Friday, April 30, 2010

For You Friday - I Do's For Little Ones

This week's For You Friday are tips and ideas for you moms or soon to be brides who are having wee members of the wedding party.  Love is in the air this Spring so this may help you to avoid mid-nuptial bloopers or meltdowns with I Do's for the kids.

Monkey made her debut as flower girl in my cousin's wedding last September.  She was 13 months old and had yet to meet a stranger so I was pretty confident she would do ok in front of a lot of people but I still realized that she's 13 months old and unpredictible so it was mine and my cousin (the bride) to take steps to help Monkey be successful. 
Here's Monkey and the Beautiful Bride

1st: - Do Have a Dress Rehearsal:
Not the actual wedding rehearsal but a dress rehearsal for your child.  About a month before the wedding we started having Monkey wear her dress which was a tutu dress that I made, usually you probably will only need to do this a week or two before the wedding but because kids act differently to tulle I knew to start earlier than that.  You want the child to feel comfortable on the big day so having her wear the outfit for a little bit of time ahead of time will help ensure this.  You just may want to be sure to keep markers and grape juice far far far away from any white dresses or any color for that matter. 

Monkey in her dress playing a few weeks prior to the wedding

2nd - Use Book, Pictures, and Stories
Reading books, showing pictures, or sharing stories to psych your child up for any event will help build the excitement and know how.  Some books your child may enjoy are "Angelina and the Royal Wedding," "The Flower Girl/The Ring Bear," or "Alligator Wedding."

3rd - Ask For Help
You may be concerned about a toddler freezing up in the middle of the aisle when walking down.  But there are many ways around this scenario. 
  • A bridesmaid could walk with her or even carry her down the aisle.
  • Have the mom or dad or grandparent of the toddler/child seated near the front so she/he can see them and walk towards them.  
  • Decorate a little wagon to have the ring bearer or a bridesmaid pull her down the aisle in.  You can even have a sign on the back of the wagon that says Here Comes the Bride.
For Monkey we had all 3 of these planned.  On the night of the rehearsal we would get a feel what we thought she would do best with.  If she wasn't into walking with the ring bearer then since I was the matron of honor she would walk down with me.  But we found that she would walk with the ring bearer and he was so good with her and patient. We had my mom, Grams at the front encouraging her along so she walked straight down towards her.  For a back up on the day of we had a wagon ready in case she wasn't willing to walk.

This is the wagon we decoorated just in case. 
I can't seem to find a picture of it decoarated but we covered it in white satin material and added flowers and ribbon, pretty simple.

4th - Keep It Simple
A young ring bearer may want to toss the pillow around like it's a toy, so have him carry fake bands in case of a football toss.  A young flower girl may not be ready to stand still through the ceremony so have a family member near the front to have her sit with them. 

During the rehearsal we found that she did not want to be on the stage.

Again we had Grams sitting at the front so once she walked down the aisle, the ring bearer just sort of dropped her off with Grams and he contined onto his spot.

5th - Remember that it's Ok if all doesn't go according to Plan:
Even if you practice and plan and think things through, a child is a child and something still may go wrong, like a missed nap or being hungry BUT it makes for funny stories to share with them when they get older and it does not take away from the most important part and that's the bride and groom becoming one! 
Monkey started showing signs of being tired.

We thought we had it all planned out, we had practiced, Monkey walked down with ease, (although she's a little OCD with cleaning and messes so we taught her how to drop the flower petals from her basket which she did beautifully but then she'd stop to pick them all back up too so we opted for no flower petals).  We were feeling confident and she seemed to be ready but one thing we did not rehearse or think of was the dim lighting in the church for the ceremony.  During rehearsal it was bright with every light on so Monkey could see with no problem, but the ceremony was different and she could not see Grams and got a little spooked walking down.  The ring bearer was great and she went with him and finally saw Grams and all was well.  So keep in mind mishaps happen but even though she whimpered a bit she was still adorable and the bride was still beautiful. 

Starting the walk down and looking for Grams

Oh There's Grams

Look how sweet and cute the ring bearer is to take care of her.

Happy now that she's with Grams

Hope you enjoyed the tips and would love to hear your tips or suggestions or even funny flower girl/ring bearer mishaps stories.

Happy Friday Ya'll. 
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