Thursday, March 29, 2012

How to Have a Successful Wedding with Three Almost-2-year-olds Included

Earlier this month, a dear friend of mine married the love of her life. Really, it's rare to see two people who truly love one another for who they really are. I was honored to be one of her bridesmaids.

I did have one tiny smidge of apprehension, though. She asked for Sam to be in the wedding, also. He was one of three almost-2-year-olds in the wedding. The flower girl, the daughter of the Matron of Honor (and one of my BFFs) is a week older than Sam, and the other ring bearer, the son of another bridesmaid, is about a week younger than Sam. While all three chidren are sweet, loving children, they are also very much...well, nearly TWO! The other moms and I worried to each other (but never to the bride) about how they'd do.

Would they charm the guests with their adorableness (yes, that is a REAL word because I, the Mommy, say it is)? Would they cry the whole time? Would they lay down on the floor and roll around in a screaming fit? (Okay, maybe only I worried about that last one with my son, since that's been Sam's latest move with tantrums.)

As it turns out, the kids did wonderfully. A few things that I really think helped were:

•    the wedding was at 10 am; perfect timing for happy toddlers - not tired and cranky for nap or even hungry for lunch yet.
•    the church had a wonderful room with toddler-appropriate toys in it to keep the kids happily occupied when it wasn't their turn for pictures or participation (note: we did have one moment where I thought Sam wouldn't walk because he wanted to go back to the toy room, but he ended up doing just fine).
•    the bride and matron of honor had both put together "happy baby" type kits - books, snacks, teddy bears (in fact, the flower girl's bear went down the aisle with her) to entertain and soothe if needed.
•    since the kiddos' mommies were all in the wedding, each tot walked down the aisle with Mommy (queue the "awwwwwwwwwwww!" here), and was then "handed off" to the other parent or a grandparent so they didn't have to stand still up on the altar with the wedding party.
•    and quite possibly the most important thing - the bride was very relaxed about it all. She knows that 2-year-olds are unpredictable, at best, and that what happened at the rehearsal likely would have no bearing on how the babies did during the actual ceremony.

The wedding was beautiful, simple, and adorably adorned with three adorable almost-2-year olds.

Did you have young children in your wedding, or were you or your children in a wedding at a young age? What worked or didn't work for your circumstance?

Author's note: The picture included is only of Sam, simply because I didn't want to post pictures of someone else's child, no matter how precious, without their express permission.

Julie Daneman is wife to Bryan, Stepmom to Jacob and Caleb, and Mommy to Sam. They are a boisterous, loving, happy interfaith family.

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