With Spring and Summer approaching, wedding season is upon us. Weddings are exciting and fun. Unless you happen to be the parent of kids in a wedding, in which case the whole experience can be stressful. This past summer, I had all three of my kids in a wedding. My twins had just turned 4 and my youngest was 2 1/2. While I was excited about the wedding of my brother-in-law and sister-in-law, I was less excited about how my kids would perform. Here are some tips I learned for having your kids in a wedding.
Help your kids become wedding experts by reading kids books about weddings. Some of our favorite were The Most Special Flower Girl, The Best Ever Ring Bearer and the coloring book At the Wedding. You can even show your kids some videos of kids in action at a wedding. There are lots of videos online, but I bet your kids will get a kick out of seeing your own wedding. This will help them understand what will be expected of them.
Purchasing Wedding Attire
Since I was having all three of my kids in a wedding at once, it could have been quite pricey. I saved money by purchasing the dresses on ebay. Once you know the style of dress or suit you will need, type it into a search on ebay and see what comes up. You will want to start this process as soon as your child is asked to be in a wedding as it sometimes takes months to find something in the right size. I was able to find all 3 dresses in very good condition and I paid less than I would have for one new dress. The kids will only be wearing the clothes one time and there is no reason to spend a lot of money. Plus, if your kids keep the clothes in nice condition (mine did NOT), you can resell them again after the wedding.
Practice, Practice, Practice!
You will want your little ones to know what they are going to do as much as possible going into the big day. There will be a dress rehearsal of course, but you should start your rehearsal well before that at home. We rehearsed once a week in the two months leading up to the wedding and then a few days a week right before the wedding. I would get the kids dressed up in their dresses and shoes and they would walk down a pretend aisle holding hands. If you know that they will be tossing flower petals or carrying a bouquet, you can make your own props for them to practice with. This is also a great time to get used to the clothes and break in the shoes they will be wearing. You don’t want your child’s first time in the wedding clothes and shoes to be the day of the wedding. Too many things can go wrong.
The Dress Rehearsal
Finally comes the opportunity for the kids to practice in the actual wedding venue. It will be helpful for them as they work on the pace of their walk and remember who they will be walking behind. Practice having them walk down the aisle and going to their seats a few times, so they know where they will be sitting. Likewise, you will want to make sure they know when it is their turn to get up and leave at the end of the ceremony. Being at the venue will also give children a chance to see where they will be sitting during the wedding and practice sitting quietly.
In my experience, the walk down the aisle was much easier than I thought it would be. It was the sitting quietly and still during the wedding ceremony that held the greatest opportunity for disruption. Let’s face it, kids are not used to sitting quietly for long periods of time and wedding vows are probably not very interesting for them. Luckily, I was able to sit in the same row as my kids and keep them quiet with my bag of tricks. I brought a pad and crayon and some Wikki Stix. If you are worried about your child dirtying their wedding clothes you can skip the crayon. Playdough would be another great thing to bring along to keep little hands busy.
At this point your child is probably worn out from all the festivities. I know mine were. To keep them from melting down for photos, I resorted to bribery. I am not proud, but I told the kids if they could keep it together for photos they would get a piece of candy. This may be controversial, but it worked and the happy couple got some beautiful pictures. Of course we still managed to have fun while taking photos.
I spent a lot of time stressing out about having my kids in a wedding. But then I realized that no one else really cared. What I mean by that is even the bride and groom said they didn’t expect the kids to be perfect. Every guest I spoke to said the same thing. I felt some kind of pressure to not have my kids “ruin” someones big day, but it turns out there was really nothing they could do that would have done that. Follow these tips so your day will go smoother, but don’t get stressed like I did. It will all work out, and if it doesn’t go perfectly, it will make for great video.
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