A Different Kind of Disaster

Yesterday my 3 year old daughter, Lola, was a flower girl. I had no idea what would happen, which is part of the magic of putting small children in a wedding. It could be anywhere between an adorable, magically delicious sugary-sweet ceral commercial, and a horrible wedding-video-going-viral bad. Just like every day with children.

When the bride asked me if Lola would do this, I told her the truth: I have no idea. 

She seemed like she was okay with whatever happened. She would make the skirt, they were having a DIY wedding and s’allgood kinda thing, so what the heck.

The day had a rocky start, we didn’t have the dress the morning of the wedding, but isn’t there some saying about Mothers of girls always having extra tutus? There should be. I had no idea what she was supposed to do or where, there was a rehearsal but the bride told me we didn’t need to be there. 

My husband wanted to bring the baby to the wedding also, against my advice, so I pretty much knew it was going to be a long, exhausting night. Just like any day with kids. However, I have an 18 year old son who could drive us home, so that means drinking is a GO. I’m in. Even if I have to dress up and wear heels.

Speaking of that, I feel like there should be a rule or law that if you have to run after at least one small child at a wedding, you should get to wear gym shoes. Let’s get on this, allegedly civilized society. Make it so already.

Getting all the kids ready for anything never goes as planned. This time was a real surprise. The little girls were relatively easy, once we found the Binny’s (discount liquore store) bag with all of the flower girl stuff shoved into it, left on our front porch when we went for a walk. I’m so glad we did go outside, and that it didn’t rain yesterday because we didn’t get a call or text saying it was out there. Nice.

The bride made a tutu out of tulle netting tied onto a long, black ribbon she saw on Pinterest. The ribbon was very slippery, so I had to double-knot the skirt, otherwise it kept falling off. She provided us with a black tanktop body suit, ALL ONE PIECE, with no snaps at the crotch, so guess what happened every time she had to go potty? Yep, we had to get totally naked in the bathroom. INCLUDING un-double-knotting the skirt and taking it off, jammed into a tiny bathroom stall, with my dress and stupid heels.

I had to dig to find some black shorts to cover the body suit bottom, which looked like black underwear that were totally showing. I’m glad we happened to have some, we would not have had time to go buy them at this point.

The however shorts added another layer of undressing every potty break. From the amount of sweat, I’m counting each of those times as workouts, so I worked out seven times yesterday. That’s not including dancing, running after my baby all evening, wrestling her to change her diaper on a tiny changing table in the tiny bathroom, and the almost heart attack I had just getting TO the wedding.

Getting her dressed and ready to leave, I cut the ribbon too short, I think it was supposed to wrap around the skirt and tie in front. Instead of just saying “Oh well, I’ll just put the bow on the side and call it a day,” my husband actually went and got our ancient sewing machine, that was part of his dowry in his packed house.

So let me reiterate: My husband brought a sewing machine upstairs ONE HOUR before we were leaving for a wedding. Let the record show that neither he, or I, know how to use an effing sewing machine.
I want this action entered into public record, someone please bring this up as evidence, in case (when) I’m committed to an insane asylum. And speaking of that, I had already asked him and the teenager if they were set with clothes for the wedding the day before.

Both assured me they were all set. At this point, one hour before the wedding, my husband decides he doesn’t like his selection of shirts (his clothing issues are a whole separateissue, separate post. Click to read the post if you have morbid curiosity,) he ALSO brings UPSTAIRS the iron and the tabletop ironing board. Let’s not just bring a shirt downstairs where all of this stuff is, let’s bring all that shit UPSTAIRS into the kitchen, where it still sits now the next day.

He is usually the calm, sane one where I am usually running around bitching that my dress bra doesn’t fit, or my shoes are double-murdering my feet, whatever my wardrobe malfunction is that day. I knew this was going to be clusterfudgy, so I actually got myself ready super early, and didn’t bother spending time on my hair. I mean, I knew I would be running after two small children so it will be a hot mess in minutes.

We are getting really close to time to leave, I check the directions, we are starting to cut it close all things considered. Everyone is pretty much ready, but where is my son?

