When I first started this website it was as Dave and my wedding website. Zach and Kara weren't even engaged yet! How has time passed so quickly? (Oh yea, we had a baby, that's how). One of the main reasons we decided to spend all of Dave's paternity leave in Michigan was so that we could be apart of as many of the wedding festivities as possible. Since Dave was a co-best man he wanted to help plan the bachelor party and help move Zach and Kara into their new place (and Luke & Greta into their new place!!). We also hoped that by coming early Connor wouldn't distract attention away from the wedding excitement.
This wedding was beautiful. Zach and Kara and both sets of parents worked so hard to pull this event off and it really was stunning. Luke and Greta arrived at the Retterath Homestead late Wednesday night before the day of the Rehearsal dinner. The whole crew got up early the next day and spent the morning punching out place cards, and filling bags of caramel corn (party favors). Afterwards the girls ran to get our nails done and make a last minute trip to the mall to grab an outfit for the rehearsal dinner.
The rehearsal dinner was held in the ceremony space for the wedding at Mangiamo's. It was a seriously beautiful night and the food was delicious. Connor got lots of compliments on his suspenders and bowtie (I'll link to my tutorial as soon as I write it...) It was fun to see family before the big night and catch up a little.
OK onto the wedding. This wedding was gorgeous (if you can't already tell from the photos). I was on full Connor duty during the ceremony so I didn't get a chance to snap any photos then, but it was equally gorgeous. Trust me. Connor did pretty well. He was a charmer during family photos and generally a happy camper. He even fell asleep for a whole FIFTEEN MINUTES during the ceremony before waking up to the cheers from the crowd and refusing to go back to sleep. The ceremony was short and sweet. The handmade floral arbor made by Kara's uncle and his partner was seriously one of the most stunning arbors I have ever seen. WOW. Zach and Kara wrote their own vows, which were adorable! Zach vowed to take Kara to DMB every year that they tour (jealous), and said some ridiculously cute things about always supporting her goals and encouraging her and it was just super precious all around. I got to hear all of this because Connor timed his mini-nap perfectly for the ceremony.
So of course I unnecessarily panicked about him not getting a good nap before the night had really even started. His sleep regimen is probably what I am most hypersensitive about...I'm still figuring out this whole mom thing you know. OF COURSE it was just fine (thank you Dave for being such a patient and gracious husband and talking me off the ledge). In fact, they even had a nursing mom's room at the reception space with a changing table!!! You couldn't even hear the crazy dance music in that room. So after charming some more relatives with his styling suit and fancy baby shoes he took a two hour nap in the NMR upstairs. It. Was. Wonderful.
The reception was a blast. The Maid of Honor gave a very sweet toast and both brothers had everyone laughing and teary eyed (it's an emotional roller coaster!!). The first dance was adorable. They may have been dating for basically forever, but these two still really care for each other. Sparkler exit. So cute. Now they're getting on a cruise ship in the Bahamas!!! These two are great together. They're in it for the long haul folks.
SOME TIPS & TRICKS FOR YOUNG BABIES AT WEDDINGS:
- If you're brave sit in the back on an aisle so you can make a quick exit if baby starts making some noise.
- Try to get there early to scope out your escape route and places you can stand and hear but not be a distraction.
- Feed and change baby right before the ceremony (another reason to arrive early).
- Pump/prepare a bottle beforehand just in case.
- Bring your stroller or carrier in case you end up needing to walk around (heels plus squirmy baby is not easy).
- TRY to time your baby's nap with the ceremony (easier said than done, I know).
- Bring a toy they love but don't get to use very often. Novelty is your friend when it comes to distracting a baby.
- MOST IMPORTANTLY: ask the bride way beforehand if babies are welcome...and make sure she's being honest and not just polite.
Note: So I really, really didn't want to be that person that everyone turns around and looks at during the ceremony because I'm being disruptive somehow. Since Connor is 8 months old and loves to yell and coo during church I figured he would probably behave the same way at this ceremony. So I decided to avoid the ceremony altogether. I stood way back (completely out of view) until after the ceremony had started and then crept in. Connor was falling asleep in his stroller so I sat out of view behind some trees and rocked his stroller back and forth until he passed out and then crept closer so I could hear. I also tried to track the ceremony so I could get out of there before they said their final vows. That way no one saw me sneaking out on the same path the bride and groom were about to walk down.
When I briefly helped with wedding planning at my old church a few years ago one of my biggest pet peeves was when guests would "steal the attention" by using the aisle too soon either in front of or behind the bridal party. Nobody wants to see you awkwardly shuffle into your seat seconds after the bride has walked down the aisle. Just wait a good few minutes after the processional finishes....or you know, don't be late!
All in all, huge success bringing a baby to a wedding!