Planning A Wedding With A Baby


Back when I was pregnant, I wrote about how the things I’d learned during wedding planning came in handy during pregnancy. All those lessons about boundaries, asking for help, presenting your vision clearly, and dealing with people who are unsupportive? All those lessons apply to baby-having too. At the time my joke was that I’m glad I got married before I got knocked up (but not like THAT). These days, I see the argument for the other way around: something about the mix of hormones and mild sleep deprivation means that these days, I mostly just do my own thing without even stopping to worry about what Other People might think. Having a kid hasn’t made me sensitive to other people offering opinions (like I was told it would be); it’s made me cheerful(ly oblivious). You think I should dress my kid in monster truck shirts? No thanks! You think I should give him teething tablets? Why are you so SMART all of a sudden? Thusly, today’s anonymous post reminds us of the power of baby drool for invitation licking and the struggles and joys of balancing baby and wedding. Cute struggles. Mostly.

Meg

Planning A Wedding With A Baby | A Practical Wedding

by Anonymous

A while ago Meg joked about how glad she was that she planned her wedding BEFORE she got knocked up, and not the other way around. Silly Meg.

You see, planning a wedding when you’ve got a baby, toddler, small child, angst-ridden teenager, or a child that won’t leave home, is a breeze. I don’t have much experience with the older kids, so I’ll just keep my advice to the tiny people. Let me run down a quick list of pro tips in case anyone is in the throes of planning and can use the hints.

Tip #1: Put your kid to work.
Okay, babies are pretty worthless when it comes to wedding planning. But they are useful as paperweights, and their slobber is great for sealing envelopes. Who needs that wax seal when you’ve got infant mouth goo? Toddlers, on the other hand are super helpful. They can help organize all your lists and planning supplies. If they think something is a bad idea they’ll put it in the toilet. Or someplace where you will never find it. Trust their judgment.

Tip#2: Your wedding is about entertainment. For your baby.
Do you really want to deal with a temper tantrum at your wedding? No. So your job is to make sure that your baby has a good time at your wedding. Rent a bouncy castle if you need to. Same goes for wedding fare. Hot dogs, anyone? Or consider getting married on a weekday and dropping darling child off at daycare.

Tip #3: Lots of wine.
This is very important. Lots of wine during the planning process and at the wedding. Only way to get through it. Mmmm.

Tip #4: Wear a beautiful white dress.
Bawhahahhahahahahhahahahha. That was mean, I know. But seriously, go ahead and wear one. Just don’t get all bent out of shape when your little one tears it or wipes their snotty nose on it, or puts an awesome dirty handprint on it.

Tip #5: Get lots of rest during the planning process.
I like to go to bed immediately after my toddler. So we both sleep from about 8:30pm to 5:30am. OMFG it is so wonderful. Me time. My fiancé likes to watch TV after I go to bed early. I checked our DVR once to find some Sesame Street for the child, and it was full of recordings of True Blood. This discovery made me really reconsider things marriage-wise. But it was getting close to 8:30, so I just went to bed instead.

So yeah, wedding planning with a child can be challenging. Planning with your future husband sans child can be equally challenging. But I found out All The Things about planning for a life event with my fiancé while we were planning for the child. I found out that he has to have a say in everything. Which is so damn annoying I can’t even tell you. Mostly because I have an amazeballs idea, he shoots it down cause it sounds too non-traditional, then a bit later he’s on board. Also annoying because I like to run the show.

I also learned (while planning the baby shower) that my fiancé thinks people eat five to six pounds at every meal. No. People don’t. So deciding on catering and amounts to cater is always something we find problematic. He over ordered for the baby shower, but ordered a perfect amount for the child’s first birthday party. Blergh.

He is also extremely compassionate and supportive. He doesn’t rub my feet anymore (horsesh*t!), but he knows when I need a hug, which is almost as good. He knows that my mom is going to disappoint me no matter what, so he reminds me to be careful when making plans with her—all details he learned when I was seventy-two pounds heavier and craving Taco Bell and hot wings on the daily.

We both also know that when we don’t see eye to eye on something, it’s tough. Raising a baby is tough; when it’s Rosemary’s Baby (like my little sweetie turns into) then it’s even tougher. We don’t always agree on parenting crap like discipline or what to feed the child or bedtime. For real. What dumb things to argue about, right? Well, it happens. I suppose it’s a lot like arguing over the chargers or the chairs or the vows you’ll say. And now we’ve got a child in the planning mix. Seriously, the last thing I want is my kiddo to be bored out of his mind and stuck at his parent’s wedding. I can only imagine the amount of terror he would cause.

