Playpen at Wedding?

Updated on July 18, 2012
L.U. asks from Kirkland, WA
28 answers

My brother is getting married this Sunday. His wedding and reception are from 11-4. I have a baby, 18 months, who naps! She is probably going to be a bear if she can't nap...oh good! So, I was wondering...would it look super tacky if I brought a playpen? Not just so that she can nap, but she is really a handful! It might be nice to have a place to put her down with her toys and I don't have to worry about her getting into everything.
What do you think?
ADDED - My brother and his soon to be wife have no problem with children being there. There will be a ton of them, not just mine. They are not being married in a church, it is being officiated by my Uncle. I can't leave her at home, she is part of the wedding. And I would never just plunk her in the pack and play and leave her there. I kind of chuckled when I read that! My idea wasn't to put her in the thing the whole reception, just if she happened to fall asleep or if she needed a "break". She will probably be in arms or running around most of the time, but sometimes babies just need a little break. I like the idea of the stroller.

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answers from San Francisco on

I think a play pen at a reception is a bit much. I would just use a stroller. That way if she needs a break, someone can stroll her outside and she may all asleep.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Where is the wedding? If you're talking about a backyard wedding, that's one thing. If you're talking about a ballroom reception, then, no. A playpen isn't appropriate to set up. Maybe a stroller, or maybe a babysitter who can take her back home or to where ever you are staying, once it's naptime.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I know this is a family affair and all, but I'd get a babysitter!! That way you will be able to enjoy the festivities and not have to worry about hauling all that baby stuff with you, and you won't have to deal with a cranky baby!! Just my thoughts!!!

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answers from Dallas on

Personally, I don't think it would be. However, I'm super laid back about things like that. Could you make a call and ask your brother how he'd feel?

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

I don't agree with the suggestion to ask your brother. You can certainly ask him if you want to but be prepared that if he doesn't discuss it with the bride -it might just make her go bridezilla-lol! I would personally ask them both and I agree that it depends on the venue whether it would be appropriate or not as well-it seems to me it would be easier just to have a babysitter. At the very least have someone there that could take her when it turns into nap time. Good luck momma!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I might be the odd one out. I went to a wedding once and there were a lot of kids there, most under 5 yrs old. It was adorable watching the group of 2 and 3 yr olds dancing and just having a ball. One little boy did have a melt down because he was just tired. The parents did have a pack and play/play pen off to the side but not far away. Since it was mostly family, everyone took turns watching out for him. Later others did fall asleep and at one time, 3 little ones were sleeping in it. I didn't think it was tacky at all. It depends on the way the reception is setup. At my reception, there wouldn;t have been anywhere to put it so it would be close. A stroller is also a great idea if it is not a really big one since they can get in the way.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

shes 18 months i;m sure everyone will occupy her and be chasing her around. she probably wont take a nap because of the excitement. she'll probably yell out whatever words she knows at a quiet moment and everyone will laugh and remind her when she's older. dont worry your kid will be a kid...instead J. be excited her daddy gets to dance with her on the dance floor..or you if your not married

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

We had kids at the service, but not at our reception. Different folks have different attitudes about little ones. I'm guessing though that his Sunday afternoon wedding is an informal one, and a playpen shouldn't be a problem. If in doubt, ask.


2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Double check with the bride first, but I say go for it. As long as you place it in a quiet corner, out of the flow of traffic. I did this once for a wedding and a baby shower. Saved my sanity!

At the very least, take a stroller that will recline.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

Do you have someone who can sit with her in the cry room. Don't know why they still call them cry rooms, play room seems more appropriate.

I think the problem with putting a playpen in the church is it would block isles.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

Use a stroller.
That hopefully, you can adjust the back to a laying down position and it has a canopy over it.

Can't imagine lugging a playpen, to a wedding/reception. And while you are all dressed up etc.

Bring extra clothes for your baby.... so that after she is done doing her part in the wedding, you can change her into regular comfy clothes and she can nap, in the stroller. She will probably be all tired and overstimulated by then.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Milwaukee on

When I have had to nap my kids at a wedding I just put them in the stroller in the corner. I walked them around till they fell asleep then put them in the corner with the shade down and a blanket hanging over it to block light. Always worked great. When not napping everyone wants to play with them, so they just get passed around.

Ask your brother about a playpen if you want but I would do a stroller. :) much easier.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

It would really depend on where the wedding will take place, but my first reaction is that this is not a good plan. You can't just plunk her in there and hope for the best. You or your husband will need to be with her at all times anyway. If you know that she's going to be a challenge, I would plan on:
1. Hiring a sitter for the reception (I am assuming that they would want her in family pictures after the ceremony)
2. Bring the stroller instead so you can take her for walks if needed to get her to calm down and sleep.
3. Plan on leaving the reception early, after the "formalities" are over

As someone else mentioned, people have different ideas regarding young children and weddings. I am one of those people who feels pretty strongly that young children should not be there. It's a LONG day, in a "fancy outfit" with the unrealistic expectation of good behavior.

