Having been a wedding photographer for over ten years, I’ve seen lots of teeny babies at weddings, accompanied by their exhausted parents.
Having been a Mum for over two years (that’s flown!) I’ve also seen and heard situations where new parents were super anxious about attending the wedding of their friend or family member.
Life can change so much when you have a new little bundle to look after. If they aren’t already parents, it’s possible the wedding couple may not be aware of some little things they can do to make everyone feel welcome.
I hope to share some insight into how to make your wedding more welcoming for new parents…..
if they’re happy, their baby will be too!
I’ve called on some friends (from a super awesome Facebook group I use online) to help me with suggesting tips and ideas, so thank you!!
I plan to do a further post very soon about welcoming children at your wedding in general, but this one is specifically for parents with children from birth to just-starting-to-walk.
1. BE CLEAR ON INVITATIONS
Some couples opt for childfree weddings due to rising costs, venue space or simply because they would prefer to. However, it does need to be clear on invitations, what about ‘babes in arms’ – will your friend with a super teeny baby be excluded?
“I was uninvited to a wedding last year because (baby) was 4 weeks old. Too young to leave with anyone and it was a no children allowed wedding. I understand no children allowed but newborns are different surely?”
It would be totally impractical or in some cases impossible for the parents to leave a very young baby with someone else, for a whole day- never mind overnight. So this may be something to discuss with your partner in advance, should the situation arise. Weddings are often booked well in advance so it’s possible that your good friend or family member could have a newborn by your wedding date.
2. CREATE SOME ‘QUIET CHILL OUT SPACE’
This came up quite a bit in discussions with new parents. Check if your venue has a little room or area somewhere, preferably with some comfy seating, where your friends who are new parents can escape for some quiet time. Weddings can be overwhelming for both baby and exhausted new parents, so a space out of the main party to help baby to nap, or have a quiet feed is brilliant. If there isn’t a room, and you’re having say an outdoor wedding, what about borrowing a small sided gazebo to use for this purpose?
3. STOCK UP
You could provide a basket of essentials in the ‘chill out area’ or baby changing area, a few nappies, muslins, wipes, even a toy. It won’t cost much, but will mean the world to your friends.
4. LET THEM KNOW TIMINGS AND PRACTICALITIES IN ADVANCE
Super small babies might not have a routine yet, but for slightly older ones, it an be crucial. Let your friends know in advance the proposed timings, especially what time the meal(s) are. This will help them plan for managing baby during your wedding.
If there’s non-buggy friendly areas of your wedding celebrations give them a heads up so they can bring a carrier or sling.
TOP TIP – If they are staying at 0n site accommodation, ask the venue staff know to prioritise their check in. This will give time more to drop their bags, feed their baby, and get changed, making things a bit more relaxed.
5. CONSIDER THE TABLE PLAN
This one might seem obvious, but it might not be best to put a newborn baby next to some noisy party animals. Putting them with your other friends with a baby the same age may be preferable, they are sure to have something to chat about!
Equally, although Mum should feel welcome to feed her baby anywhere; putting them next to your awkward Great Uncle – who is likely to make an ignorant joke about breastfeeding, may not be wise!
TOP TIP – Make sure they are seated in an area where they can pop out if they need to, rather than crammed in with the pram.
6. BE UNDERSTANDING
It may be that a close friend isn’t able to attend your wedding as it’s too near to their due date. Or, they may not know whether or not they can come yet. Sometimes brides get very ‘wrapped up’ in wanting everything to be ‘perfect’ and forget that their wedding isn’t the only big event happening that year. Be flexible and understanding if your friend has to leave early, or only able to attend certain parts of the day, or even have to drop out completely. It may be disappointing but truth be told, your friend is probably already struggling with adjusting to being a new parent, (or juggling a newborn and older children). Don’t add on any more guilt!
7. GIVE THEM A ‘GET OUT OF JAIL FREE CARD’
With the above, make it super clear to your new-parent-guests , as well as being welcome at your wedding, they are also welcome to leave whenever they need. This will make them feel more welcome, more relaxed, and less guilty if they do need to leave early.
Hope some of the above helped give an insight, please feel free to share.
If you’re looking for fun, relaxed wedding photography feel free to drop me a message via the ‘get in touch’ page, to chat about your big day!
All images and text by Katie Byram Photography
Please do not copy without written permission of the photographer.