We cleared out a whole section at an Olive Garden just last night. The child wasn’t even mad, he was just being a two-year-old. And geeze, so many people forget what being two is like. You scream at the top of your lungs just to do it, you put salad in your hair because it feels interesting, and you spill, like, everything. Because you are two.

Any huge life event, like getting married, or having a baby—in whatever order—gives a couple a foundation to build on. Sometimes that foundation falls apart; sometimes it’s stronger than you could have ever imagined.

But you build.

And you learn that your partner can’t drive a screw in without stripping it.

No really, honey. Please. Stop assembling things.

Photo by APW Sponsor Kara Schultz

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  • Melissa

    Hysterical AND practical! Thanks for the afternoon lull pick me up!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00388929873803169413 Kristen

    Despite the fact I’m already married and do not have a baby, I seriously feel like I wrote this. Whoever Anonymous is, please have her write something once a week because she is awesome. Also if I have somehow traveled to the future and am writing posts, I’d like to know so I can ask my future self when I should start growing my hair out again.

    Please dear writer, come out of hiding and send me a link to your blog. You’re amazing and hilarious and even better, what a great freaking outlook on life. Bravo!

    • meg

      I don’t even know who the submitter is! This was submitted anonymously too, which is rare. Chances are, that means no blog. Boo.

      • LikelyLaura

        I’m not saying it’s the same person, but the humor reminds me of Honest Toddler! And by that I mean hilarious, obviously.

        • meg

          If The Honest Toddler starts writing APW guest posts, I’ll just retire, since things clearly will have peaked around here.

          In other news, my baby doesn’t read Honest Toddler. He finds it “too realistic,” and also “boring.”

  • http://teastrumpets.wordpress.com/ kyley

    Dear Anon,

    Please write a million pages every day. You know, with all that spare time you have, being a mother to a two year old. This was pure, hilarious joy to read. I am a glutton and just want more.

    xo,
    Kyley

  • jen

    love this! i want to hear more from this anonymous, hilarious!

  • http://byjacki.com Jacki

    I am laughing at so much of this and particularly the part about clearing out a restaurant and all the things you do *because you’re two.* Yes!! Thanks for this, Anon :)

  • jenny

    I found this to be in poor taste.I am not a fan.

    • Lou

      Sorry! Didn’t mean to report. I totally agree actually.

    • http://teastrumpets.wordpress.com/ kyley

      What about this did you find to be in poor taste? I’m not asking to be provocative or accusatory; I’m just generally curious about your perspective.

      • jenny

        It just wasn’t funny. I have a two year old and an eight year old. This generalization that kids make you drink, that kids misbehave get used to it, clearing out a restaurant….it is just bad parenting and so not funny. If my two year old was putting salad in her hair, we would not giggle and say “oh well! That is what they do!” . And yes, I get the author was trying to be funny, but no. I also am not at all saying my kids are perfect. If you need to plan a wedding to cater to your two year old you are doing something very wrong. No two year old does things just because they are two. You have taught them or allowed them to do so.

        I also despise the term “amazeballs” but that is just being petty.

        • meg

          I’m going to put the kabash on calling other people bad parents here.There are plenty of us that enjoy wine, toddlers antics, and hilarious writing. If you don’t, that’s totally cool, but you can’t call out someone else on your disagreements with your perception of their parenting here. That’s in violation our comment policy, which is about mutual respect.

          • http://frenchiefrenchfry.wordpress.com Sarah

            I too have a strict policy about calling other people bad parents (or hell, commenting on their parenting choices period if they’re not harming their kid) Because yeah. I’m not them, and the mommy wars are real and ugly y’all. Let’s not add to the hate.
            And while 99% of that post *was* hilarious, the section on Olive Garden made my eyebrows shoot up. I wouldn’t care if my (hypothetical) two year old was putting salad in his hair at home–that’s cool, you’re two let’s see what spaghetti feels like too!–but there are different rules (in my mind) for restaurant behavior, and if my kid was kicking up a fuss like the one described, it wouldn’t work. But that’s me, and if I was in the Olive Garden, I’d probably smile at the family (who is clearly having a good time together which rocks) and move if it bothered me.
            Also having a bouncy castle and kid friendly food does not mean that you’re catering to a two year old. It means you love them, love their parents and want all guests–big and small–to enjoy the wedding. It’s no different then song requests or a vegetarian option…it’s called being considerate.

          • Jenny

            I just want to clarify a few points.

            I did not call her a bad parent.

