Kids Gone Crazy: How to Handle Unruly Children at Your Wedding

Rachel Balunsat Photography

You love children — you just don’t love hearing their high-pitched, ear-splitting screams while you’re trying to exchange your vows or through your maid-of-honor’s tear-inducing toast. There’s no doubt that “unruly children can have an impact on the wedding,” says Lyndsey Hamilton, owner of New York-based Lyndsey Hamilton Events.

And, of course, so can their parents. So if you spy an unruly child with your eyes or ears, know it’s not your job to quiet them down, says Hamilton. “The parents, grandparents — if in attendance — or caretakers of the child should remove the child from the wedding, even if it means just stepping outside or into a different room,” she says. “There is never a reason to discipline a child in front of others, especially during an event. “

See More: How to Entertain Kids at Your Wedding

But if a parent or caretaker isn’t willing to step up to the plate for the sake of your wedding, “have a member of the bridal party or a relative — someone who has a relationship with the child — step in and help out,” Hamilton says. “Under any circumstance, I always think removing the child from the situation where the unruly behavior is happening is the best way to diffuse the situation.”

It’s smart, too, to add a children’s section, seating area, or even a game and activities smorgasbord to your reception. “Keeping kids engaged during weddings, which can often be a long day for a little ones, is the best way to avoid unruly behavior,” says Hamilton.