Kids in weddings are a wild card. I recently learned firsthand what it’s like to try to get a tiny tot down the aisle in a timely—and somewhat reverent—fashion. If you’re planning to have an adorable flower girl or ring bearer blaze the trail before your grand entrance, here’s my advice as a newly minted MOFG (mother of the flower girl).
1. Be cognizant of their schedule.
Kids are scheduled beings. As parents, that's how we survive. I remember pre-baby when I simply couldn't understand why it was so important for parents to leave certain settings for naptime. And then I had a child. And naptime become a sacred time that is not to be foresaken. I'm not suggesting you plan your wedding around your favorite littluns, but it is important to check with the parents and work with them on when a good time might be for the kiddo to sneak away for some zzs. Everyone will be better because of it.
2. Have help.
Especially if the parents are involved in the wedding, as well, it's important to have someone that the child is familiar with (and is peripherally involved in the wedding) there to take charge once they get down the aisle. All major players in the wedding (bridesmaids, groomsmen, parents, etc.) have specific roles they need to play, so having a babysitter or another set of grandparents on hand to help makes the process go a lot smoother.
3. Bring distractions (aka bribery).
I kept telling myself that once we got my daughter down the aisle it would be smooth sailing. And then I rememebered that she needed to sit through an hour-long mass and stay quiet. Bring whatever it takes to keep them occupied. In our case, that was a bucket-load of raisins and crayons (quiet toys are key). We also told her that there was a special gift for her if she did a good job and rewarded her with stickers at the end.
4. Practice makes almost perfect.
We knew the plan was for my daughter to wear a small flower crown, so we ordered a fake one online months before the big day and practiced having her walk with it on. We told her how special and pretty she looked and we did our best to get her all excited about the prospect of wearing a crown down the aisle. I'd like to say all our practice paid off, but when the day arrived, she wanted nothing to do with it. That mentality leads me to my next point . . .
5. Expect the Unexpected.
No matter what you do, kids have a mind of their own and they're going to do what they want. We practiced and practiced, but when the big day arrived, my daughter got about 80 percent of the way down the aisle before deciding to lie on the floor and show her ruffled bloomers to the rest of the church. It was adorable and hilarious and made the experience all the more memorable (I realize I may be a little biased). Just have fun and try to go with the flow, and know that mistakes are most memorable!