            I understand she was trying to be funny.

            I think we can all agree that if your child is screaming loud enough to clear out a restaurant and you find it amusing, that is bad parenting. I am also pretty sure this was not an *actual* event.

            Also, I was specifically asked my opinion on why this article didn’t resonate with me. These are my opinions. I didn’t call her out just to shame her, or, well, call her out.

          • Ari

            Jenny, I think that for many people (myself included) there isn’t an appreciable difference between “you’re engaging in bad parenting” and “you are a bad parent”. What is a bad parent, after all, if not a person who serially engages in bad parenting? So calling out bad parenting sounds like calling someone out as a bad parent.

            I also just want to throw in that nothing in the bit about Olive Garden suggested to me that anyone was being lackadaisical about public manners (leaving aside whether that’s bad parenting)–saying “this thing happened and it was a mess, and in retrospect it’s funny” doesn’t necessarily mean “and at the time I didn’t do anything to reign it in.”

            I have a three year old and an eighteen month old, and we have a lot of serious talk about inside voices and not throwing food on the floor and how to behave in public spaces, but they’re still sometimes totally horrifying. And I do the best I can and then I laugh about it after, because humor happens to be where I find my strength and serenity.

            So, uh, to sum up: there are lots of different ways of doing things and–more to the point–lots of different ways of reading things. The end.

          • meg

            And THIS internet, is why you can’t have nice things. And by nice things, I mean APW content on parenting on the regular.

            I happen to know the parent and child in question (the anon poster became non anon), and while the parent is hilarious and the child is a child, the child is also firmly disciplined and well behaved.

            I’m going to flat out say that as a person, a writer, an online publisher, and a parent (who believes in good manners), I’m disappointed in everyone that participated in this thread in a negative way.

        • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00388929873803169413 Kristen

          Can I just say that I’m fascinated to hear Jenny’s thoughts from a parent? I feel like this is the kind of thing I hear non-parents say all the time (for the record – I’m not a parent so this comment is purely observational). But I thought when you became a parent you turned into the OP because you fall in love with your kids and you also chill out about stuff.

          I’ve honestly had some of the same thoughts that Jenny expressed at points in my life about children’s behavior in public. I don’t feel that way anymore. Personally, I chalk it up to me being happier and embracing life and wanting to enjoy things instead of being angry or upset about things. That’s just how I view my own reaction to these sorts of things but I’m super glad I’ve chilled out about that kind of stuff. Kids are pretty damn cute – even when they’re acting a fool.

          Except on the Sunday 7:00 pm flight home from Orlando with lots of turbulence and a 75% ratio of under 6 years old passengers. That was too much even for my positive outlook.

          • Jenny

            I am completely 100% over the moon in love with my children.

            But I take it as my responsibilty to teach them right from wrong, good behaviour from bad.

            My eight year old was a dream baby. Happy, rolly polly, joyful, great sleeper, great eater, well behaved….

            My two year old is a spitfire. Has been since the moment she was born.

            I love them with a passion that I had never known I would. They are the miracles of my life. And, among other reasons, but specifically for that reason, I don’t make excuses. I don’t give up and drink and say oh well. I don’t let them tear someplace apart – I remove them from the situation. And there have been plenty of times we have ordered, and then told the waiter to just pack it up for us.

            I am not directing this at the OP, or my girlfriends with kids, or anyone who is reading who has kids, or anyone who doesn’t. It’s not “mommy wars” (which I think is another weird term – having a different opinion doesn’t make us at war). It’s just my personal perspective from being a parent. I can’t relate to this specific parent.

            Yes, I like wine. Yes, I laugh at the things my kids do, and somedays want to hit my head against a wall because that would be more effective than what I was doing. But this all has the tone to me of giving up, which is why it did not resonate with me. Hope that clears it up.

          • meg

            Jenny,
            Your judgment of humor writing of another parent you don’t even know (who wasn’t even writing about PARENTING for gods sake), is exactly what The Mommy Wars are. It’s disappointing every time I see women treat other women this way.

            I’m glad your kids are the miracles of your life. That in no way makes it ok for you to judge others. (On the internet, of all places. If you want to judge a real life situation in Olive Garden, fine.)

            Meg

          • http://andshelovesyou.com Lucy

            “In my opinion, X is bad parenting” still implies that people are bad parents, regardless of what X is and regardless of whether or not the comment is pointed at a specific person or group of people. As Meg has clearly stated, this is a violation of the comment policy. Further comments on the matter will be removed.

