You can picture it can’t you, the cute little boy all dressed up walking down the isle with his little white pillow holding the symbols of love forever after. Every one in the audience smiling and oohing and ahhhing over how darling he is. Thats how it goes right?
Not always! In fact some of the most memorable weddings I have been to have had run away children with often upset parents. When my little sister asked that all 4 of my children be in her wedding along with 4 other children I was a bit worried. I didn’t want to be one of those parents barking at their children to do as instructed. I didn’t think it was fair to them, or to me. Knowing my sister though, I had to trust she had a plan. Her plan was wise, teach them how to do it, and then let them do as they will and enjoy how ever it turns out. Goodness I love her.
So when her 2 year old and my 2 year old ran wild at the start of the wedding, and then my 4 year old decided to deal with the wedding gitters by pretending to be a cat on the ground in her gown during the wedding march it was all rather funny and not so stressful.
I think for me being a crunchy parent that day was about letting go of expectations and focusing on the joy. No one yelled at any children that day. No one scolded the little 2 year old for loudly popping as many balloons as he possible could when ever someone was talking and others listening intently.
The brides where both beautiful with tiaras and bridal shawls. It was their special princess day said my adorable 4 year old daughter, when she wasn’t pretending to be a cat. She was rather sad that as a flower girl she got a nice dress but no jewelry. I think that was one think we all forgot about, wedding party jewelry! One more thing though I guess that could go wrong so many with 8 children in the wedding party, less was more for them to worry over. There is enough worry when it comes to weddings.
One of the things that made the day so special was not having to worry over the children behaving in any given way. It was a gift my sister gave them, gave the parents of the children. I tear up thinking about it actually. She didn’t set the kids up to fail and she didn’t shame them, punish them, or harm them in any way. Some days my little sister has something to teach me, that was one of those days!
So my advice to parents with children in a wedding, don’t expect too much. Remember what the day is about. If the bride needs things to be perfect it is ok to not have your child in the wedding. We need to protect our children from a lot of things, the pressure of perfect is one of them and it is just not worth the stress!