Welcome to the second installment of Kids Week at Manolo for the Brides! Enjoy!
(Photo via Amado Photo)
Nothing produces an ‘awww factor’ at a wedding faster than a flower girl and/or ring bearer.
Lets face it, a small child walking up the aisle in dress up clothes is a super cute concept to most people. Add in quirky little personalities, and the happy couple may find themselves temporarily upstaged.
But those quirky little personalities and the dress up clothes can and sometimes do add up to some potentially problematic moments.
I have a cousin whose stint as ring bearer became the stuff of family legend. He was happy to agree to do the job, and chattered constantly about it in the weeks leading up to the actual wedding. But when the big day came, he steadfastly refused to get into his suit.
The bride, the groom, both sets of parents, and every bridesmaid took a turn at trying to get him dressed before they finally asked my aunt to come talk to him. She sat him down and asked him if he hadn’t agreed to do this. Yes, he had. Did he want to disappoint the bride and hurt her feelings? No, he didn’t. Was he frightened? No, he wasn’t. Well, then what’s the problem? “They asked me to be ring bear and that’s no bear suit!”
At that point my aunt ordered him into the suit on pain of a slow and hideous death, he got dressed, and everything continued as originally planned.
Questions of semantics aside, though, there are things you can do to make the job easier on very small children.
Really think about how you’re dressing them. Can they move easily in the clothes you’ve chosen? Check the seams. Are they scratchy? What might be a small inconvenience to an adult could turn into torture for extra-sensitive small kid skin. I highly recommend keeping it simple when dressing the small ones.
Give them lots of direction and plenty of rehearsal time. Be sure they know what’s expected of them and have a chance to get it right before the big moment. Just be sure to keep the tone encouraging rather than scary.
If there’s something that will make it easier for them to complete their duties without stress, do what you can to let them have it. Some kids will walk better down the aisle if someone holds their hand. Another might want a special toy with him or her. People understand this, and it won’t detract from the specialness of your day if the flower girl’s mother walks her down the aisle or the ring bearer wants to carry his favorite dump truck, too. In fact, those are details that make the day more personal, and that always makes the celebration more meaningful.
If they have stage fright at the last moment, roll with it and let them out of the contract. I’ve been to more than one wedding where a tiny one who had been doing just fine with the idea of marching down the aisle with the ring or some flowers suddenly realized they had to do it in front of lots of people and ran like Usain Bolt to get out of it.
The best weddings were the ones where the little bolters were then allowed to avoid the spotlight and sit with their parents.