ON KIDS AT WEDDINGS: I Went to a Wedding That Got Ruined by a Baby. Plus: DIY Monogram Secret Message Puzzle by Renee!

Happy Monday, lovers.  Today I have a story I’ve been meaning to share with you.  The story is followed by a very relevant DIY by Renee Hong for the young – and the young at heart – on your wedding day.  And I’m excited about it.

The story I’m about to share involves what can go wrong when whittles are present at weddings.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Quick Note: the rest of those dresses I’ve been meaning to show you from fashion week are coming up, I prrromise you dahlings.  I think I’ve contracted the flu, which has put me out of commission a tad completely.  Thanks everyone who I’ve been hanging out with recently who had a cold but called it “just a cough” and “not contagious.”  Literally four people I know said that to me throughout the past two weeks, and I chose to believe them.  I am so dumb!  *slaps self*

THE STORY:  Once upon a time at a friend’s wedding, there was a young child present at the ceremony.  Two things about this child…

  1. he was a toddler,
  2. he was not having any of it.

We’re all sitting and listening to this ceremony… which is unfolding beautifully by the way… and then all of a sudden, it starts happening.  What did the little child do, instead of quietly and from a distance admire his mother, a bridesmaid, as she stood beside the bride?  Well, he chose to scream bloody murder for his mother for the duration of the ceremony.  From the comfort of his father’s arms.  Arms that remained at the ceremony the entire time.  While a child wailed and howled and fussed, for his mama.  Clearly frustrating the bride and groom.

Here’s the thing: kids cry.  Kids want their mamas.  Everybody is aware of this.  And I’m displeased with the way society looks upon new parents when their children make the slightest fuss in public spaces.  But I have to admit, it frustrated me a little bit (a lot bit) that the husband (who was seated in the back, so he could have made a clean exit) didn’t choose to remove himself and his little one from the situation – if only for a few minutes, just so the ceremony wouldn’t be forever marred by the loud screams that completely overwhelmed any other sounds.  Like the vows, for example.  Didn’t hear them at all, and I know that the couple had intended for their guests to hear them.

While it didn’t ruin everyone’s fun at the reception, it definitely changed the focus of the ceremony.  It took the spotlight off of our lovely friends on their magical day, and made it all. about. a crying baby.  So………..

I’m curious: have you ever been in a situation similar to the one I just described?  Or do you have any thoughts/reactions on how it unfolded?  And lastly, any suggestions for others, regarding the handling of a little one at a wedding, once that little one’s meltdown is imminent?

On a related note, our resident DIY bloggista Renee Hong is back, and she’s got quite the perfect little playtime idea for all the wee ones at your wedding.  Take it away, Renee!

Hey guys! Today’s DIY might be a little childhood throwback for any of you who grew up loving puzzles. I’m going to be honest and let you guys know I have pretty much always hated doing puzzles… I was never anywhere near patient enough for them and could never understand why my friends would gather around to put pieces together to make an image that didn’t even contain a secret message. Well, the puzzle I’m about to show you is only made up of 16 pieces, so even you non-puzzle lovers should be pretty alright here! And you get to design it yourself… which means you can include as many secret messages as you’d like. They make great entertainment for the kids’ tables at your wedding or, if you’ve got an especially youthful bunch, can be used on every table!

What you’ll need:
– 16 wood tiles (mine were about 1×1″ each)
– Paint in color of your choice
– Pencil
– Paintbrush
– Tape

Step 1:
Arrange your tiles into a 4×4 square layout. Keeping them as straight as possible, tape down the tiles to secure them in place.

Step 2:
Flip your tile grid over and sketch your desired design on the tiles with a pencil (here’s where the secret message comes in!). It is best to use a design that has as many curves as possible in order to make your puzzle easier to solve (since the tiles are all the same).

Step 3:
Fill in your puzzle! Use as few or many colors as you would like. You may need a finer brush for more detailed designs. Once the paint has dried, remove tape from the other side and you’ve got a finished custom puzzle!

What do you think, puzzle lovers — would this be a fun addition to your wedding? And non-puzzlers — is it simple enough to keep your minds from going insane?

xo Renee // with photos by Jenna Rae Photography

Label(s): Popular *New*, Renee, The Bloggistas, {DIY + Freebies}

Love all of this...


