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10 Tips for Planning a Wedding When You Have a Baby

Reading Time: 6 minutes
Planning a Wedding When You Have a Baby

We’re in the height of the wedding season in the UK and although this is such a beautiful and exciting time for couples and their families, planning weddings can be quite a stressful experience.

As more and more babies are being born by couples who are not married or living in civil partnerships (51.3% in 2021 England and Wales) there’s the added challenge of planning a wedding when you have a baby or small child.

If you are a new parent and your child is going to be fortunate enough to be present on your special day, our article aims to give you some helpful tips to make sure your day is baby-friendly and goes as smoothly as possible.

Be prepared to make compromises

Starting a family and having a Newborn baby can change your priorities especially when it comes to your big day. Think about your wedding budget, location and what you’d like from your wedding day when you start planning. Every family is different, but you may have to scale down the wedding you’ve always dreamed of either at home or away. The luxury adults only resort in the Caribbean may no longer be on the cards but if your heart is set on getting married abroad there are more family friendly options available. Likewise, if you want to get married at home consider adjusting the plans to suit your new family. It’s very likely that having your baby at your big day will be one of your best memories.

What to wear

Picking your perfect wedding dress is one of the most momentous and exciting things about organising your special day. However, having just had a baby the experience can be somewhat different. Your body has changed in size and shape. On average you can expect to return to your pre baby weight within 6 months to 1 year after giving birth, though everyone is different, and you shouldn’t feel any pressure to lose weight.

Start your search early as some gowns take up to 6 months to arrive. Speak to the bridal shop about your situation, if you are pregnant or you’ve just had a baby, they will be very understanding and be able to offer great advice. If you are not sure what size you will be in over 6 months’ time it’s best to order conservatively and on the bigger side. On your first fitting your seamstress can adjust your wedding dress to fit your changing body shape and it’s easier to take it in!

When dressing your little one consider the time of year and what they will feel comfortable in. Bring a spare outfit (or three) and bibs to avoid any potential messy disasters!

Wedding dress fitting

Pre wedding preparations

It’s important to be mindful that weddings take a lot of preparation; dress fittings, suit fittings, venue meetings, flowers, photographer appointments, general running around, pampering sessions, hen and stag doos etc. etc. etc. all take time! Give yourself plenty of time and arrange childcare if possible so you can focus when you are making those important decisions. Creating checklists or writing things down also helps when you have so much else going on! Arranging appointments around your baby and their schedule will make your life easier.


Baby at a wedding

On the day itself give consideration to your wedding schedule and factor in your baby needs especially their feed, change and nap times. There’s a lot to think about; getting ready, ceremony, travel, canapés, pictures, speeches, meal, cake cutting and entertainment etc. It can all be done you just need to be extra organised, having a schedule of key timings can make the day go more smoothly. Talk through your schedule with your photographer and wedding venue as they will be able to assist and share their experiences of what has worked well before.  If you have invited children it will help to share the order of the day with their parents so they have advanced notice which will in turn reduce the anxiety around weddings. Especially what time food is being served so they can stock up on snacks!

Do ensure there is some flexibility built in as babies can be unpredictable!

Be prepared

Babies come with a lot of stuff so make a list before the big day so you don’t forget anything. These are the things we would add on ours!

  • Nappies / wet wipes
  • Muslin squares / bibs
  • Changing bag with spare sets of clothes and changing mat
  • If it’s sunny, a sun hat and cream, if it’s cold a jumper/cardie and jacket
  • Bottles / Drink
  • Milk formula or expressed
  • If breast feeding, a breast pump and pads for you
  • A dummy or soother (if your baby uses them)
  • If over 6 months, some food and snacks and a booster seat
  • Pram
  • Toys for entertainment and distraction
  • If staying in a hotel take an overnight bag and check with the hotel if you need a travel cot
  • Car seat (if you are hiring wedding cars and planning for your baby to come with you) 

Get all the help you can!

Look at the option of inviting someone to the day that isn’t part of the wedding party but can undertake childcare responsibilities and can dedicate their attention to your baby. This could be someone who works at their nursery, a close neighbour, nanny/babysitter or a friend. They can look after them during the day and have the choice of taking them to your hotel room to settle them or home a little earlier. Having that allocated person means that your baby is happy and safe and you can relax and enjoy a magical day.

Friends and family may want to help out and have cuddles, let them especially if this gives you a break and your baby is happy with them, it’s much better than a grumpy baby and stressed parents!

Wedding breakfast

Seating arrangements can be a headache when planning a wedding but don’t worry it will all work out in the end and your guests are bound to enjoy the free food and drink on offer! Incorporating your little one in this part of the day often depends on how old they are.

For example, if they are over 6 months you may want them to have a highchair or booster seat on the top table or sit with family. If they are younger this maybe an opportunity for them to have a sleep in a pram or back in your room. Ensure you have milk / food with you. Venues won’t mind warming up milk or heating up baby food but this is worth discussing with them before.

Wedding breakfast

Evening celebration 

Ideally your baby will be fast asleep or being looked after for the evening reception but if you are planning for your baby to still be there at this time then take extra measures to ensure they are happy. It might be quite loud with a band or a DJ playing so you may want to purchase ear defenders or identify a quiet spot for your baby to be held or go in a pram. Alternatively, infants may want to join in with the celebrations and enjoy being the star on the dance floor!

You are the best person to pre-empt that tired meltdown so if you’re not the one putting them to sleep make sure you communicate your expectations with the person looking after them. Giving them some guidance on bedtime and routine should mean your baby is more contented.


family on honeymoon

There are huge differences between travelling as a carefree couple and travelling with a baby. Whether you take your baby with you, delay it or arrange childcare is totally up to you for your honeymoon. Many couples ask for money as a wedding present towards their honeymoon or spending money which could help if your budget is tighter.

The amount of luggage you need appears to double when travelling with a baby and it can feel like you’re planning a military operation. Some couples prefer not to travel abroad with an infant so you may decide to do a staycation. Wherever you go, if you are considering taking your little one with you look at places and hotels that are family orientated and have facilities for babies. Think about the equipment you need to take and check to see if the hotel can lend you any equipment. Check temperatures, time differences, length of journey to get there, local culture, creche facilities etc.

Travelling with a baby doesn’t need to be daunting it can make special memories and magical moments as long as you plan well!

Don’t worry… enjoy

Patience is something every parent needs and although you may try and plan for every eventuality things don’t always go to plan so try not to worry on the day and go with the flow. Babies are unpredictable and they will be more calm, content and comfortable if you are less stressed and are relaxed and enjoying yourself. 

Good luck and have the most amazing Wedding Day!

Lots of love, Team BabyDam