedding with my son playing board games that the hotel had in the agonisingly long bit between ceremony and meal.
He really enjoyed it! Dancing till they fall asleep, being allowed to stay up late, cake they will enjoy themselves but it is hard work at times but like other posters have said it is a good get out at times.

fivegomadindorset Sat 25-Jun-11 21:28:48

DS was page boy at his Godfathers wedding recently, only 4 children invited, I spent the whole of the time before speeches running around after him and didn't get to speak to anyone, thankfully he was picked up and taken to the friends house where we are staying. I would never take my DC's to a wedding unless there was entertainment laid on for them as I know I wouldn't get to see anyone and there would be no point in me going.

reddaisy Sat 25-Jun-11 21:32:35

DD (2) was a flowergirl for my Dsis a few weeks ago. And it was quite stressful trying to keep her quiet but as she was the bride's niece at least she wasn't a family member chatting through the ceremony!

We took her out during the speeches as she started chatting very, very loudly. I took stickers, books, snacks etc and she absolutely LOVED the evening do running around with a helium balloon and dancing but then she knew most of the people there so we could relax a bit more. And DP took her home (very close) after the church for an hour's sleep to take teh edge of her tiredness.

We are taking her to a friend's do next Saturday but I'm not too worried as I know there will be lots of children there so hopefully she will blend in.

If your friend's have invited you with the children then take them and have a good time, just be considerate and make sure you don't let them ruin the service!

LiegeAndLief Sat 25-Jun-11 21:32:51

itsastrawpoll, it is just my friend which is one of the reasons I am considering going on my own.

CointreauVersial - they are very definitely invited, have had lengthy conversation with friend along the lines of "you really don't have to invite them, I won't be offended at all", "oh no, I'd really like you all to come", "well please don't feel you have too" etc etc..

2 year old will only just be 2 so I think will be quite difficult. Definitely won't understand being told to sit still and be quiet. 4 year old will be nearly 5 so much easier. If it was just him I would go as he is also much more bribe-able!

reddaisy Sat 25-Jun-11 21:33:15

At least it WAS a family member chatting through the ceremony.

LiegeAndLief Sat 25-Jun-11 21:35:02

reddaisy, I am hyperaware of them being the only children there and would be mortified if they ruined the ceremony/speeches etc, so would get them out straight away if they started making a fuss. Well actually I would send dh out with them so I could watch my friend get married..

worraliberty Sat 25-Jun-11 21:38:08

You know what? This thread has really made me think back to when I was little.

My parents had 5 of us and as we're Catholic, the weddings used to go on longer than the bloody Honeymoons.

I have no idea how they coped, but I do remember we were never given toys or food to keep us occupied or quiet...yet we (and our zillions of cousins) were all very well behaved.

I think perhaps back then, children were just 'expected' to behave so they mostly did.

worraliberty Sat 25-Jun-11 21:39:30

Sorry OP I took you thread on a little trip down memory lane grin

Come to think of it, the adults were the worst behaved once they got a few drinks inside them blush

dinkystinky Sat 25-Jun-11 21:42:02

Weddings are easy with a 4 year old and 2 year old - take some small toys for them, plenty of snacks for the service, and they'll love the reception (ensure you hang around somewhere where they can run free). DS1 has been to around 7 weddings since he was 6 months old and loved each one - especially loved dancing after the meals at each.

wonkylegs Sat 25-Jun-11 21:42:17

We took our DS to a wedding last nov when he was 2 and it was fine even though it was the longest church ceremony ever 3.5 hrs (and that was the cut down version because the bride was 40mins late)angrysad - DH was actually worse behaved as he was bored and hates churches/religion - they did leave the church and wait outside watching stuff for the final bit. The reception was ok altho it was very late and not child friendly in any way. We took loads of snacks/ treats & drink for ceremony and reception, quiet toys and my iPhone loaded up with quiet toddler games (I wasn't the only parent doing this) and for the afternoon evening reception, colouring, books, toys and a portable DVD with headphones, the only moment of slight embarrassment was when DS started posting gummybears down my cleavage in church, couldn't stop him because it was keeping him quiet and after 3hrs funnily enough he was bored as was everybody else , it was fine until I stood up at the end of the ceremony any about 50 sweeties fell out the bottom of my dress into the aisle blush

StickyFloor Sat 25-Jun-11 21:44:15

I am firmly in the camp of - what is the point?

We took our twins, aged 3 to a wedding and they were the only children. We were repeatedly congratulated on how well-behaved they were, and they truly were. I, however, had the worst day of my life.

Spent the whole time keeping them entertained, quiet, toiletted and fed. Had to duck out of the church once, and the meal twice, missed the speeches, couldn't chat and mingle in peace. At the end of it I just thought what the hell was the point of going? They didn't really enjoy it, and I certainly didn't.

Since then I have got firmer at declining such invitations tbh. I don't see the point in carting the kids around to something they aren't interested in which will be stressful for me.

It is possible to do it if you take a huge bag of tricks with you, but I wouldn't bank on enjoying the day as such.

worraliberty Sat 25-Jun-11 21:49:34

Also, is it a church wedding or a registry office?

If it's a church it would be considered disrespectful to eat in there.

CharlotteBronteSaurus Sat 25-Jun-11 21:50:07

if it's a family wedding, where the dc's attendance is demanded by assorted aunties, then we take it in turns to take them out of the church reception when they get bored and irritable

if it's a friend's wedding we gladly leave them at home, even if it's not child free wedding. any chance you'll get away with leaving them with your friends just for the ceremony, or just for the evening do, so you can attend part of the wedding?

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