  1. Danielle Fletcher on October 22, 2012

    Not a soul under 16 was allowed to my Wedding besides my VERY close friend’s baby who I felt like a part-time-mom to and she knew without me telling her that if she made a squeak, she would take her outta there. A Wedding ceremony is just too big a deal to have marred by something that unnecessary. My day was SO much fun and so gorgeous and it wouldn’t have been the same with kids there. It was adult-fun only! ;)

    • Alison on October 22, 2012

      To your point– that’s just it; I can see why people want to allow children at their weddings, but when it comes down to it, I don’t see why anyone would want young children at the RECEPTION. Adult-fun is where it’s at, if you ask me. Much harder to have that kind of fun when little impressionable and tired babies are about.

  2. Ariella on October 22, 2012

    I would love to know Dad’s reasoning for sticking around. I think he should have taken the baby outside once the kid started crying. It just seems like common sense.

    The only time I’ve ever seen a baby get in the way of a ceremony was when my cousin, then a toddler, made his way out of my mother’s arms and ran for his parents who were the ones getting hitched. The priest took this in stride even telling my mom that it was OK if he ran up to his parents. I don’t remember him making a fuss when my mother picked him up and took him back to their seat. Granted it was like 20 years ago, but I’m sure I’d remember a screaming child.

    I should note that aside from the children IN the ceremony, children weren’t invited to the reception and no one in my big, Italian family was happy about it.

    • Alison on October 22, 2012

      Oh man. Right now I’m wishing I knew a tad more about Italian families so I could understand what you mean. In Teresa Giudice’s vernacular, I am 0.00% Italian. So, not Real Italian.

  3. JuliaEnchanted on October 22, 2012

    I can’t imagine my wedding happening without children. I want to have a long table with paper tablecloths and tiny chairs at the reception just for them. That said, I would prefer not to have my ceremony overshadowed by wailing.

    I will make Crying Baby Room a part of my list when I look at churches, and make OBVIOUS signage about how it’s there with sound piped in so they don’t need to miss the ceremony if they need to tend to a child.

    It occurs to me that I should probably also make a Running Around Area for the ceremony so that rather than telling kids to stop all night we can just redirect the energy.

    • Nessa on November 9, 2012

      there are some churches that have a separate viewing area. when i was little i was at a funereal and sat there with my mom so we could still hear and see, but then i could run around the room without disturbing the funeral.

  4. Alison on October 22, 2012

    JuliaEnchanted – “Crying Baby Room” with sound piped in; what a great idea! I wonder if any of those exist, outside of psychiatric hospitals. Because they SHOULD.

  5. Stephanie@geezees on October 22, 2012

    This DIY personalized puzzle is a great idea for those who have the kind of family where you have to include children at a wedding. What a great idea!

    • Alison on October 22, 2012

      Stephanie – agreed! Renee is such a creative-minded artist and we love the heck out of her. This DIY is simple, unique and fun, plus it’s for kids AND adults. Childish adults, but still, adults.

      Perfection. Thanks for your comment!

  6. Kristen on October 22, 2012

    As a parent, I’m a bit appalled that the father didn’t make a quick exit. Just because you have kids at a wedding, doesn’t mean you have the right to rain on the bride and groom’s parade. In my experience, too many parents don’t take responsibility for their kids or their behavior. The whole “kids will be kids” doesn’t fly with me. We have to teach our kids how to act properly in certain social situations in order for them to be successful as adults. I have a child on the autism spectrum and know that in certain situations, he can become a distraction. How do I handle it? I take responsibility as a parent and remove him from the situation. It doesn’t matter if I miss out on part of a ceremony, it’s the bride and groom’s day and to infringe on their day is just plain rude.

    • immy on October 22, 2012

      kristen, i applaud this comment.

  7. Alison on October 22, 2012

    Kristen – thank you for comment; I think you make a very important point here. Clearly you have your shit in order and I love hearing informed, intelligent perspectives like yours. A perspective independent of personal emotion/bias. Yours is the kind of parental mindset I hope to have when I one day become a parent. Thanks again for sharing, and umm… we should probably hang out… :)

  8. Courtney from Cocroft & Delbridge on October 22, 2012

    Such a cute DIY project!

