Wedding season is upon us! Because of a unique combination of circumstances (my husband and I are both oldest children, so we were married with kids well before our siblings got hitched…and we had four of those kids) we’ve supplied ring bearers and flower girls for several weddings over the past few years. We’ve even got another one coming up this summer.
The kids love weddings, actually. They get to stay up late, and be the center of attention (shhh! Most of them don’t realize the day isn’t about them), and boogie. Oh, they do love to dance.
Let’s pretend they get along like this all the time, shall we? Please?
There are certainly things you can plan ahead of time to make their Big Job as a wedding attendant go more smoothly. Based on my own experience, and advice from some other expert moms, here’s what you should consider:
If the child is a preschooler expect them to mess up somehow. Even if they did perfectly at the rehearsal, they will suddenly have a melt down because there are more people there, or they are more tired, or who knows why. Make sure the bride knows something will happen. — Ticia Messing, Adventures in Mommydom
1.) Talk to the bride about expectations. Every bride I know thinks it will be adorable if the kids mess up slightly — walk the wrong way, or stop to inspect the flowers. But there’s the possibility of a full-blown meltdown. What will you do if they start crying? Or refuse to walk down the aisle? It’s hard to prepare kids for being the center of attention in a roomful of people they don’t know…don’t be surprised or upset if they don’t handle it well. It will ease their anxiety to have a person they recognize in the front row — if you’re in the back getting them ready to go down the aisle, have the other parent or a grandparent they know well be at the other end to encourage them. And don’t have them stand for the entire ceremony! Have them sit up front.
Definitely let them do several practice runs before the big moment. Also, putting them in the outfit at the last minute helps. Even if you do pics beforehand. We did pictures and then took off her flower girl dress, let her run around, and I put it back on her right before she had to walk down the aisle. — Christina Herkert Schul, There’s Just One Mommy
2.) Rehearse…but not too much. As much as you can, let the kids know what to expect. But don’t make them sit through the entire rehearsal the night before and then expect them to do it again the next day. Practice walking down the aisle and throwing flowers (if that’s part of the job), and then take them out to run around.
Wow — so much good advice here, I actually split this post into two! Click on over for the rest of our tips for kids in summer weddings. And if you have any advice of your own, please share in the comments or with us on facebook.
Thank you for visiting Peace but Not Quiet! Be sure to sign up for the newsletter and get a free printable, “31 Ways to Connect With Your Kids.”