Having a baby is a wonderful experience. Though you may find that you’re more tired than usual, every moment is filled with some new and exciting adventure. As much as we would like it to, life does not stop to let you take stock of and indulge in such moments; just as you’re getting into the mommy (or daddy) routine, you remember that you’ve got a wedding coming up! Around 35% of new moms are over the age of 30, so the event is more common than you’d expect. Let’s take a look at what you should consider and how you should prepare if you want to bring your new bundle of joy to the wedding.
Think Of The Betrothed
First things first: was your baby invited? Brides- and grooms-to-be spend months planning out the particulars of their Big Day, including the fact that one of their guests is heavily pregnant and will have a newborn by the time the wedding date arrives. The best way to tell whether or not they are comfortable with you bringing your infant is to check the invite; traditionally, wedding invites name everyone in the family invited (i.e., Dear Holly, Max, and Erin), so if your little one isn’t named, odds are they’re not invited. That being said — don’t be afraid to ask! Most adult-only weddings explicitly state that fact on the invite, but there’s no harm in asking if you’re unsure — it’s better to make sure ahead of time than to show up, baby in hand.
While some brides do prefer an adults-only wedding, most couples want to be surrounded by friends and family on the big day — little ones included.
Think Of The Baby
Even if you’ve got the go-ahead from the bride and groom, it’s worthwhile to consider the needs of your baby. For starters, how will you be feeding them? If you would prefer not to breastfeed at the wedding, then pumping beforehand would be wise. That being said, attitudes toward breastfeeding are changing for the better, and most people understand this is a natural and necessary fact of life. While some people might wish that mothers avoided breastfeeding in public places or during events, those people don’t have a hungry young baby to feed. Moms have the right to feed their children as they see fit. So if you are bringing a nursing baby to a wedding, consider what will make you the most comfortable if you need to breastfeed during the ceremony or reception. If mom and baby need a quiet place to breastfeed, then speak to the bride or wedding planner beforehand. In addition, consider whether your dress or outfit of choice is baby-friendly. Likewise, your baby will also need to sleep; if the wedding is an all-day affair, you’ll need to have a napping area set up in advance.
Last but not least (and most important), your baby’s age plays a huge role. Doctors recommend keeping your baby away from crowds until they are between six and eight weeks old as their immune systems aren’t quite up to snuff yet. Considering the average wedding has 136 guests, that’s a lot of germs that could cause harm to your little one. At the same time, 48% of couples said that having a reception venue with a scenic backdrop or locale was their top priority, which means you’ll most likely be out in the sun for a good chunk of time; you’ll need to think about how you’re going to protect your newborn from sunburns if you decide to bring them.
Taking your baby to a wedding isn’t unheard of, and it certainly isn’t impossible. Provided you make sure they’re welcome and consider all of their needs, your baby will have as much fun as you do!