Once upon a time, I wrote a post about how challenging it is to take a toddler to a wedding. It wasn’t exactly horrible, I just found it hard to enjoy myself. You know, because it’s hard to remain in the path of the waiter passing out mini crabcakes while simultaneously chasing after a child. And diaper changing in formal wear? Not ideal.
Thankfully, things have changed since I had a second kid.
I don’t know if I’ve gotten more lax, I’ve gotten more accostumed to stress or I’ve gained some parenting mojo, but the last three big events we’ve attended have been some of my favorite moments I’ve experienced with my little family of four.
First there was my cousin’s bar mitzvah (where I saw my life in a positive light through the eyes of a bunch of thirteen-year-old girls), then there was the family wedding (where Mazzy made her brilliant flower girl debut) and this past weekend, Mazzy got to reprise her flower girl role in my brother-in-law’s wedding.
I think after two times down the aisle as flower girl, you become a professional.
FYI- I did Mazzy’s hair myself. She picked her hairstyle on Pinterest and I found out that with enough bobby pins, you can do almost anything.
We had to be at the hotel for pictures at 2pm for a ceremony that started at 6:30pm. With four solid hours of photos, I did not have high hopes my children would make it to the actual event.
But they surprised me.
Mazzy was a champ for pictures. She smiled, posed and surfed when told.
The bridal party went on a neverending multi-location photo excursion which included a vineyard, a potato farm and the beach, challenging everything Mazzy previously understood about weddings. Remember when you pretended to get married by draping a white sheet around your body? Mazzy will pretend to get married by making a duckface while standing on a surf board.
I didn’t get a good photo of the surfing thing (which was halted when fellow beachgoers objected to eight pairs of six-inch heels on the surface of one board) but let’s just say “wedding photo shoots” have ESCALATED since Mike and I got married seven years ago.
After the first location, I left Mazzy with Mike (the best man) and took Harlow for a ride in the car for a nap. When I returned two hours later, Mike and Mazzy were emerging from the woods asking for wet wipes, so I was pleased to have missed whatever just went down.
Five thousand photos later, guests began to arrive for the ceremony.
Harlow weaved her way through the crowd looking adorable while Mazzy stayed hidden from view with the bridal party. It felt a little strange that she had that experience without me, but she seemed more than capable of handling it.
We brought our nanny Ruth to the wedding and she sat in the back with Harlow during the ceremony, in case of any sudden emergencies (aka screaming). If you are bringing kids to a wedding, especially one at night, I highly recommend paying for a sitter and asking the bride if it’s okay for her to stay.
In case you are curious, I scored Harlow’s dress at the magical yard sale full of designer baby clothes I talked about on Instagram last month. Five bucks!
The first time Mazzy was a flower girl, she was instructed to take a seat next to me after she finished walking up the aisle. This time (I realized only after the ceremony began), she was expected to stand up at the front with the bridal party for the entire service.
I was not sure my daughter (notorious for a serious case of “ants in the pants”), had it in her to remain still.
But she did it.
Once at the front, she played with her flower basket a little and even dropped it twice, but for the most part, she stood perfectly still and even looked like she was paying attention.
She was so well-behaved, I wondered if perhaps we’ve been underestimating her ability to stand in one spot.
After the ceremony, the plan was for Grammy to take both girls and Ruth to our new house (15 minutes away) and return child-free after cocktail hour.
But, Mazzy and Harlow were having so much fun, we decided to let them stay until they were clearly ready to leave.
Mazzy spent most of her time following around the junior bridesmaid and her friends. It seemed like they couldn’t go anywhere where they could get into real trouble, so we let her have her freedom.
Harlow took to the dance floor.
I don’t know if I’ve talked about this before but Harlow LOVES to dance. I’ve been debating what to do with all her dancing footage, so I’ll start by posting a :15 second clip of her here.
Harlow was first on the dance floor when the reception started and didn’t stop until the bride and groom’s entrance was announced. Then she started right where she left off as soon as guests were allowed back on the floor. At one point, Harlow had a full circle of people surrounding her, following her every move.
Then Mazzy danced over and took Harlow’s hands (probably partly because she wanted in on all the attention). The two of them danced together like they were hired to put on a show for the party. I wish I had a photo but it was dark and I guess this was one time I was living in the moment instead of trying to record it.
Have you ever been completely engrossed in your children thinking they are the most awesome little creatures in the world and then your eyes stray from them for a second to meet your husband’s and you realize he is thinking the exact same thing?
That was our moment.
The four of us, dancing like we do when it’s just us in our kitchen, but on full display. And whether it was true or not, I felt like everybody knew we had something very special.
FYI- I took most of my photos with the Olympus TG-850 that I got during the “Reward Your Selfie” contest a few months ago. I didn’t want to lug a big camera but I wanted to bring something compact that would take better photos than my iPhone. I’m so glad I did that because I will definitely be enlarging and framing the photo above. It also allowed me to get a few great close-ups of Mazzy up there being flower girl, when I was actually pretty far away.
At about 9pm, Harlow started yawning and Mazzy reported that her feet hurt. Then I changed them into their PJs, piled them into Grammy’s car and watched them drive off. Mazzy with her Boo. Harlow with her bear. Grammy reported that they both conked out before she even left the parking lot.
Back at the reception, Mike and I made sure to clink glasses to celebrate.
“Our kids might suck at restaurants, but they are AWESOME at weddings.”