Wedding Etiquette Forum

How to tell parents to take screaming kids to the "cry room" at our church ceremony?

We are inviting a small number of children to our wedding because my fiance has cousins with children and he is the godfather to some of them!  He didn't want to only invite some of them, and leave the others out (his family is MUCH closer to one another than mine!).  Some of these children are babies and toddlers.

Anyway, I was at my best friends wedding a few months ago where there were lots of children of all ages, including babies and toddlers.  During the vows (the most meaningful part of the ceremony) a baby or toddler just happened to start screaming... and the parent didn't do ANYTHING!  The bride, groom, and priest even stopped and looked in that direction, until the child stopped (or the parent covered his mouth).

Is there any way to request that these children be removed for a few minutes, or that they sit in the cry room the whole time (they'll have a better view anyway)?  I was thinking of saying something like, "Child care will be provided in the quiet room at the church" and have the older kids babysit in the cry room...  

But I don't know!

Re: How to tell parents to take screaming kids to the "cry room" at our church ceremony?

  • IF you are going to provide childcare it needs to be in the form of qualified adults.  Older children do not count.

    You can give them the option to leave their kids there, but you cannot force them.

    If someone cries during the vows, I'm pretty sure turning and giving them the death stare will shut them up.
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  • bethsmilesbethsmiles Denver, CO member
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    I agree with what the PP said. You can have the ushers politely tell them that the cry room is available.


  • It sounds like you are waaaay too anxious about your wedding already. It sounds like you encountered some inconsiderate people at one wedding, but do you really think your fiance's cousins will be equally inconsiderate? Is it really worth alienating his family by forcing older kids to baby-sit during your ceremony?

    I'd suggest talking to your fiance about this, without getting edgy about it. Honestly, here's exactly what I would do, since I'm pretty close to my fi's mother, aunts, and grandmother. I'd tell them what happened at my best friend's wedding, and ask them what they thought about it. I wouldn't even make a big deal about it, or make it obvious that I was concerned about kids coming to the wedding. I'd mention it in passing during a normal discussion about the wedding...and I'd flank it with very positive discussions about how I LOVE that everyone is coming. If you do it artfully, you won't ever have to mention that you're worried about it happening.

    That's only if you think it's worth addressing, and you think that it might happen. Chances are, his family wouldn't let that happen. My feeling is that it's better to be gently honest about your concerns, but not to alienate your FILs. If this is something that really matters, prove that you're not inflexible about something else. After all, you deserve your dream wedding, but how you handle his family is significant...if you make a big deal over every little thing, you'll be perceived as high-maintenance. Remember that your wedding signifies a union of two families that is life-long, and it usually requires some negotiation and open-mindedness.

    Best of luck! And relax. Nothing ever goes exactly the way you planned it. My sister's wedding is legendary in my very large family (10 weddings in as many years) because she just decided to enjoy it, including the flaws. My sister is not generally easy-going, and her in-laws are wonderful people but a pain in the ass. She has handled them with such grace that her husband not only listens, but agrees with her every time she is annoyed by something his sisters or parents do. Think of handling the "little things" like this gracefully as your foothold in the future.
  • When you're in the moment of your ceremony, I promise that a crying child won't ruin it for you.

    As a guest, you've noticed it at weddings. But when it's you, it's different.
  • Jess, I wish there was a "like" button. You did more to assuage her fears with one sentence than I did with a short essay :-)
  • A baby cried through our vows. I noticed it...on the video two weeks later.
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  • I would appoint someone in the wedding party to be in charge of that. Have them go over and escort the family to the cry room.
    I've seen wedding ruined like this too.  It bugs me.
  • When they enter the venue to be seated, designate someone to privately tell them where the cry room is - in case they need it.
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  • The Bride & Groom definitely notice - they're saying the most important words of their lives to each other with a screaming child in the background. Trust me, you're not gonna miss that. Myself & FH decided no children at the ceremony &/or reception - & this is one big reason. I don't think you're thinking too much about this at all - I've thought about it many many times before I was ever even engaged. I've been to way too many weddings where this happened & I said then that it wouldn't happen at mine. I know you can't exclude children b/c of the relationships (godchildren & so on) but I would definitely talk to your FILs & get a feel of how they think the children will act. & tell them ahead of time about the "quiet room". Maybe they will clue in the parents of the children beforehand & it'll be less stress on the day of! & please know that your worries are COMPLETELY justified - don't let anybody tell you different. ;-)

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  • I hadn't checked this in awhile, and we changed our date to July 2011, so we have plenty of time.  What we've decided to do is talk to some friends with babies first to see what they think.  Most of them are surprised people don't take their children out for a few minutes to calm down.  We are also going to talk to his cousin, who is the father of one of the babies.  We are trying to get as many perspectives as possible, and then based on the RSVPs (since there aren't a lot of BABIES being invited), decide what to do.  We might end up just talking to parents one on one, or have the ushers mention that the quiet area is available and hope they get the hint.  I'm honestly not as worried about this anymore, but I still want to avoid it happening.

    Again I really appreicate all your posts on this!
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