This weekend my kids got to enjoy their very first wedding. My husband’s cousin married his sweetie in a beautiful ceremony. I am so thankful they welcomed children to the wedding and all wedding-related events, since I would have had to stay home with the kids and had my hubby go alone if they hadn’t.
I am going to be totally honest here. I was really, really looking forward to the wedding and spending the weekend with family. However, I was not looking forward to trying to control my sweet, but sassy 22 month old and loving, yet crazy 6 year old at such a grown-up event.
Here’s how we managed to enjoy ourselves and not go crazy.
Bring Bribes: I had a suitcase full of bribes and I am not afraid to admit it. About an hour into the 3 hour trip I surprised Hudson with a coloring book that helped him pass the time. For the wedding, I brought little toys for my son and nephews. One for after the ceremony, they all did GREAT! (I had another toy for them later, but I never got to give it to them.. I will explain why later)
Work Around Naptime: If you have a toddler or baby who still naps, try your best to make sure they still get that time to rest. I am not very strict with naptime routines. On the weekends, we go about our day… and if Mila gets her nap, great. But if she doesn’t I don’t freak out about it. However, I really tried to make sure she got naps here, since I knew she would be up late at night. For Friday, we left the house around her naptime, so she slept almost the entire trip. Saturday, she fell asleep at the mall, so we walked around a bit longer since we had time to kill to let her rest up. It made a huge difference while getting her ready to go and for pictures, etc.
Let the Kids Play: I want my kids to be well-mannered and respectful… but they are also just kids. I make sure Hudson says hello and introduces himself. I (try to) make him sit with family at dinner (no electronics) until people are mostly done eating. But when there is a chance for them to play, let them do it. The rehearsal dinner was at a home, so after dinner… there was a room where all the kids were playing. We let Hudson go off with his nephews to play with the other kids. At the wedding, there was a huge field, so after the ceremony we just let all the kids go crazy. They were running, screaming… playing tag and whatever else they came up with. We stopped them (briefly) for dinner and then off they went again. Expecting them to socialize, dance, and stay by your side just isn’t realistic.
Don’t Forget Snacks & Clothes: Make your life easier, be sure to bring snacks and extra clothes with you. Our go-to snacks are peanuts and pretzels. A bag of that can get my kids through any meltdown. Also, I always had extra clothes for Mila. (I also brought her PJ’s both nights, since she usually falls asleep in the car ride home, so I change her before we leave… just one less thing to worry about)
Be Flexible: I would say my kids did pretty well. Were they perfect? Nope. Did we get some stares at times? Sure. But that’s ok. I tried not to get stressed out about it. We had to be extra flexible when Mila’s elbow popped out of socket while she was dancing with daddy. YIKES! All of a sudden she started holding her arm and crying… when we COULD NOT get her to move it, we asked around and people told us about a after-hours pediatric ER that was about 10 minutes away. We snuck out of the wedding and we were in and out of the ER in 30 minutes. The doctor knew right away what had happened and didn’t even need to do an X-ray. He popped it right back in and Mila was happy as can be!
Overall, the trip was a success! Here are just a few pictures from the wedding!