The Many Stages of Taking Children to a Wedding (a Personal Account)

  1. Find out a close friend or relative is getting married. Be excited!
  2. Get asked if girls (2.5 and 5) would like to be bridesmaids. Be more excited and start imagining your child looking like a beautiful princess.
  3. Ask children if they want to be bridesmaids. Realise you have to explain concept and also explain what a wedding is.
  4. Explain that no they cannot marry daddy as he is already married to mummy (and it’s illegal).
  5. Suddenly get hit by the reality that you have to take your children to a wedding. Yes you don’t have to get a babysitter, but every wedding you ever went to pre-children was full of alcohol and dancing. Now you’re going to have to set a reasonable example and make sure your kids behave.
  6. Be embarrassed when you take your child to try on their dress and they refuse to put it on for 15 minutes and you watch your relative try to be patient.
  7. Be equally embarrassed when child then won’t take dress off and relative is desperate for it to go back in plastic before it gets food stains.
  8. Breathe a sigh of relief as wedding is not for another couple of months.
  9. 2 days before start big list of everything you think you will need to take with you in order to stop them misbehaving.
  10. Take children to church so they can practise walking down the aisle and holding hands. Realise children are actually a little bit scared so keep reassuring them that mummy, daddy and grandma will all be waiting for them in seats at the front.
  11. On day of wedding get woken at 6am by very excited 5 year old who tells you they can’t wait to go to the wedding. Beg them to behave and remind them that mummy can still make them stay at home if they are troublesome during the morning.
  12. On day of wedding agree to help your mum sort out the wedding cake and then leave your partner with the girls for the morning.
  13. Get back home with just over an hour to go before you need to go to wedding. Rush to put on your make-up, outfit and do your hair. Rush girls into their dresses and order them to sit still whilst you do their hair.
  14. Get a little bit teary and overwhelmed as youngest stands in doorway saying “princess”. She really does feel like a princess at that moment; it’s so sweet.
  15. Shoe horn everyone into the car, pick up grandma and get to the church in plenty of time.
  16. Realise girls are a bit scared as there are lots of people they don’t know. Cue lots of cuddles and introducing them to key people.
  17. Take a deep breath and the ceremony starts.
  18. Spend large amount of time praying they will be quiet in the right bits, marvel at how good they are actually being and secretly laugh/cringe when 2.5 year old says “go home?” during signing of the registers. It’s a long time to get them to be still.
  19. Congratulate yourself on putting a ball in the bag which children can kick around at the reception and then laugh at the sight of grown men kicking a Disney princess ball around.
  20. Pull a range of silly faces at children to get them to look in the right direction at the photographer.
  21. Give lots of hugs and well done’s when they have finished.
  22. Sit down to eat and be both embarrassed and fascinated when they mistake the butter for cheese but carry on eating it anyway, with a fork!
  23. Be very grateful that you are on a table with close friends and relatives who are more than happy to entertain your children while you eat.
  24. Realise that the portion sizes are too big for your children which means you and hubby get extra roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding and dessert.
  25. Give children big hugs again and tell them how well behaved they have been as you wave them good bye at bedtime.
  26. Enjoy another drink and then be immensely proud when throughout the evening people you’ve never met come up to you and tell you: how beautiful your children are and how well behaved they have been.

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