When John was the ring bearer at a destination wedding, I was touched but also a little freaked out. He was a toddler and this was a week in a rental home and he so needed to behave!
Also, I had so many expectations. I wanted the cutest pictures, some amazing early memories for him and to actually enjoy myself (aka not run around the entire time like a crazy person!)
The answer was in a lot of pre-planning and being very mindful during the event planning to include the toddler in every aspect.
One big issue for us was the pool. We are New Englanders so we visit friend’s pools but don’t have one in our home. This rental had a huge pool and a pool parties were part of the weeks festivities. Beyond the 1,000 real safety precautions we took to get the pool area toddler ready, another detail was bringing our own inflatable pool to put next to the big pool. While the party people had an extra large flamingo float, John Boy had his smaller pool with 20 rubber duck flamingos. He was happy as could be and I could exhale!
Another helpful detail was supplying some new toys in a play on something borrowed, something blue.
Each wrapped up beautifully, mirroring in a playful way the more formal way I present the bride with her own gifts. For John it was:
Something Borrowed: His favorite book “The Quiet Book” that we read three times every day before nap. He borrowed it from himself and was SO EXCITED to see it in a new location.
Something Blue: A blue pail to use at the beach. I used my handy dandy cricut for the vinyl.
Something Old “School”: Mr. Potato Head! This was John’s first Mr. Potato head and it was a hit. He loved playing with new toy and it was a super easy toy for the other wedding guest to interact with. Everyone has a Mr. Potato Head memory, instant smiles.
Something New: A new book, The Loud Book. Totally cracked him up and gave us some quiet 1:1 time when the crowded house got to be too much.
Including a toddler in a wedding can feel tricky but the memories and adorable photos like this one -> made it BEYOND worth it. It is so important to me that our John be included in all the family memories and I was so touched that he had such an important role.