My last post on surviving a wedding with toddlers turned out to be just the start! Our two year old triplets were in two weddings in less than four months! Let’s just say we learned a lot and I think a TV show about toddlers and weddings would be far more interesting than anything David Tutera puts together. And, because I feel like an expert ;), here are seven more tips for surviving weddings with toddlers – whether you have one or five!
If you missed the first set of tips, be sure to get them all here.
More Tips for Surviving Weddings with Toddlers
Get excited about what she gets to do! Is she riding in a wagon? So cool! Walking and holding hands with an older girl? Wowwww! Throwing petals (we loved some like these)? Um…how fun is that?! Practice and get excited.
We practiced all but the petal-throwing in my brother’s wedding. One of my girls got distracted going down the aisle when she saw all the petals hitting the aisle. She started saying, “Mess! Mess!” and tried cleaning some up until we distracted her to continue heading down the aisle. Ahhh, a girl after my own heart! But, lesson learned.
Communicate with the Wedding Coordinator
The day of the ceremony, be sure to communicate with the wedding ceremony (which means you’ll need to have her contact info). Toddlers are unpredictable. (Right?!) They may even have a blow-out, an accident, throw-up from excitement, etc. If something goes wrong, she’ll be able to diffuse your panic and communicate with the bride. She’ll take care of what changes (if any) need to be made and get people snappin’ to it!
When one of the babies fell and broke her tooth just a few hours before my brother’s wedding, we (I) freaked out and added a few hysterical screams to my daughter’s wails. That may be a tad dramatic. …Only a tad, though.
We contacted the Wedding Coordinator and told her one of the babies may not make it to the wedding. We walked through different scenarios and what we would do. In the end, my daughter took it like a champ and walked down the aisle without an issue!
Get a Room
If the wedding is in a hotel or a fair distance from home, consider getting a room. That way, if your little one(s) gets tired out, you can run upstairs and put her down and join the party! It’s a win-win for everyone. That is, considering you have one of these:
I think this is crucial. If you have multiples, outnumber your little ones! Preferably, this will be someone who knows your child(ren), your routine and you. You want to be able to communicate easily and quickly with someone who can anticipate your requests and needs.
Between my hubby, friend and I, we wrangled three two year olds all throughout the day (carrying one of the girls the.entire.day. because of her busted lip and tooth!). We got them upstairs and in bed, and then hubby and I enjoyed the reception toddler-free!
And I don’t just mean for your toddler(s). Think through what you’ll need and bring more than you think. Sippies, books (these are great and indestructible – seriously!), snacks, toys, busy bags and entertainment for loooong family photo sessions and not-yet-time-to-walk-down-the-aisle moments are great ideas. A fully charged smart phone, tablet or some other system (with a “silent” mode!) is incredibly handy…and smart.
We had a bag for snacks, one for toys, one for clothes and the diaper bag. The stroller was used for carting the bags around – not the toddlers! Somebody was always willing to carry one of the children.
Getting Down the Aisle
Will your toddler be wearing new shoes? Walking down a grassy path for an outdoor wedding? Barefoot? Will they be able to see the person to whom they’re walking at the end of the aisle (for both the processional and recessional)? Practicing ahead of time with a dozen people can be completely different than practicing with dim lights, flashing cameras, hundreds of “oohs” and “ahhs” and other distractions. Discuss what to do if your little one decides to get stage fright.
Try to anticipate what your toddler will experience and walk it through with them – walk the aisle, explain to them, have someone take lots of pictures during the practice run, etc.
You’ll need your sense of humor. Things will go wrong. They may not make it down the aisle before the music ends, they may forget to throw petals, they may cry and meltdown during the reception, they make break a tooth hours before the wedding! If you anticipate the challenges, you may just be surprised by how easy it is to laugh over the things that don’t go as planned.
In our case, both of the weddings’ brides were totally armed with a sense of humor and love for my littles, which made all the little “oopsies!” a whole lot funnier.
What tips for surviving weddings with toddlers have you learned?
Noah’s hat and bowtie made by Alligator Lane.
Photo credit for the pictures of my gorgeous children – Mon Amour Photography.