Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have asked Prince George (4) and Princess Charlotte(3) to be pageboy and bridesmaid at the Royal Wedding this Saturday, May 19, 2018! They have also asked 8 other kids under age 7 to be part of the ceremony!! Additional bridesmaids are Florence van Cutsem (3, Harry's goddaughter); Remi Litt (6, Markle's goddaughter); Rylan Litt (7, Markle's goddaughter); Ivy Mulroney (4); and Zalie Warren (2, Harry's goddaughter). The page boys are Jasper Dyer (6, Harry's godson); Brian Mulroney (7); and John Mulroney (7)!
While pre-schoolers and toddlers can make for adorable photos and memorable moments at weddings. They can also mean tears, tantrums, refusals to perform and yes nervous potty accidents mid-ceremony! Here are 5 ways to make sure your toddler makes it through wedding season with a smile if they are chosen to be in a wedding party.
- This probably goes with out saying but have your child use the bathroom before the ceremony starts. It seems obvious, but in all the chaos and attention paid to the bride, it is easy to forget that little members of the wedding party need tending to.This adorable 2 minute episode of “Nina Needs to Go” shows what can go wrong when you forget to use the potty.
- Keep your little one's involvement short and sweet. Toddlers and pre-schoolers have limited attention spans and tire easily. They often cannot stand through long ceremonies. If they are walking down the aisle at the beginning of the ceremony, have them sit down after getting to the altar. Place them next to a caregiver who can watch over them and keep them entertained during the ceremony. Then when it is time to exit, they can jump up and join the procession.
- Choose tasks carefully. Think about your child’s social, emotional and physical development when you consider what you ask them to do. A shy child is going to have a hard time walking down the aisle alone and may balk and start crying. If your child is more outgoing, she may be perfect for announcing “Here Comes the Bride!” alerting the guests to stand up. If your child has trouble sharing, they may refuse to give up the pillow with the rings on them (yes we have seen this happen!) And your 2 year old flower girl probably won’t drop those petals with Pinterest-worthy perfection. So be realistic about your expectations and if something goes wrong, shrug it off and simply embrace the unpredictability of little ones.
- Make sure your little one's clothing isn't too fussy or expensive. You don't want your child tugging, pulling and scratching during picture time. And you don't want to panic as your child inevitably slides across the dance floor or spills soda down their front.
- Practice, practice, practice. When our son with autism was asked to be a ring bearer at a family wedding , we were nervous. In fact we initially declined. He was 4, and at the time, his compliance was hit or miss. But we did agree after a second ask, and we practiced for weeks leading up to the big day. On the wedding day our son insisted on wearing his beloved green frog rainboots and carrying his bag of goldfish. Fortunately the bride and groom had no problem with that. This was so gracious and so key. He was comfortable, we had practiced, and as a result he rocked it!
Consider these tips as wedding season approaches. The bride and\or wedding planner may not be a parent so they may need your guidance on how children would work best in a wedding. And at the end of the day, you are are the expert on your child. If your gut is telling you your child will need support or won't be able to accomplish a task, it is better to speak up before the main event. Tell us in the comments about your funny "kids in weddings" story" And be sure to follow us on twitter @peekaboopotty. We will be live-tweeting the Royal Wedding this Saturday starting at 7am EST