Yippee, it's that day again. The day before the wedding of some wonderful friends.
Dress - check, presents - check, dancing shoes - check!
Well that's us done, but what happens when it comes to some smaller members of the wedding party. They might be the cutest part of the congregation but getting your flower girls and page boys up the aisle, stain free and with a smile on their face is a task to drive even the most patient bride in the world just a little bit crazy.
We all know weddings, despite being such a happy day for the couple, are filled with schedules to keep and a whole host of things which could go wrong at any moment. Nobody wants the big catastrophe of the day to be anything to do with their child, so here is our checklist to help you get your child through the big day without a big showdown...
1. Does your child know other children in the wedding party? If not, it might be worth trying to meet up for a playdate before the wedding so that they feel confident and excited for a fun experience with their new friend rather than daunted by the task at hand. The aim is to have happy smiles throughout the day and even a moment for you to enjoy the reception while your child plays with their new chum.
2. For the flower girls especially, their beautiful new dresses are the big draw to the job and as a result, they'll likely be up at the crack of dawn wanting to put them on! It's best to keep them away for their dresses for as long as you can as this diminishes the probability of pre-wedding stains. Make sure your child has eaten, gone to the loo, washed hands etc. before they put their outfits on. Of course, they'll be a moment where younger children especially, need to be distracted with something to eat but for one day only, you'll have to be a white food only parent (rice cakes and water recommended!)
3. The children in a wedding party love to feel included in the pre-church celebrations and will want to know everything that's going on. If possible, arrange with your bride for them to have some one to one time with their flower girls and page boys. It's important to reiterate how important they are to proceedings but be careful not to overwhelm them with responsibility. By keeping them calm and relaxed, they'll feel excited for their moment without getting stage fright.
4. Like with most celebrations, the photos are such an important part, creating memories to last a lifetime. It's worth explaining this to kids before the big day and getting them to practise a non-forced smile (good luck!). Tell them how much you're looking forward to having the photos of them to put up around the house as this should hopefully encourage them to embrace this part of the day.
5. When the day is over, why not encourage your child to do a little project about the big day so that they'll make a lasting childhood memory. Collect up some mementoes, dry out the flowers and get them creating something wonderful - you never know, they might be asked to do it again!