When your kids are asked to be part of a wedding party, it might set off a chain of emotions similar to the stages of grief, but in reverse order:
1. Acceptance! This is often gleeful and given without much forethought. Will your kids be in my wedding in this remote and almost impossible to reach town on the same day as their dance recital and preschool graduation? Accept! Will you buy them outfits that they will claim are itchy/torturing them and that cost as much as the down payment on your condo? Accept! Will you make sure that the flower girl's shoes are dyed fuchsia to match the whimsical streak in the mother of the groom's hair? ACCEPT!!
2. Depression. When you actually think about what you just accepted.
3. Bargaining. This takes two forms. First, you bargain with your child. If you will wear this outfit and walk fifty feet AND smile once or twice without looking like a bobcat bearing his teeth, we will let you drink as many full sodas as you want at the reception and buy you a new transformer AND a Corvette. Second, you rationalize your decisions with yourself. Sure, they'll wear these clothes again! Doesn't she have a First Communion next year? Or a Bar Mitzvah? Or a quinceañera. Or something??
4. Anger. Hopefully this stays under control. Or can at least be directed at the half of the wedding couple that you aren't actually related to and won't have to see that often. But forgive yourself if you have some left over and it falls on your own loved ones. #NormalizeLadyRage
5. Denial. This typically happens the month after the wedding when your credit card bill arrives.
How do I know all this? Because B has been a flower girl 5 times, Little Guy has been in 3 weddings, and we just spent the last two weekends with both of them in the wedding party, back-to-back.
And you know what else?
IT WAS AWESOME!!!!
Getting ready with the bride, my beautiful new sister!
50% of the people in this photo are very excited about the outfit they are wearing
Dance Face: Ready
Dance Face: Go!!!
Little Guy danced himself silly at both weddings. There were splits.
We stayed on Smith Mountain Lake between the weddings. Hit the reset button and RELAXED.
"Mom," she said. "Take a picture of me coming down the stairs and pretend it's my wedding day." Evidence that all the attention is definitely not going to her head. Not at all.
Wedding #2 was at our Alma Mater! Pretty gorgeous backdrop for anything!
Disturbing proof that flowers do not a flower girl maketh.
Despite my hemming, hawing, and sometimes toxic attitude, we enjoyed two jam-packed with fun weekends and got to celebrate two beautiful love stories. I'm so glad we got to be a part of these weddings! Maybe next time I can skip all of the phases of wedding party acceptance and skip straight to the part where I'm stuffing my face full of cake, looking around at my family and friends and feeling phase 6:
The Glow of Love: that feeling of gratitude for just one more day on this Earth. Highly present and contagious at weddings.