Wedding Dilemma

Dear Family Volley,
So, not sure if this falls into your category of questions, but I am desperate to find help.
My brother-in-law is getting married.  His fiancĂ© wants my daughter to be the flower girl in the wedding.  She will be 7 months old for the August wedding that happens to also be taking place on the beach.  I feel like she is too young and having her go down the "aisle" (beach) with my 5 year old would be difficult.  Any suggestions???
Hi Jocelyn
Thanks for your question.
It is very normal to worry about this type of situation. You are a good mother for being concerned. Remember, you are responsible for your child's safety and well being. It is natural to not want to offend, and to keep the peace. Regardless, Don't ever feel guilty for doing what is best for your kids. My advice to you is exactly what I would do if I was in the situation.

Although it is nice for your soon to be sister-in-law to want to include your children in the wedding, my guess is she sees them as really cute "wedding props". 
Who wouldn't want a five year old and little baby sister all dressed up walking down the aisle? That is a vision right out of a magazine, or soap-opera. 
Sacrificing their safety and your peace of mind so that she can have "cute props" is not okay.
She probably doesn't have any children, and doesn't really understand the logistics of your 5 year old trying to carry your 7 month old down the beach. In her mind it would be "cute". Imagine what would happen if your 5 year old fell. 
I have children these same ages, and I don't even let my 5 year old carry the baby across the family room. Let alone in sand, where adults even have trouble manuvering. 

Go to your sister-in-law and thank her for wanting to include your children. Then, kindly explain that you don't feel comfortable with the situation and that you feel it is unsafe. The words you use are important, but more important is the way you feel about her when you deliver the message. Recognize that she is a person, show gratitude and respect, be sincere, and don't make her feel stupid for not understanding that your baby is too young to be involved. She has a vision for her wedding, remember when you were planning the same thing. You wanted everything to be a certain way.

After you have kindly explained that you aren't comfortable, explain what you would be comfortable with. I would suggest you telling her that you would be happy to walk down the aisle with both of your children, then you can carry the baby. After all is said and done, it is not your fault if she is upset. She will hopefully respect your decision as their mother. 

My husband and I had to deal with a similar situation when my brother-in-law got married. They wanted us to bring our 3 week old son to everything wedding related. The lunch, the dinner, the wedding and the reception. I was new to being a mother, but I didn't feel good about the situation at all. It was very, very hard to stand up to my mother-in-law and other realtives and tell them that our new baby would not be attending. They were unhappy and didn't understand why I was being so protective. They had some choice words for me. No matter, I knew it was right. I hoped that they would eventually understand. It didn't ruin the wedding, everything was fine, and most importantly, I felt good about the decision that I had made. 

Stick to your guns, you are the mother and you know what is best. Your kids will thank you for being their advocate. 

Family Volley


  1. i wonder if there is a compromise here. can the five-year-old pull her down the aisle in a really cute wagon? that would melt my heart.

    then again, if she isn't up to being the center of attention for that moment, it is probably best that she doesn't go down the aisle. that age is so unpredictable. i wouldn't want to spend the rest of the wedding trying to calm her down.

  2. I totally agree, and for a wagon or stroller to "safely" make its way down the aisle, the sand would have to be smoothed down and covered with a carpet or walk way of some sort. If something went wrong, it could be a really really long day.

  3. I don't think it's very nice to call the babies "cute props." I'm getting married next month and all of my fiance's nieces and nephews are participating, but not because I think they're cute props. It's because I want his family and their children to feel included. I want them to know they are important to me and to my fiance. I want them to be a part of our special day.
    I don't think it's right to compromise childrens' safety, but at the same time I'm sure it's a loving gesture...not because she wants "cute props."

  4. Nikki,
    Thank you for your comment. I was not trying to be offensive, but instead wanted to make sure it was clear that as mothers we often let guilt, or the desire to "keep peace" and "please others", sway us. I wanted Jocelyn to know that it is okay to say no, if that is what is right for her children. Regardless of the brides motives. Which I am sure, as you stated, are sincere.
    Congratulations on your upcoming wedding. Hope all goes well.


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