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.
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