You know that moment when the room is totally silent and all of a sudden you hear a child begin talking in a very loud voice and you wonder who can’t keep their kid quiet…and you realize it’s your toddler?? Yes, that would be me. I experienced that. My three two year olds were recently in my brother’s and sister’s weddings – and I lived to tell about it! It took some serious planning, but in the end we had a blast. So, I wanted to share my survival tips with you so you, too, can survive a wedding with toddlers!
How to Survive a Wedding with Toddlers
Have a Plan
Ok, I get all you people who can just let things happen. I applaud you. Really, I do. (I’m just not one of them. :o) ) But this might be a situation when you want to develop a plan.
- What time does your little one need to be there?
- Will he need to stand up with the wedding party during the ceremony?
- How long will he be required to be available (for reception introductions, etc.)?
- What is expected of him? Is he carrying anything? Doing anything special?
- Who will send him down the aisle? And will he walk on his own or need someone coaxing at the other end?
Have a Plan B
Seriously! If the above scenario doesn’t work out, what do you do?
- If she doesn’t walk down the aisle, who gets her – the front of the ceremony or the back?
- If she isn’t able to stay quiet, which exit do you take? Will you need to try to come back in for the recessional?
- What if there are meltdowns, owies, sickness?
Switch to Sposies
If you’re a cloth diaper user (I loved these), you may want to consider switching to sposies for the day or even part of the day. If someone will be helping to care for your child and is unfamiliar with the process, two minutes before walking down the aisle may not be the best time for them to have to figure out snaps, cloth wipes, wet bags, inserts and the like.
We used both since our family friend and extra “child-wrangler” for the day was familiar with our gear.
Is she comfy in her massive outfit? Are the shoes wearable for long periods of time? Is the outfit going to cause melt-downs later on? Is it weather-appropriate? Be prepared! Maybe a change of clothes or something to bribe her to stay in the outfit? Something tells me a naked toddler running around isn’t in the plans.
And don’t forget saving getting dressed until the last possible moment! Wedding outfits can look “worn” pretty quickly when put on a toddler too soon. So be sure to check with the wedding coordinator for when that last possible moment is and get your little ones ready then.
This may be the most important tip ever: pack snacks. Pack more than you think they’ll need or eat. You don’t want to be caught with a hungry toddler!
Mine were thrilled with a basic trail mix with raisins (we love these) and almonds. Something with high protein and low sugar is always a good idea, but go with whatever you think will keep your toddlers happy. Anytime there was down-time, their snack cups were in their hands!
A toddler without a nap is like a ship with no sails. Ok, a bit off, but you get the point. If at all possible, nap your toddlers! Find a room and crank up some ocean sounds on that smart phone, catch a few winks with them in the car, or let them snuggle on you in the back of all the hubbub. Better yet, get an early nap in before you head to the wedding – bonus for you if it’s in their own familiar surroundings!
We got a nap with one wedding and didn’t with the other. I can tell you which I felt more confident about going into.
Go with the Flow
I know. I said earlier to be prepared. And it’s true – preparation is key, I think. But so is being spontaneous! If you’re ready for the changes, you’ll be able to help your little ones through them, as well. Weddings don’t often start on time, pictures may be done in a different, more difficult location for a little one, a fellow flower girl may not want to walk down the aisle after all – each of these scenarios (and more!) can be made easier if your little one sees you taking the changes like a champ.
**Update** See even more tips for surviving weddings with toddlers.
Has your little one been in a wedding before? What tips could you add for surviving a wedding with toddlers?
Noah’s hat and bowtie made by Alligator Lane.
Photo credit for the pictures of my gorgeous children – Amanda Turner and Laura Turner.