Posts in the 'kids at weddings' Category

Ask Liz: Rentals & Rugrats

Got a question for Liz? Go to the contact page and let us know what’s up!

Sooo many. Or, wait…not enough??

Dear Liz, 

Help! I’m getting married at a  local museum, and we have to bring in all of our rentals. My wedding is in November, and we’ve already made at least 8 changes to the rental list, and it’s driving me crazy!! I’m not even sure I need half the stuff that’s on there. Is there a complete list of rentals that I should get for 150 guests?


Forked Up

Dear Forked,

Heh, “Forked.” Sorry, I’m 12 years old today. Rentals can drive you nuts, so I get it. So, now is time to back up, take a deep breath, and look at the big picture again, instead of the details. Print out the list, and walk through the wedding in your head. Guests are coming in from where, and what are they going to see or do before they get to the ceremony area? What needs to be there? Tables? Linens on the tables? Programs? Where are they dropping off gifts? How many chairs do you need for the ceremony? Are those being taken over to the reception after? Can you afford to get double the amount of chairs? After the ceremony, people are going where, and what needs to be there when they get there? Are there enough plates, silverware, cups/glasses for all of your guests for the cocktail hour and reception? This is where the crazy comes in, because realistically speaking, one of each won’t work, it’s more like three of each thing. Once you go through the list, my next stop would be your caterer or catering staff. Send them the list, ask them if anything looks like it’s missing. Most often it’s trash cans, trash bags, and anything related to scullery and serving. If they feel that you need more of anything, get it. If they feel that you need less of anything, drop it. Usually, you need more of something. Go over the list again a couple days before the balance is due to your rental company. Don’t make changes unless your guest list drops by more than 10. Excess is a relief in this case.


The answer is up to you.
(Photo courtesy of Jagger Photography, via Green Wedding Shoes)

Dear Liz, 

We stated “No kids” at the wedding, because of the expense and not wanting to have crying babies. Now, I’ve been suckered into inviting my only two cousins (8 + 12). My fiancé’s cousins’ kids are coming too, but only for the rehearsal dinner, not the reception.  Should I now tell the adult cousins that their children can come to the reception, too? The expense wouldn’t be too much for them to come,  and they were going to make their kids stay upstairs in their hotel room during the wedding.  I feel like since we allowed the other couple of kids, we should extend the invite to those, too.  We do have legit reasons- they’re all traveling from other states, and they’re not babies. Or should I just allow the original pair of kids that were coming, and risk hurt feelings?


Two Pairs or a Straight Flush?

Dear Pairs,

I say let them all come. You don’t sound too put out about it, other than that you said “no kids”, and now there’s going to be kids, so you might look a little hypocritical, or whatever. Let it go. Bottom line is that circumstances change, and you can invite, or not invite whomever you want to. If someone does say something about it, just shrug and reply, “Yeah, we ended up having to invite them.” And then keep moving.

Do you have any rental questions of your own? What did you decide to do with “dangling” kids? Let me know in the comments below! And, if you would like to find out more about me and my little corner of Wedding World, come visit at

See you at the end of the aisle,



Ask Liz: Les Enfants Terribles? OR What To Do With Babies At Weddings


Photo: Roger & Lyndzee Ellsworth from EPLove

Dear Liz,

I’m getting ready to send out invitations for our September 14 wedding. We’re expecting about 150 people. Now, we’re at the age where all of our friends have been getting married over the past couple of years, so quite a few of our guests have, or will have very small children. I just went through our guest list and there are nine (!) babies that could potentially attend. I don’t mind kids, but I feel like that many could get disruptive, and their parents definitely won’t have as much fun.

A groomsman who is coming from out of town has already asked to bring their infant, which we’re fine with, as there isn’t really another option for them. Do I have to use the “invite one, invite them all” philosophy, or is it okay to only invite kids whose parents have to travel to come?


So Many Babies!

Dear So Many,

That is a lot of babies. But, yeah, if you’ve already told one person that they can bring their infant, you’ve pretty much opened the floodgates for the rest. Resentment for that stuff can be sky-high: What are their babies, chopped liver? You’re going to spend a lot of time justifying it to a lot of people. That’s just a warning: You could put “Adult Only Reception” or some other notice on your invites and let the chips fall where they may. If you’re uncomfortable with having infants at the wedding, it’s your wedding, and that’s okay.

Or, if it’s not worth the backlash, you could figure out ways to manage the children that are going to be there. There are a few ways to do that.

