Only Have Kids in the Wedding if you are Type “B”

WeddingImagePicture this. My wonderful, almost sister-in-law, asks all three of my young girls (3, 5 and 6) to be flower girls. I try to put a look of excitement and joy on my face, a failed attempt to mimic theirs. Inside, the terror begins. What if they refuse to walk down the aisle? What if they scream and cry the whole time? What if their being at the party ruins it for ME?

Fast forward through the dress buying, fitting, shower, rehearsal dinner and day-of preparations. Everything goes perfectly. The girls look like angels. We’ve got this thing nailed.

Then, I see the setting. The ceremony is on the water with hundreds of guests looking at a flower adorned alter ensconced by a spectacular view. To get to this alter, we have to walk down a wide stone stairway which rivals St. Patrick’s before we even get to the Sound of Music-type infinity aisle.
I am also in the wedding party. As #2 of 8 bridesmaids, I find my place long before my little girls in their long flowing dresses and new, slippery shoes make their entrance. I can’t watch. As I hide in my bouquet, I can picture only blood and the E.R. and sutures and an angry bride and America’s Not So Funny Home Videos.
Yet, somehow, the little tomboys in white make it down unscathed. Bridesmaid #3 taps me and says, “It’s O.K. You can look up now.”

“Thank You, God,” I think as I audibly exhale, and focus my attention to the beautiful event at hand. My three year old, Lorelei, clumsy by nature, is standing demurely a few feet away. She’s taking the petals out of her little basket, throwing them on the floor, and then, picking them up … over and over and over. She’s not hurting anyone and I am 20 minutes closer to a much needed glass of champagne. It’s all good. Whew.

Now, it is time for the vows — Go Time! I am crying, because I love my brother-in-law and the woman he’s about to marry, and this is what I do. Lorelei and three-year old behavior are a distant thought. Until … out of the corner of my tear saturated eye, I catch a glimpse of a little white cloud climbing a surprisingly unstable column at the end of the aisle. Atop this surprisingly unstable column is a precariously placed, yet, gorgeous floral arrangement. Maternal instinct kicks in. I lunge forward and grab Lorelei just as the column teeters. I manage to pull her out of harms way and sort of prevent the column from crashing to the ground with my foot.

The result: Midway through vows, an enormous floral arrangement crashes to the ground throwing water, stems and petals all over the bride, her gorgeous dress and anyone within a 10 foot radius. I turn red. Everything goes black. I can’t even tell you what happened immediately after that.
I am told the column was righted, the vows were said, applause were heard and happily ever after began.
Even at her young age, Lorelei knew this was bad. As we waited for the cocktail hour to begin, she asked her grandfather, (who, by the way was the only one who would talk to her, since my husband and I were shunning her) “Do you think Aunt Tracy is going to be mad at me?” The resounding answer was “No” as her new Aunt Tracy came quickly from behind to pull her into a bear hug … risking toddler fingerprints, smudged make up, ruined hair and who knows what else.

The moral of the story is this. It is O.K. to be a crazy bride. But, if you are, leave the kids out of it. It is way too much pressure for their moms. And, bank on the fact the attention may be directed away from you, for the better or worse.

Thank you Aunt Tracy for being so damn cool.

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Author: Karen Latimer

Karen is a Family Doctor, mom of five and founder of Tips From Town.

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