Speaking of people who are usually calm, Tinny, my 18 year old son decides to come out of his room, at the exact time we are supposed to leave (probably 5 minutes after, but whatever) in a FLANNEL shirt. For a wedding.

Yeah nice try, he doesn’t understand what the big deal is, after some annoying arguing, re-do. He came to ask me a question, and I learned by a delightful accident that if  your teenager wants to bug you while  you're getting dressed, or probably any time, and you say "Don't come in, I don't have a bra on," they will just walk away! Learning is fun.

He goes in his room, for a long time, after much yelling things like “What is taking so long?” and “We HAVE to leave” and whatnot, he eventually does find a nicer shirt. Then suddenly he can’t find his dress shoes. He just had them for an interview, so I’m not panicking. Yet.

We load up the little girls, somehow my husband works out whatever between ironing and looking at 57 shirts he never wears but won’t get rid of, and we are all loaded up ready to go. Where’s Tinny? He is still in his room. He can’t find his shoes, where did I put them? Blah blah, “I didn’t touch them,” blah blah, build to yelling, “we have to go NOW!”

We move the cars around, I hate having a single-lane driveway, 1st world whatever, we are all ready to go. Still no Tinny. Where are you? Blah blah yelling.

At this point it’s 6:10, the wedding invitation says the wedding STARTS at 6:30 and it’s about 15 minutes away. We still have NO IDEA what my little flower girl is supposed to do, and because she’s 3 her hair will need to be re-done, etc. I come back in, tell him he has to come out, we have to leave RIGHT NOW, and nothing. Blah blah yelling, I tell him we are just going to have to leave him and someone will come back for him whenever we can. Suddenly, magically, he’s ready to go. Grrrrr.

He finally gets in the car, my husband is going to put his cigarette out, but I think he is going to just light one up, so yeah, I start yelling. He comes in, we’re on our way, Lola says “Mommy is yelling” and everyone has a good laugh. Yes yes, hilarious. We are on our way, we discover the fuel light in the van is on. My son drove the van last to his interview, I didn’t realize we were that low on gas. Okay, we’ll probably make it, we’re close. We have a button that you can push that tells you many miles you can drive before you’re out of gas. That number is ZERO. Zero miles we can drive.

It is now 6:15, we have to drive 10-15 minutes on fumes. Air conditioning OFF, it’s only 80-something degrees and we’re dressed for a wedding, no big deal right? UGH! So much sweating.

We drive, we will stop at the first gas station we pass, no problem. Except we don’t pass a gas station. My stomach is about to eject everything I have eaten all day, I’m sweating like whore waiting on her pregnancy test results, we have very little time, I still need to fix Lola’s hair, figure out WHAT she’s supposed to do WHERE, etc.

We finally get there, it is at a boathouse, there is street parking and you’re supposed to walk a good half mile to the house. I scream at my husband to drive down the “Authorized Vehicles Only” area that “We’re in a wedding, WE ARE AUTHORIZED, DAMN IT!” I am making up my own authori-tah.

He lets me & Lola out at the door, we’re running in, her skirt falls down, people behind us are yelling that her skirt is down, I’m ready for the cardiac unit of the hospital. Just admit me and schedule me for any procedure, put me in a medically induced coma. I can’t take it.

We get in, hardly anyone is there. Where is the bride? Where is the bridal party? Where is anyone who can tell me what to do? I’m asking everyone” Where you here for the rehearsal? You? ANYONE? Bueller?” No one was, no one knows.

I fix her hair, put the bag of plastic petals in her basket, she’s ready to go. Still no one knows, only a couple of bridesmaids there, one is my niece, she is outside so I just grab her cigarettes like a prison bully, pull one out and start smoking. Right in front of my 3 year old. I am only a social smoker, but they know if I’m smoking at this point? Don’t ask, just don’t get too close.

No one has any idea what Lola is supposed to do. The rest of my family arrives, we look around, I realize there is a deck, a stair case down to a lower deck, and then a pond. So, there is just a fence between my children and a pond. And oooohh good, there are ducks in the pond, so my spastic, curious, climber, runner, jumper baby totally wants to jump in and play with them. This is going to be awesome. Wait, not awesome, the other thing.

