When Dalton Mort got married in February last year, she chose to carry her daughter with her down the aisle, snug in a colourful sling. The wedding photos attracted widespread adoration, as a little girl, held close against her mother’s back, picked a flower from her mum’s hair and passed it to her dad at the altar.
Dalton never anticipated causing such a stir, but since then, the desire to carry your little one with you on your wedding day has really taken off.
“Deciding to wear my daughter just made sense to me. Our wedding mass was during nap time. I thought it might keep her calm on an already overwhelming day for her. I knew she would want to be near me. All of that, plus my husband and I wanting her to be involved somehow in the ceremony, it just was the best thing for everyone” (Dalton Mort, Good Morning America, February 2019).
📸 Fire and Gold Photography / Laura Schaefer
Baby wraps and ring slings are made from elegant fabrics which are then tied around you (as with Dalton’s baby wrap) or fastened through a set of rings which sit neatly on the shoulder. Slings allow both you and your little one to feel comfortable and secure, giving you peace of mind during long ceremonies and leaving you hands-free to enjoy the party!
There are many amazing benefits of babywearing for parents and little ones – carried children have been proven to cry less and sleep more – and on such a big occasion, these positives can be invaluable. Holding your child close to you ensures they feel supported and calm through the release of the vital hormone oxytocin. It also allows them to feel engaged in the day as they experience the sights and sounds with you, at your level. And if your child feels safe, secure and happy then, in my experience, that’s the best way to minimise fuss!
Whether you go for a soft and natural look or a bold and bright wedding, there’s a huge range of fabrics to choose from, of all colours and patterns. If you’re not sure babywearing will fit with your style, there are a number of clean and simple looking wraps that you can find to complement your look.
While we’ve seen interest in babywearing brides grow in the last year, this is by no means a new phenomenon. I spoke to members of Clan Oscha, a community Facebook group run by the sustainable Scottish brand, Oscha Slings, to find out what using a sling on their big day meant to them.
Include your little one in your special day
You are celebrating your love as partners, but also your love for the family you have made together. Having your little one with you as you stand in front of friends and family on your wedding day makes your experience even more special.
If your little one is too small to take an active role, then carrying them with you is a wonderful way for your child to be a part of your wedding.
Julia says, “I wanted to carry Amber for a multitude of reasons: for one, she was, and still is, a mummy’s girl, and I was relatively sure she wouldn’t stay with anyone long enough for us to get married. Though mostly, I really wanted her to be as closely involved in our wedding as possible, as she’s the manifestation of our love.”
Create special family memories
Carrying your little one through your wedding creates lasting and powerful family memories. Looking back through photo albums that include all the special people in your life brings so much joy.
When your child is older, they will love to see that they were part of your wedding day. Though they may not remember the day itself, their memories of looking through your wedding pictures with you, hearing how important it was for you that they were there, will last a lifetime.
Rebecca says, “My little one was 6 months old at that time of our wedding and slept a lot in the ring sling. It made it easy to look after him, while also socialising with the guests. I got lots of compliments on the ring sling itself and the fact I was carrying my son. I couldn’t imagine the day without our sling.”
Embrace your colour scheme
If you’ve spent time choosing the perfect dress, and the perfect colour scheme for your wedding, you can bring your carefully considered choices together with a sling in your chosen colour palette. Or if you want to keep things a little more classic, a pastel-toned or pure white sling brings an understated elegance to your day.
Robyn says, “My dress was green and white, so when I saw my wrap I knew it was made for our day! It was magical to wear him on our wedding day!”
Show your unique style
Your style is an important part of your wedding and a carrier is another opportunity to share your style with your guests. There might be a colour that you love, or a pattern that is meaningful to you. The fact that a sling is practical doesn’t mean it can’t enhance your aesthetic!
Geneviève says, “I wore my son at my wedding in Quebec City. I wore him mostly after the ceremony, so he was calm to meet all our people and for the photoshoot. He was 8 months old at the time. Babywearing made it possible for him to be part of the day. We had a wedding inspired by our Scottish and Irish roots, so we chose an Oscha tartan to fit with my husband’s kilt.”
Keep active children engaged
By carrying your baby or toddler during your wedding ceremony you keep them close and content throughout the service, avoiding potential tantrums or the temptation to explore the venue! Minimising any disruption to your little one’s routine during your wedding keeps them calm and happy and allows you to enjoy the day even more as a result. With a baby sling, your little one, held close, is able to take a nap as they need to, avoiding the potential for any upset.
Thank you to Clan Oscha for sharing their experiences with us.
Charlotte Keeys is a trained babywearing consultant who has worked in the world of babywearing since 2016. With a passion for beautiful fabrics, she works at Oscha Slings where she helps communicate the benefits of babywearing, and guides new parents to find the perfect carrier styles for their growing family. Find more guides from Charlotte and Oscha’s other dedicated babywearing consultants at oschaslings.com.
First published in Issue 67 of JUNO. Accurate at the time this issue went to print.