    And oh. my. gosh. It is SO annoying when parents act as if their child’s behavior isn’t affecting anyone around them. Yes, children will cry, fuss, and want to play…totally understandable…but when a parent allows their child to affect a special moment such as a wedding ceremony well that is just obnoxious. For the sake of ear drums everywhere and general sanity…please get your butt and screaming child out of the room.

  9. Alexis on October 22, 2012

    At my mom’s second wedding in 2006, my youngest sister was eighteen months. She screamed the entire cocktail hour for my mom, who was taking wedding photos off site for an hour and a half. I, being a magnificent older sister of fourteen, whisked her away from the imbibing guests into a corridor while she screamed. and screamed. and screamed. It happens.

    At my upcoming wedding, I’ll have kids and babies, who will hopefully have had their afternoon naps. Then again, the ceremony shouldn’t last more than 30 minutes.

  10. Hailey on October 22, 2012

    I clicked on your link via craftgawker- too cute! Perfect as an inexpensive favor for kids. I, too, was recently at a wedding with a small child…IN the ceremony. Both of his parents were in the bridal party, so he was a natural choice for ring bearer. Unfortunately, that fizzled during rehearsal as he was too young to understand what to do. They ended up walking down the aisle with him, and then the father held him during the ceremony. Bad choice, as he asked for his mother the entire ceremony, while the poor bridesmaid mother was trying to concentrate on the ceremony! Imagine crying for your good friend, then having to shush your child from across the altar. He eventually had to put him down and instead of going to his mom, plopped right on the steps leading to the altar. Let me say that was the most casual wedding I’ve ever been to…

  11. immy on October 22, 2012

    sadly ive seen this many times, during one ceremony, the BRIDE held her child screaming the whole way through and didnt even put him down to have their 1st kiss as husband and wife. the child in question was also a toddler.

    another occassion it was a bridesmaids kid, and she spent the whole time shushing him and chasing him in front of the bride and groom and totally stole the show, while her hubby just stood there and did nothing.
    needless to say we heard nothing else, including none of the vows, and all of us were distracted by the amount of movement off to the side,and in front.

    these are just 2 examples. in saying that, ive also seen kids behave impeccably at weddings.
    i dont want to say its based on the parents cus kids are kids, but perhaps some sort of preparation or offer of a reward before hand may reduce the chances of a boredom tantrum?

    i guess its a personal choice, but with all the effort put into a wedding, itd suck for it to happen, but at the same time, you love your neices and nephews, etc. so its a fine line. id probably ask in advance that if ppl did bring kids, that theyd be prepared to please take them away if a scene starts :)

  12. sophie on October 22, 2012

    The church I got married in really did have a soundproof room in the back with speakers wired in! My lovely nephew, 3 years old, had a really rough time with his mom and dad and older siblings being in my wedding party. So my sister (who apparently is a genius lol) hired a sitter to come with her to the ceremony in case the 3 yr old acted up. And of course he did…so sitter to the rescue and away to the sound proof room! It was awesome! The kids came to the cocktail hour and then were shipped off with the sitter for the rest of the night. Did i mention my sister is a genius!?

  13. Wedding Dresses on October 23, 2012

    Adorable puzzle. And yes, it is annoying to have kids at a wedding but totally the parental extra care involved to avoid anything that can affect the event.

  14. Pennie on October 23, 2012

    Here via craftgawker too! Sometimes dads can have no common sense when it comes to their kids. It’s weird. I’ve only ever been to one wedding reception and if there were any kids there, they were quiet or asleep!

  15. Paula on October 23, 2012

    this puzzle is so sweet :X

  16. Lena on October 23, 2012

    There is really just no reason not to quietly exit the area and let a kid howl for a minute or two. Unless you’re getting married in an airplane. Otherwise, pop a pacifier in and walk away!

  17. Simon Says I Do on October 29, 2012

    For my wedding, we have only invited our four nieces who are all five and under (all flower girls). There are friends in the bridal party who have children, but we decided not to invite them. The potential of them screaming and the fact that these children won’t remember a thing of the day really outweighed our wishes to have them there.

