We had the absolute pleasure of attending Gavins sisters wedding in August 2021. Going to any wedding since becoming parents has proved difficult, so Gavin and I made a vow to each other that we wouldn’t take the children u less it was for VERY close family members! The practicalities of taking young children, toddlers and babies is hard (I feel this is an understatement)! So if you’re reading this and have an upcoming wedding with your children please learn from our previous mistakes! I’m certainly not a wedding-parent expert, but here’s what we have figured out along the way (the hard way).
SNACKS (PLENTY OF THEM)
It is unsurprising that many of the other parents I asked for advice, screamed food and snacks to be used as bribery, we’re the main answer I received. Especially for the church or ceremony itself. Nothing quite keeps little ones amused and quiet than a mouth full of food. We packed a full lunch box of bits for our three, which they saw immediately, as soon as we got to the venue and then I had to deal with the screams until I pulled something out of the box! I was very conscious of the noise of the rustle that the packets were making.
Little toys were also something we took with us, but found that the cars made the boys make noise, so be mindful when choosing what to take.
THE ‘DIGITAL NANNY’
If you’re a fan of the digital devices they certainly know how to captivate the attention of little ones! I didn’t take these with us this time to the wedding (spacewise) but have taken them in the past to events, muting the volume and letting them tap away means their busy. Gacin sometimes gives them YouTube to watch on his phone if they’re kicking off too. I’ve also heard that giving them a camera and tasking them with taking pictures makes them feel like they have a job and a purpose.
Taking any group or family photos as soon as the ceremony has finished is definitely a winner in my eyes as moments later, children want to explore and are usually rolling around in mud, stones and getting themselves absolutely filthy. Followed by the meal with sleeves in gravy etc – it’s not the most ideal situation. I would recommend a bag full of spare clothes and pyjamas for the journey home.
DON’T FORGET THE PUSHCHAIR
In the mad rush to get us all out of the house looking presentable and vaguely on time, I forgot to put the pushchair in the car. Thankfully Gavin had remembered and made us take it. Which came in very useful for Seth who I thought would sleep in the car journeys, but did not! So he had a half hour cat nap in it, following a walk around the venue in the evening.
IN IT TOGETHER – TAG TEAM
In all honesty, the biggest mistake we made wasn’t anything to do with the children and all to do with us as a couple. If you watched my Instagram stories from the time you’ll remember how utterly stressed out I was, whilst Gavin reminisced his ‘single’ pre-child days! Most of the stress from the day came at being annoyed at Gavin, for me, rather than anything the children were actually doing – they were fairly well behaved all things considered. I’m not too proud to admit, that I was a bit of an arse and got all stroppy by the end and probably aided the fact Gavin was sick, in the car, on the way home (my driving may have been a reason or the drink he consumed through the day)!
NEXT TIME, there won’t be a next time with children, unless my brother decides to get hitched. For any other wedding I’ll make sure we have childcare, so both Gavin and I can enjoy the whole day together, and even maybe remember our wedding day too!
Much love Rebecca