Eventually I see my sister, the Mother of the Bride, and practically grab her by her shoulders wanting answers. She has none, says “Don’t worry about it, we’re flying by the seat of our pants.” I can do that, why I am so nervous about my 3 yr old doing that, I have no idea. We mill about, for what feels like FOREVER, so yes, we could have stopped for gas, and I didn’t need to scream like a damn fool, but again, whatever.

I no longer have time to be worried about flower girl stuff, because my baby is RUNNING back and forth on this wooden dock, where my STUPID heels keep falling into, and jerking me backward, almost knocking me over every time. Tinny, follow that one, I need to fix Lola’s hair which has fallen out of her Audrey Hepburn bun yet again, because THREE.

Between Tinny, my husband and me, we keep the baby alive and I keep fixing Lola’s hair, until eventually people start calling for the bridal party. I take Lola and go inside, no one can tell me at this point what she’s supposed to do, or even whether the wedding will be inside or outside. One of my sisters tells the brides son, who is about 9, to hold Lola’s hand and walk her down. They take her to the front of the line, I have to let her go and just hope for the best. I can’t see her from back in the building, my husband, son and baby are outside, it’s looking like the wedding is going to happen outside.

I try to go around the bridal party to go outside, someone tells me to just wait. Next thing I know, the music starts, they are heading outside, I can’t see a damn thing. After everyone goes out, I finally get to the door and down the deck, the wedding has started and people are filming it. I MISSED IT seeing my flower girl. Did she do it? Did she have fun? Did her hair fall of that damn bun again? WHAT HAPPENED?!

I watch the wedding from the inside, until I can’t stand it anymore and I go outside. The baby is not having this. She’s running back and forth, making loud noises, you name it. I was prepared, I had my secret weapons in the diaper bag: Raisins. Once she ate them all, she headed back to the building.
I tried to keep her from going inside, but she started YELLING, during a wedding being filmed, so inside we went. 

For the rest of the ceremony, and actually the reception too, she just ran back and forth yelling about who knows what. For the whole night. Well, she also added crying and some yelling to this formula shortly after that. A little bit of dancing, mixed with periods of crying, a lot of RUNNING, yelling, people bringing us STRONG drinks (God bless my sister and nieces!) More baby whining, more crying, more dancing, total cuteness. Just like every day with her.

Eventually we’re done, I saw some video of Lola flower-girling and of course, she was adorable. She turned around at one point, to throw flower pedals behind her, but it was super cute, not a big deal. The rest of the night was relatively uneventful, except that the baby did turn into a complete monster long before the food was even served. Hungry? Who knows.

Luckily, my husband has learned that in my family, you have to do what you have to do, and our parenting style is “Whatever Keeps Them Quiet.” So he cut in front of a line of people waiting for food, grabbed food out of the catering tins that wasn’t even ready to be served yet (it was just cold, it was already cooked,) and got some meat and potatoes for the baby.

My niece yelled “Hey, we’re not eating yet!” He yelled back something about two hungry babies, and walked back in front of the line of people waiting, with a plateful of food he brought and we started to feed our hungry monsters. I’ve never been more proud of this once-shy and polite man. If my dad was watching from wherever his spirit is in the universe, I’m sure he was bursting with pride. 

My dad would not only do that, he brought us to EVERY WEDDING, even the ones that said “Adults only, please.” No sitter for us, we went as a unified, certiable, family.

I guess that’s us now. We’re that family. 

The ones people probably shake their heads and think “What is wrong with them?” Who knows what is wrong with us, too long to talk about it. We have too many kids, not enough sleep, and not enough politeness training to give a crap about anything other than our family’s happiness. At the end of the day, that’s all that matters. 

We did it, a wedding with two little ones. It wasn't the exact kind of disaster I pictured, maybe a different, small disaster, but we survived. And you know what? We're pretty happy. Exhausted, but happy.

And we have this picture of my Lola. Seriously.