    • http://www.meanestlook.com Sara

      From the perspective of a content marketer, let me just say that “humor” pieces are always the hardest to place. Reason being is that all people have different sense of humor. We rate humor pieces on a scale just like movies are rates in the States. This piece I’d rate as PG-13. Cute and a bit sassy. Definitely the humor is found in targeting stereotypes and hyperbole and creating a “character” of a mother. The character uses language that is young, hip, Internet savvy and fun. The entire first part of the piece focuses on building that character. Then a more vulnerable and sensitive story emerges as the author shares an experience that many can relate to that is not based in stereotype. The juxtaposition of humor and softness has a high likelihood of making the piece largely unsuccessful as it further alienates audiences. Those looking for sheer humor disconnect. However, this author mixes humor in with the softness to further solidify the character. Which is successful as you really get a sense that this person exists. And finally it ends on a cute, humorous note.

      The audience at APW is largely unlikely to go bananas loving this piece. However, from an editorial perspective, I can certainly see why it was chosen because of it’s lightheartedness.

      Now on a different note, I do wonder if you’d have said some of the things you did and especially in the *way* you said them if that was not an anonymous piece.

      This author is clearly not looking for gratification, or they would have probably put their name on it. It has zero marketing value with no blog attached for back links. So this post appears to simply be a labor of love. Just someone trying to be funny and brighten someone’s day with words. Probably an actual reader of APW since there is no marketing value. So the fact that you largely picked at the author instead of the actual content (like I did above) is what feels alarming about your comments. It also feels mean-spirited toward the author. Like you didn’t consider that it was a person who wrote it. I think that’s why you’re maybe feeling some backlash here.

      Lastly, I’ve violated the comment policy before, the moderator let me know. So I apologized to the author of the post and moderator. Just a thought.

      Interesting perspective and thoughts. I’m sure it will help the APW editors further understand their audiences. :)

  • ANOTHER MEG

    “And geeze, so many people forget what being two is like. You scream at the top of your lungs just to do it, you put salad in your hair because it feels interesting, and you spill, like, everything. Because you are two.”

    For reals.

    Also, this was great. And I bet babies do make great paperweights. Until they impressively shoot poop out of their diapers onto said paper. Babies have superpowers.

  • tess

    Just want to say I loved this. LOVED it.

    • http://www.jandrfoods.com Rachel

      Ditto.

  • http://vermontvintagerentals.com Joanne Bickford

    When I got married my son was 2.5 yrs old and the wedding was as much his as it was mine. I had an entire play area including a bouncy house. To this day we celebrate that day as “Our Anniversary” because it was when the three of us got married together. Today he is 19 and has a 13 year old younger brother, who I think is a little jealous he wasn’t there. He was the most important thing then and he and his brother are the most important thing now.

  • Manya

    Haha! This made me giggle aloud. I planned our wedding with 5 kids aged 16-5 and they were all really actually helpful and way more into it than we could have hoped for.

    My youngest is very fastidious, and when she was two she made herself completely miserable. I remember giving her a chocolate cupcake and her both loving the cupcake and hating the mess she was making with it and being so utterly conflicted about it. She gave me this mournful look, and said: “Mama, it’s not going well…”

    Funny stuff, two year olds (and funniest in hindsight!).

    • http://cuvikingadventures.blogspot.com/ Jenny- Adventures Along the Way

      Okay, I am super late in reading this post and comments, but I wanted to say I found the “Mama, it’s not going well…” cupcake story funny and completely endearing.

  • Paranoid Libra

    I can’t be the only one that currently regrets not having a bouncy castle at my wedding even though I am sans child?

    • Angie

      A friend of mine had a bouncy castle at her wedding even though it was an adult-only reception. We had a blast and I barely cared that probably more than a few people saw my underoos when the wind caught my dress. And I didn’t have to wait in line with toddlers, which might have been awkward. Perhaps add “bouncy castle” to this list of pros when deciding whether to eventually do vow renewals?

  • js

    This may be my favorite post I’ve ever read on APW. My ten-year old daughter was our only wedding party when my husband and I got married. We wanted her to feel special and to honor her in some way. We were married on the beach and she walked down the aisle to the theme from Cinderella. She helped pour the sand for our sand ceremony. When she started to cry, then so did everyone else. When we were pronounced married, she did a big, “Yes!” down on one knee with my bouquet up in the air (Think Kevin, in Home Alone). It was the most commented-on part of our ceremony. For me, it made our wedding sink in deep. We were all making a promise, becoming part of a team and solidifying our little family.

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  • jnicolep

    Love this post!