Here comes the bride… Or, I should say: Here comes the wiggling and whiny flower girls who keep turning back look at their nervous mothers back there trying to be graceful but it looks like they’re going to lose it any second…
Wedding Season. Or, Flowergirl Season. For us, it’s one down, one to go. A few weeks ago, both of my girls (3 & 2 years old) – plus my 2 year old niece – were flower girls (for the first time! yeah!) in my cousin’s wedding. In another few weeks, LadyP’s gonna do it again for another cousin’s wedding. It’s a big year for us.
You may roll your eyes now when I beam and smile and proudly tilt my head and say “they pulled it off” as I think of all three of them adoringly. But trust me this whole thing was this close to going awry.What was I worried about? Screaming. Kicking. Crankiness. Sudden fear of large crowds staring at you from either side of the aisle, prompting screaming and kicking. Or: Uncontrollable giggling and squealing and throwing of one’s tiny body in every direction at once (thanks to being soooo excited about the fancy dresses). That’s what happened at the fitting, afterall.
Yeah, definitely NOT focused at the fitting. Like, beyond. I thought the bride was going to fire us all on the spot. My nightmares & thoughts from that day forward: Do not delay the wedding. Do not disrupt the wedding. Do not make the glowing bride regret that she gave us these most precious gigs. My sister and I both tried to bully the bride into revoking her offer before the big day… telling her that if she abruptly changed her mind about having such wee little ones walk down the aisle right before her big entrance (2, 2 & 3?!?? is she nuts?!?), she could kindly ask us to back out and we wouldn’t be offended at all. We get it. (This coming from two women who did not invite any children to either of our own weddings. What bee-aches. You now understand.)
Nope. The bride wanted US. So if we were doing this… we were DOING this. No incidents. No chaos. No nothin’ but getting the job DONE. We’d be professionals. Our Wedding Day Agenda: We made sure everyone napped & rested. We fed them and fed them so their tummies were full. We fully-dressed them at home (with plenty of time to take it slow). We let them eat graham crackers in the car. (Let it be stated on the record that LilMiss woke up from her well-planned nap in the WORST MOOD EVER. It took three of us just to get her dress on and she didn’t stop screeching at all of us for a whole 30 minutes. Luckily she chills out when you give her graham crackers.)
But we had a bigger trick under our skirts:
WE BRAINWASHED THEM WITH THE MAGIC OF WALT DISNEY MOTION PICTURES. My sister and I explained everything to our girls – EVERYTHING – within the context of Disney princess movies. They know Disney princesses. They love Disney princesses. If this wedding thing had anything to do with princess things…. well then the whole thing must be fabulous. We started the morning with the promise they’d soon meet the “Ariel” (the bride) “Prince Eric” (the groom). THEY BOUGHT IT. Hook, line and sinker. We told them there’d be all kinds of princesses where we’d be going. In gowns. Some with crowns. We then drove every detail home:
Guess who’s going to get a Belle hairdo… ONLY IF you promise to walk down the aisle?
Guess who’s going to “Put on a show… make one wrong move and everyone will know,” just like Elsa did when she faced all those people and became queen during her coronation… WHEN you walk down the aisle?
Guess who’s going to get big humongous lollipops the size of your head – just like Venelope Von Schweetz in ‘Sugar Rush’… AFTER you walk down the aisle?
Guess who’s going to dance in a big ballroom with a fluffy dress just like Cinderella… IF they walk down the aisle?
And on and on and on the princess parallels went. It was obnoxious. But it worked. Thanks, Walt. And thanks big lollipops. (Because let’s face it: if you promise to give a toddler a lollipop the size of her head, chances are she’s going to do what you want. Or close to it.)
WHAT ARE YOU TIPS FOR GETTING TODDLERS TO WALK DOWN THE AISLE?