  1. How awesome is she!!! Look at Lola girl!!! Love it. Thankfully nobody I know got married when the kid was little. It was bad enough at MY wedding with a 4 year old who was looking for cake the entire time (I bribed him with cake)

    1. hahaha we totally promised cake, too! For whatever reason, the cake didn't come until AFTER the wedding was all shut down. They were done at 10:00, but the kids could have used a sugar fix by about 9:00 :)

  2. Glad you survived! Lola looks like a little Audrey Hepburn -- so cute!

    1. Thank you, me too! If you prayed for us, it worked! :)

  3. Wow, sounds like quite the wedding. I still, to this day, have yet to see a wedding that is not chaotic for pretty much everyone in attendance (not just the bride and groom).

    1. Good point. My Vegas wedding was a snap. The Little White Chapel handled EVERYTHING, flowers, video, limo to and from, they provided a cracked-out Elvis impersonator, the priest or whatever they called him, everything. We only had to schedule it and pay them, I think it was a couple hundred dollars including the video to take home and everything. We just got dressed, got in the limo, drank like crazy and they did the rest.

  4. I'm exhausted from just reading this! The next wedding you attend will seem like a piece of cake. Speaking of, did you at least get good cake at the reception?? Sugar fixes all problems, right?

    1. YES! My husband stood up to our friends wedding in March, we were smart and got babysitters, so it seemed SO EASY!!
      It was weird, I think because the reception was so quick, they didn't announce cake until AFTER the whole thing was over. The kids could have used a sugar fix a little while after dinner. The 3 yr old was adorable, dancing and sometimes just telling us "Oh, I'm sooo tired" but the baby was a hot mess of tears after dinner. We still gave them cake at the end of the night though. I did promise Lola cake :)

  5. Literally laughed out loud through this whole reading! Katie's flower girl had just turned 5 and wore her hair in a natural. Made a big difference in stress for her mama, who also stood up. You deserve a medal of honor for this one, cigarettes and all. Lola looks so damn cute! Lunch soon?

    1. YES Bernie, let's totally have lunch soon. Thanks for reading it all, it's SO LONG. I never had a chance to edit and re-edit, which I always have to do. I have too many words. Always.
      Katie's flower girl looked SO amazingly beautiful! NOW I get why people do that. It's just so damn cute. Stress and all. She had a blast dancing at the wedding. The baby did a little bit, but Lola was busting a move all night! It was super cute. I hope someone got video!

  6. We brought lil man to a wedding earlier this year, no where near that bad lol There were tons of kids and it was outside with lots of toys. The bride and groom have two little girls so wanted kids to come and have fun too, otherwise I would have said HELL NO with Bray.. He is just too much in public let alone at such a significant event ha ha!

    1. I'm with you! Lola will be 4 in February, she's pretty calm. The baby? Disaster. I really wanted to get a sitter for her, but she did look cute, and the few moments when she was actually dancing were cute. Whattayagonnado?? :)
      That is awesome your couple had toys, very considerate. We were going to bring some, but she's not partial to many so we weren't even sure what to bring. She just loves climbing and running! She may have played with something "new" the way kids do with other people's toys. I didn't think about getting something new. May have helped!

  7. Firstly, it was a "fly by the seat of our pants" kind of wedding? Are they nucking futs? I've been working at a wedding rental place for about 6 months and no bride ever uttered, "no worries, we're just gonna fly by the seat of my pants."

    Secondly, I cannot believe you didn't have her outfit until the day of. And it sounded like the biggest pain in the ass. lol

    Thirdly, she's SOOO adorable! Totally pulls off the Hepburn look. I'd watch her if I were you. She's gonna be a heartbreaker. lol

    1. Well, it was a DIY type of wedding, trying to keep costs down so they brought in their own food, etc., and it was her 2nd wedding. I don't know much else about it. I am the OPPOSITE of helpful planning weddings, as they are my nightmare, so I stay away.
      I know, I was nervous about not having the outfit, but she does have lots of tutus and dresses from resale shops.
      Thank you. We certainly think she is adorable, but we're a little biased. I think her drama queen personality should keep plenty of boys at bay :)
      Thanks for reading!

  8. I was exhausted just from reading this! Bravo on surviving another wedding. I have been to a few and it's always a long harrowing day!

    Lola looked killer though!

    1. hahahaha so true. And thank you, we thought she was adorable.