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   Helpful Hints When Kids are in the Wedding Party

 
Helpful Hints When Kids are in the Wedding Party


By Gretchen Maurer

  • Keep the kids at another location for dressing and preparation. One home I was at the ring bearer was giving horsy rides to the flower girl; grandpa had to step in the tears followed. At another, the little flower girl just thought it was the greatest thing to go up and down the stairs repeatedly so she could hold up her dress. Another little one swiped bobby pins and hid in the corner and "did" her own hair.
  • Make sure videos and snacks are available and kid friendly.
  • Dress them at the last possible minute.
  • For real little ones have a large bib to put on.
  • Scuff up the new shoes on the bottom with sandpaper and let the kids break them in ahead of time.
  • If Mom is in the wedding make sure she gets ready first!
  • Lois Pearce, President, Beautiful Occasions, Hamden Connecticut has found, " Children work best around the ages of 4-7. When I've worked with children in a wedding party I try to get down to their level and see how they view the surroundings and talk with them at their vantage point. If they are younger I try to help them find something or someone to focus on so that the walk down the aisle is not so enormous in size and length."
  • More from Lois, "Give the children their own attentive spot during the processional. Remember the bride is the focus, all the other parties are a preliminary. Allow them (the children) ample space between the bride as she processes down the aisle so that they can be "oooed" and "awed" and then have the focus return to the bride.
  • Videographer, Mary Bair suggests "Children should be fed a small meal before the wedding and if they are little children hopefully they will have had a nap. They should be taken to the potty immediately before the ceremony begins because they get nervous too and you know what can happen then."
  • More from Mary, "Small children should not be allowed to go up on the altar or to stand with the wedding party at the front. I videotape from the front and this is how I can see who the audience is looking at."
    More Helpful and Fun ideas:
  • Have a toy under the petals of the basket for the child to open once they have completed their walk.
  • Have a person from the parish ready to whisk the kids off to a Sunday school run ready with snacks and juice to keep the kids till the ceremony is over. Don't expect the kids to sit quietly for up to an hour just to have exiting pictures. Bring them back up for pictures later. The wedding is not about the perfect pictures you will have later; it is about the vows.
  • Or Lois adds, " An attendant or a groomsmen should be assigned the task of keeping an eye on the kids during the service. Should the child become unruly, their parent should be alerted to come and remove the child from this focal point of the ceremony.
  • Recent flower girl Mother, Lease Moon, had her daughter keep a diary about her flower girl experience as well as a calendar up in her daughter's room to mark off the days until the wedding. Her daughter let everyone know she was keeping a "diarrhea" of the wedding!
Picture perfect? To get a child to get through the rehearsal dinner, sleep a good nights rest, alter their morning routine, put on scratchy strange clothes and hard new shoes, sit for their hairstyle, keep a "thing" on top of their head, get through per-ceremony pictures, hold a basket and not loose it, drop petals, walk slow, walk straight, and then two hours later be expect to be clean, still and quiet for more pictures? This is not possible for many adults!

A calm easygoing bride is the best medicine for the child and also helps to relax the mother as well. Keeping your expectations low and having a go with the flow attitude is the best strategy for the bride to be. Lois Pearce, President, Beautiful Occasions in Hamden Connecticut has these additional comments, "Children need praise. Praise them for their performance and thank them for their cooperation. They will react accordingly. All they want is a little love!"

Professional wedding hair stylist Gretchen Maurer has over 18 years of experience in wedding beauty, including having done her share of flower girls! She is the author of The Business of Bridal Beauty, which includes a section devoted to the flower girl. She is also the creator of www.weddinghair.com a web site strictly devoted to wedding hairstyles. She has two daughters of her own and can speak from personal experience!

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