    One of our bridesmaids came to us and asked whether their mother could bring their daughter to the ceremony and we said yes for the above reason. If she starts screaming then her grandmother can take her away.

    I think that some people just have no idea of how annoying and disruptive a screaming child can be, particularly if they have been subjected to it for some time. They have probably tuned out to that frequency. I would have made it the job of one or both of the ushers to ask anyone with an unruly child to please take the child away until it stops causing a scene. Harsh, I know, but this is your special moment, on your special day. You have put so much planning and money into this moment and I for one won’t be having a pint sized terror ruining it for me!

    • Lena on June 8, 2013

      Wow…not inviting your FRIENDS because they have CHILDREN is probably the most disgusting thing I have heard anybody say in a long time.

      • Ashleigh on July 11, 2013

        She invited the friends just not their children…

  18. Tish on December 16, 2012

    I own a mobile sitting service and that’s what we are here for to make sure you guys have an amazing time and Party in Peace! Love the post.

  19. Linda Mechel on January 27, 2013

    When my daughters got married we planned for children. Had a special area with toddler toys in one area, arts and crafts with a teenage relative in charge for the older ones. Crafts were geared to weddings. Also another area with cars trucks etc. The kids all had fun and the parents were right near by if they needed them. Very peaceful wedding

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  25. Lena on June 8, 2013

    Very cool idea, I have a 2by2 laying around somewhere and will do this right away! But about the baby at wedding – seriously? The baby cries for their mama and instead of simply letting the baby go to mama (it’s a BABY not a thinking, understanding teenager people) you get annoyed? You tell the dad to remove the baby? You don’t want to allow babies or even children at weddings? Seriously?

    An interesting fact about weddings: Weddings are about LOVE and shouldn’t be about ANYTHING else. If your rules and expectations for a wedding do not include a childs natural response when seperated from their mother, then maybe you don’t get the entire idea of a wedding in the first place people.

    • Ashleigh on July 11, 2013

      If the mother wasn’t available to take the child then he should have removed it when it was fussy. A wedding is about sharing your love with the people you care about, but having your vows disrupted by a screaming child is not very loving. He should have removed the child and calmed it down.

      And choosing not to have children/babies at your wedding doesn’t mean you don’t love children. It just means that the environment isn’t right for them. And if a couple doesn’t plan to have children or isn’t fond of children that is their right and it’s their day. I adore children but I’m not going to have them at my wedding. We don’t have the space, time, or resources to keep track of them, though I wish they could be included.

      And the entire idea of a wedding is to become legally attached to the person you love. Children don’t have anything to do with it.

  26. Beverly on October 4, 2013

    I am getting married next May (2014), and although I love children in appropriate venues, I have decided not to have any children or teens at the ceremony or reception (with the exception of close family members). Why?

    Babies cry, and parents do not remove them from the ceremony room.
    Toddlers scream and run around, and parents do not restrain them.
    Middle children chase and grab food off plates, and their parents do not stop them.
    Teens are surly.

    What is very clear is that kids DO NOT WANT TO BE AT A WEDDING, and are telling their parents this in various ways. Why would anyone young want to be at an event where you don’t even know the principal people, have to wear formal clothes, eat yucky food, are expected to sit still and be quiet for hours, and not be the focus of anyone’s attention?

    I never went to a wedding until I want to my cousin’s at age 15. I never expected to be invited to any other weddings, and was perfectly happy to stay with my grandparents when my parents went to weddings on a day, or for a full weekend.

    Parents bring their uninvited children to weddings for themselves — because they don’t want to arrange for child care. Uhhh, guys, that’s one of the sacrifices you make when you choose to have kids. If you are insulted that I don’t want children to disrupt the wedding, and don’t understand that other people are not charmed by your sweetums running wild and yelling and knocking over the wedding cake, you can stay with them at home.

  27. Full Article on December 3, 2013

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  28. Kim on October 23, 2012

    If the parents of the child are very close to the couple and really don’t want to have to leave with the screaming child (or can’t because they are the couple or the bridal party!) there should be someone there for that purpose – a family member, a friend or a paid sitter. Shouldn’t be too hard!


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