When I was little, I always assumed I would be the flower girl at my uncle's wedding. When he finally got married, the year was 2011. I would have been the least adorable flower girl ever. Or the flower girl with the best cleavage. Take your pick.
BUT— at least, I wouldn't have surprised anybody with a sudden tantrum before walking down the aisle.
When I got married, we had Mike's three-year-old cousin be our ring bearer. I remember when I asked his mother if he would do the honor, she said, "We'll try but I can't really guarantee what he's going to do…"
I assured her that I did not expect him to do his duties perfectly, while secretly thinking— how badly can a kid mess up walking down an aisle? What's the big deal?
Well. Saturday night, Mazzy was the flower girl at a wedding and once I was faced with the prospect of my own child walking down the aisle, I understood EXACTLY how badly things can go.
Sprinting to the finish line or forgetting to drop the petals is not what parents are worried about. Public tantrums and flat-out refusals are the nightmares brides and grooms never forget.
As anyone who has ever been part of a bridal party knows, an evening wedding is actually an all day affair. We were asked to bring Mazzy for pictures at 2pm. The actual ceremony would not take place until sundown. Oy.
Due to our past experience bringing Mazzy to a wedding (you can read all about it here, and trust me— you want to), we made the following plan:
1) We were going to sleep at my mom's house for the weekend since it was close to the event.
2) Since Mazzy, Mike and I were all participating in the ceremony (Mike and I were asked to read a blessing), my mother agreed to come watch Harlow in case she started crying and needed to be removed from the premises. (Which is exactly what happened.)
3) We decided the ceremony and the cocktail hour would be enough party for the girls and would send them home with my mom directly after. Then Mike and I could actually enjoy ourselves (translation: get trashed) during the reception.
It was a pretty foolproof plan, if and ONLY IF, Mazzy decided to being her A-game to her role as flower girl. Or at least hold it together in a reasonable fashion.
It started out well.
Mazzy was excited to put on her dress (if anybody asks, she was wearing a "very special shade of pink" called "BURGUNDY") and sat still while I braided her hair. I sprayed and bobby pinned the crap out of it and then prayed it would hold up during the half hour she was strapped into a carseat on the way over.
About five minutes before we arrived at the venue, Mazzy fell asleep. Uh-oh…
Mazzy is usually grumpy post-nap and unfortunately, we quickly learned that a pretty dress and a feathered flower accessory do nothing to put her in a better frame of mind.
Mazzy insisted on me carrying her inside, then demanded various food items, none of which were available, and was finally appeased with a champagne glass full of orange juice. I thought maybe we were out of the woods, but then it was time for pictures.
Mazzy refused to say hello or look at anyone and buried her head in my shoulder (please don't get snot on my dress!) when she wasn't making my favorite sound on earth— a wordless whine/groan that is attached to no specific demand whatsoever.
I tried everything I could to bring her out of her funk but she wasn't having it. She was cold and she was tired and she didn't understand why I couldn't stand with her in the photos.
She also didn't understand why she had to give up her plastic baggie full of petals that Grammy had given her to practice with back at home, for the actual basket she was supposed carry during the ceremony.
I breathed deeply while having visions of her wearing a winter coat, drinking a juice box and clutching a Ziploc as she sulked down the aisle.
About two hours after we had arrived, Mazzy finally started coming around. While everyone else went inside for pre-wedding cocktails, Mazzy decided she wanted to play "trains" in the vineyard. I obliged because I figured that was the best chance of keeping her a good mood.
For the next hour, the two of us ran around in dresses and heels (Mazzy called them "high wheels") and had a pretty fabulous time. I was Percy and she was Thomas, just like always, and we pretended the rows of grapes were train tracks.
We even let James/Harlow join in on the fun.
Then we joined Mike at the cocktail hour (who was busy hoarding lamb chops and sliders) and let Mazzy eat all the challah with butter she desired.
FInally, after we forced her to pee (whoever told me about the "hidden pee" trick, thank you!), Mike and I took a leap of faith and left Mazzy in the care of the bridesmaids, handed Harlow to my mom and took our seats for the big event. Then I debated whether to take photos or video and hoped for the best.
1) I chose video.
2) Mazzy did AWESOME.
She was such FLOWER GIRL PERFECTION, I am now considering hiring her out for bridal parties.
The only snafu, which you will see in the video, was that Mazzy was supposed to end her walk down the aisle by coming to sit with me in the second row, but instead she chose to walk right up to the chuppah and stay there until I dragged her away. Then Mazzy said she wasn't done throwing out the petals so I told her to throw out the last ones and she took that as her cue to wander back up to center stage. Thankfully, she cleared the area before the bride made her appearance.
Afterward, I asked Mazzy what she was thinking when she walked down the aisle and she said she was looking for mommy and daddy. Which, you know, *melt*…
For the rest of the ceremony, Mazzy sat on my lap and Mike fed her with whatever snack she requested, placed strategically in my purse. Kind of like a trained seal being rewarded with a fish. If anyone heard plastic crinkling or pretzel chomping, that was us. But I assure you, it sounded better than the alternative.
My favorite thing about the whole experience was that Mazzy didn't just do a good job, she genuinely seemed thrilled to be up there. It was a proud mama moment.
Oh, and I also loved getting trashed after the kids went home.