Not sure if it’s feasible, if you are talking about young babies and infants, but get a name for a baby-sitting service (your guest hotel or venue should have a recommendation) and put it on your wedding website. Have an usher escort all the couples with children to the back of the ceremony room, or, if they arrive late, ask them to wait outside until the ceremony is over. Find out where the “quiet” rooms are in your reception venue, give them a heads-up that some guest might need it, if anyone asks, and put that on your wedding website, too.You can also keep the couples with children on one side or in the back of the reception room. I know, it’s starting to sound like parental apartheid! The only thing I can say is that there really is no point in worrying about whether they are going to have fun, since they’ve already agreed to come. Everyone in that group knows what a wedding is about, and it’s up to them to figure out how to enjoy it.

So, how are you dealing with kids at your wedding, or have you decided to just not deal at all? It’s a bit controversial in Wedding World – where do you stand? Let us know below!  And if you want find out a little more about me and my part of Wedding World, go to

See you at the end of the aisle,


{Ask Liz} Your Family & Everyone Else’s

Got a question for Liz? Go to the contact page and let us know what’s up.

Break’s Over. Oy:

Photo by Up Imagery

Hi Liz,

I’m in need of some advice! I’m getting married next year and butting heads with my parents a bit on the guest list. One of my major concerns is my mom’s brother. Although he is an alcoholic and has sent time in rehab in the past, he still will drink at family parties from time to time and everyone looks the other way (which I’ve always disagreed with). I don’t have a relationship with him- due to him being in and out of rehab stints through most of my childhood and teen years- and would prefer he not be invited, but my mom was very offended when I suggested that he be left off of the guest list. Knowing that not inviting him is not an option, do you have any suggestions about how I could best handle this? My mom said that she would keep an eye on him throughout the night, but I don’t want her worrying about that and not enjoying the day. Do you have any suggestions on how to best handle this?


Hard to Say “Uncle”

Dear Hard,

If your mother is insisting that he comes, and you feel that there is no other alternative, then accept that she will be in charge of him. She’s not going to have a good time if he’s not there, and she’s fine with being responsible for him if he is. This is what she wants, so agree with her and keep moving. It’ll be okay. Or, at the very least, it will be an interesting story.

Uh-oh, looks like he’s about to blow…

Dear Liz:

My fiance and I are trying to figure out what to do about kids at the wedding.  At first, we agreed that the wedding and reception would be adults only but then we learned that my sister is expecting (!) and is due about 4 months before our wedding. We obviously want the baby at the wedding and, thought about making an exception to our “no kids” rule to allow for the baby but we’re concerned about the number of our guests with children feeling a bit slighted.  So, our new thought is to allow children to attend the wedding and then provide on site child care (with kids activities, movies, and kid friendly food) for the adult reception. We’re getting married at a very casual spot which gives us free reign of the entire property so we have areas that we can use as a “kids care” area and have spoken with a few nannies who would be available & up to the task (there will probably be about 8 kids).

My questions are more about logistics – first, is it OK if we let the kids come to cocktail hour and then go to the babysitters for the reception? My fiance likes this option (because our cocktail hour has lawn games and other fun things) but I’m concerned that the kids, once seeing the party, will be hard to get to leave the party and I’d like to avoid crying/tantrums. What do you see typically being done? Second, I’m having nightmares that a child will cry (or somehow be distracting) during our vows and that the parent won’t take them away from the ceremony.  Is this something I should not worry about – have you noticed that parents tend to take their crier outside or should I somehow politely remind people to take their child away if they begin to cry (if the latter – how to do that politely??).  Lastly, I’m concerned one couple won’t bring their child (who will be 8, so no where near “adult” in my mind) to the babysitter because they’ve flat out ignored “adult only” reception requests for other weddings.  How do we get everyone to use the service?

Ugh – I have to say, saying “no kids” was SO much easier!!


Rug Rat Regret

Dear Regret,

Don’t drive yourself nuts. I don’t think you have to invite everyone’s children if your sister can’t leave hers at home. She’s your sister, and the baby is family. You don’t have to spend all the extra time and money trying to accommodate everyone else, and have the kind of wedding you didn’t want in the first place.

BUT. If you do decide to provide childcare, make sure that the parents know that it’s available, and when. Usually, it’s either right after the ceremony or starting with the reception, and you should have the nannies round the kids up, so they know which child belongs to who, and they can talk to the parents personally. Make sure that the area that they are going to is accessible to the reception, because at some point, someone is going to need their Mommy, and vice versa!

P.S. Parents, if they are at all self-aware, will sit at the back or on the side, where they can exit quickly if their child starts crying. As with most matters of etiquette,however,  if they won’t do it automatically, they won’t do it if prompted. You can try, though – put it in the program.


Do you have a relative whose presence at your wedding is going to make you cringe? How are you managing the kids at your wedding? Let me know below!

See you at the end of the aisle,