No toddler can possibly understand the importance of the day and adjust their behavior accordingly. Expecting her to do so or that someone will help you entertain her is presumptuous on your part. If you bring her, be prepared to miss large portions of the wedding because either you or your husband will be walking around with her to keep her entertained and out of the way.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

What kind of a venue is it? Knowing this would help us answer your question.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

We have done the stroller laid back so they could nap. Just make sure it is out of the way as best you can.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Honestly, (and I'm not trying to sound rude) if I saw a playpen at a wedding I'd think it was odd - just me though. I'd wonder if the parent was looking for a place to stick the baby so they could have their own fun and not have to be bothered by her. Unless it was a super casual backyard type thing. Anything hosted in a church or reception venue would feel strange.

I'd get a babysitter myself. Or you can bring her along and make her your priority - taking her out during the ceremony if she gets loud or entertaining her instead of eating (see if the reception venue can provide a high chair so she is somewhat contained so you both can eat, if there is a venue). Just let your brother and his fiance know that you may have to step out if necessary, so they don't think you are being rude or something. I'm sure they will understand. I wouldn't count on a nap - with all the excitement and noise my kids never would have napped. If she melts down, then you wish your brother and his wife all the best and head home for the night. It's just what comes with having a baby.

Be prepared with quiet toys for the ceremony, coloring, plush dolls etc and (quiet) snacks and drinks. Sit on the outter isle (again, assuming a church wedding) so you can leave quickly with the least interruption and commotion. Change diaper right before ceremony etc to make her as happy and comfortable as possible. The more you prepare, the better your night will be.

Good luck. PS - we just took our 3 yo and 6 yo to a church wedding and formal reception - they did great and danced until 11 pm! No problems at all. This stage won't last forever, just have fun with her.

UTA - I just read your profile and saw you have two older children as well. So I'm sure you didn't need all that advise I just gave you. For some reason, you question led me to believe you were a young or first time mom....

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Appleton on

It sounds like a good idea to me.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Biloxi on

Family wedding
Everyone is okay with children being there
Bring the pack n play
Everyone will have a wonderful time.
Congrats to your brother!!!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

Is there a hotel? And can you get a room there (even if you aren't staying) so you and your mate can trade off on toddler care?

And definitely ASK your brother!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I'm pretty sure I wouldn't want someone setting up a play pen at my wedding, but I agree with Everley. Depends on the setting. Either way, you need to ask the bride.


answers from Cleveland on

Without knowing the specifics of the wedding/reception (place, informal/formal, etc), it's very difficult to say yes or no. I fully agree with the other posters that you should simply ask your brother what they think. If the reception specifically is pretty informal, I see nothing wrong with a pack and play. In my family and group of friends, children are always welcome and encouraged to attend these events, and by the end of the evening there are always children sleeping on piles of coats or blankets or chairs pushed up against walls.


answers from Minneapolis on

I am getting married on Saturday and you can bet that my son's stroller will be within reach (Or at least in the trunk of the car) at all times!


answers from Grand Forks on

I would go with a stroller. My boys would nap in a stroller, but never in a playpen anyway.



answers from Portland on

I would be thrilled if I was the bride and groom and you did everything in your power to keep her from being a crying terror at my reception. It would be super if you took her to a quiet area for a nap when necessary so YES bring the play pen. Set it up in a back room so that it's quiet and not in the way. Bring a book with you to read while she is napping or enlist the help of other family to help keep an eye on her while she is resting unless of course the room is just off the reception and you can monitor her from a corner table at the reception. It will be better on everyone if she is happy and well rested during the ceremony and reception.

TACKY is having a tired, crying baby at a wedding!



answers from Stationed Overseas on

I would call and ask. My brother just got married a few weekends ago but all children were invited and it was an outside wedding. My son is 10 months and we brought our stroller for him to nap in. He just sat in someone's lap the rest of the time.



answers from Kalamazoo on

Stroller - works just as well for naps and "breaks" and takes up WAY less room. Plus, you can have her right next you, asleep in the stroller, if she sleeps during mealtime.



answers from Albuquerque on

Ask your brother. If it's a formal wedding, I'd say that yes, that would be tacky. But so would bringing an 18 month old. If it's a casual wedding, and there will be other kids there, then why not?

Personally, I'd get a babysitter for the 18 month old so she can stick to her routine at home and you can get out and have some nice adult time. But that's just me.



answers from Boston on

I would walk her in stroller and then put her in a corner when you come back.

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