Brooke Tucker-Reid, momstown writer
I guess I’m at that age where all of my friends are getting married. We’re trending at about three or four weddings per year which is delightful. Seeing my friends joyfully gaze at the person they love with adoring eyes makes me really happy. I love love.
A few years ago, planning to attend a wedding was no big deal. Add a toddler into the mix, and I cringe at the very thought. For her first wedding experience, we decided to bring our daughter along to a cottage wedding in Muskoka’s cottage country recently. I knew a few other kids would be there as well so I would be in good company while chasing a toddler around.
We stayed at a nearby, family friendly resort for the weekend with some friends. The resort had cribs and highchairs available so we didn’t need to pack all of our gear. Plus, it had a swimming pool which our mini loved. The highlight of her weekend might have been when the entire group sang “Wheels on the Bus” for her in the shuttle to wedding. She was over the moon.
I’m honestly not sure if there could have been a more perfect wedding for guests of all ages. From grandparents to young singles to babies, everyone had an amazing time, including me. It was a beautiful day for an outdoor wedding and the happy couple had plenty for guests to do like croquet, oversized Jenga, bean bag toss, and a photo booth. My picky eater loved all of the passed appetizers and bite sized foods circulating too. The décor and music were on-point. Best wedding EVER. Honestly.
I wasn’t sure bringing my daughter to a wedding would result in many laughs but I was wrong. I tried explaining to her that Auntie Jenny was going to marry Josh to which she responded, “Like Mary had a little lamb?” The cutest.
Tips for parents bringing their tots to kid friendly weddings:
• Some weddings start around nap time. We put our daughter down for a nap early so she would be up in time for the ceremony, but other parents opted to skip the ceremony for nap time so their kids would be in good moods for the reception.
• If the venue allows for it, let your kids wander a bit during the ceremony. Giggles are far better during a quite ceremony than screaming.
• Bring snacks or even a meal. Kids may not like what’s on the menu so make sure you’re stocked up.
• Some wedding venues may not have highchairs. Consider bringing a portable clamp on high chair (Phil and Ted’s Lobster Chair) or booster seat.
• Think about bringing a babysitter or relative to entertain your child. A few couples at this wedding went that route which gave them more time to enjoy themselves while their kids were being entertained. Best of both worlds.
• If your kids are old enough, try explaining the ceremony to them and some of the traditions. During the couple’s first dance, I pointed it out to my daughter. I wasn’t expecting much of a response but instead I got, “They doing the potty dance?”
Have you brought your young children to a wedding before? What advice do you have for other parents?