This weekend is officially the busiest of the whole year for weddings…
Everyone loves a Summer wedding. It’s the opportunity to dress up, catch up with friends and sink a few shandies…isn’t it?! UMMM…Not if you’re taking the kiddiewinks!
Sure, it’s all fun and games, photo opps and compliments for the first few hours. The children are excited, they are cute in their posh frocks and they’re entertaining for the masses for a bit but, let’s be honest, there comes a stage when your back is in bits from the feet on shoe dancing, they’re cranky, crumpled and craving attention where as you’re sober and looking longingly at the guests on the dance floor giving it beans to a cheeky rendition of Come on Eileen (I never pretended to be classy!)
This year family Leary have 4 weddings and a blessing. Last year we went to 3 so I like to think that we have learnt a thing or two about how to survive the celebrations when you have kids in tow. Here’s my top 5 tips for getting it right or, at the very least, ensuring you get through the day without wanting to put a stiletto through your eye socket;
1) Plan, Prepare, Prevent: When we became parents I was absolutely determined that absolutely nothing was going to change.
We would still be able to get up and go on a whim and all would be well…Well, 3 years and countless red faced moments on and I can tell you that this approach has well and truly bitten the dust. Ironically, you need to plan to enable yourselves to be spontaneous- who knew!
Think about the day.
*What will you need?
*What might you need?
*What will reduce your stress levels and give you half a chance of looking like a regular human/the embodiment of yummy mummy?!
At the very least you need a spare set of clothes; YES for you as well, it is zero fun to be drying your sick stained shoulder instead of sobbing at the speeches; believe me, I know!
Also, age depending, sippy cups and beige snacks- photo calls take longer than you think people and in these days of HD stains show up.
Bibs (more than you think), wipes, toys, and sleep cuddlies.
Basically this is your day bag on steroids; Can you stash an extra bag in the venue before hand?
PS- you also need to take flats- you know that there’s going to be gravel that you’ll need to carry a kid across at some point; don’t make it harder than it needs to be!
PPS- Can you take the buggy? It’s ideal for naps, don’t forget the snoozeshade or the muslin and peg combo…
2) Leave it late…but not so late that you’re late:
By all means get to the venue early, drop your bag, get the wee stops sorted and all that jazz but for goodness sake do not get into the room uuber early and use up all your entertainment ammo before you’ve even heard the bridal march. People with kids ideally need to be towards the back of the room, by the aisle if possible- if they’re chucking an absolute mental you need to slip out the back with minimal interruption of the heart felt vows. I know people say ‘Kids make a wedding’; they don’t, the bride and groom make a wedding and people want to be able to witness that in peace, not with a backing track of ‘Is that lady really a man’ or any other questions your toddler sees fit to raise at the crucial moment!
3) Chill Out;
So, the kids usually eat organic quinoa on a bed of wilted pak choi and sip on room temperature filtered water? That ain’t happening today my friend. Deal with it.
If your children are fussy eaters take something with you, talk to the bride and groom before hand, (if you know them well enough and aren’t going to come across as an uptight all about me guest) If not, appreciate that they will likely be eating fish fingers and chips with a bucket load of ketchup and a fruit shoot and will be bloody loving it. Let it go but for crying out loud have the bibs and wipes at the ready for you and them.
4) Recognise that times have changed; So, you used to be the last couple standing, belting out New York New York with a Jagerbomb in hand before retiring to bed not to be seen before check out the following day.
Unless you’ve got a nanny and interconnecting rooms this isn’t for you anymore. You’ve got an hour, two tops after the first dance before they either pass out, puke up or melt down. Make the most of it, dance with them, take photos and let them burn off their second wind before they flake out. If you time this perfectly you can catch them as they flake out, get them in the buggy and you’ve won yourself another hour, maybe more!
5) And Finally…: If you’re beautiful babies are lucky enough to be bridesmaids don’t forget how big their dresses are. When taking them to the toilet make ABSOLUTELY certain that you properly lift the puffy underskirts around their faces because if you don’t they’ll wee straight through them and then, when daddy is giving them a shoulder ride back to the room he won’t just be hot under the collar…true story!!
Happy Wedding Season.
PS: Of all the above points the most important of all is to relax, enjoy and take a day off the routine. After all, you only live once. (And the over tired wailing and strops only last a couple of days!!!)