18 ways to survive a wedding with toddlers in tow

toddler at wedding

by Joanna Dunbar |
Published on

We don't know about you but we love a wedding. The dress, the food, the dodgy dance moves from Uncle Pete... What's not to like? However, it’s fair to say formal occasions and youngsters who like to make noise, take naps and explore new surroundings at full pelt, don’t always mix.

That's not to say you can't have a wonderful time though. To help you out, here’s a reality check and some top tips to help you get through the big day with little ones.


Toddlers to weddings

Changing bag1 of 17

Clutch bags are over

The days of carrying a lip gloss and a phone are long gone. You’ll be carting a huge bag around with you: toys, snacks, spare clothes, nappies, sippy cups…

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Dress code

Super high heels might look amazing with your new dress but it might be wise to factor in footwear you can chase a child in. And possibly an outfit where sticky handprints won’t make too much of a statement...

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Sit at the back

If you're feeling nervous about your child staying quiet during the ceremony, consider sitting at the back of the room so you can easily and quickly escape if your tot starts to get a bit noisy.

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Pre-nuptial agreement

If your other half is aiming to neck free booze and chat to their mates while you placate, soothe and negotiate with your small charges, have a word beforehand. If you can divide and conquer the childcare, the whole day will be more enjoyable for all of you.

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Safety in numbers

It’s worth finding out how many other kids are going to be at the wedding. A few children in attendance could mean a more relaxed day, more elements aimed at the younger guests and – crucially – solidarity among the parents.

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Picky eaters

If possible, find out what the wedding breakfast will be beforehand. Take the child-friendly option if it’s offered and if not, don’t be bashful about packing a picnic.

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Mobile library

Take as many books as you can carry without breaking your back as they may stop your child chipping in during the wedding vows.

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I(Pad) do

If all else fails, bring out the tablet. Just don't forget some headphones!

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Ghost guest

Abandon the idea that you’ll be in the wedding pictures, serenely smiling. Instead, you might be caught mid-sprint or grinning distractedly whilst tracking your 2-year-old out of the corner of your eye.

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Take your chances when you can

If your little one nods off, now is the time to track down the tray of Prosecco...

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Head off hanger

The speeches might be happening before you dine but no toddler will sit in a high chair and wait 45 minutes for food. Now is the time to bring out the snacks and buy some silence.

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Free speech

No one really expects children to be seen and not heard, they're kids! So try not to wince if your little one ‘accompanies’ the vows or the toasts.

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Small talk

Accept the fact at least 80 per cent of conversations you will engage in will be about your small charge(s). Their age; if they sleeps, where you bought their smart outfit. And that’s the conversations you finish before having to dart off or placate someone.

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Granny radar

Seek out the older women who have been cooing at your child all day. They could well be your route to two minutes’ peace.

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Forget routine

If you can't keep to your child's usual routine during the wedding, don't fret! The pressure will take away your enjoyment and remember, it's only one day.

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Night shift

It might be worth setting up a willing babysitter for the evening part of the wedding. Whilst they've looked cute in their outfit all day, and seemed entertaining chattering through speeches, their overtired squalling just as the first dance begins could be a sign the mood is about to change.

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The morning after

You are unlikely to have a hangover. Instead, you’ll have a feeling of satisfaction. Getting through a wedding with small children takes some serious stamina. Go you!

After an outfit for your mini-guest? Check out these wedding outfits for boys and girls.

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