I have good news! (aka the post about Becky & Seb’s Wedding)
As the post title implies, I have some marvellous news for you. James and I have discovered the absolute key to good toddler behaviour, even on a long day with an early start and no real naps whatsoever.
The answer… (wait for it) is… food. Lots and lots of food! This time last week we were celebrating the wedding of our good friends Becky & Seb, and Georgie was awake from half six to half ten with just a few 5 or 10 minute naps in the car between venues. We basically fed her constantly all day – every time she got a bit grumpy we just gave her another snack to keep her going.
The wedding was just beautiful & miraculously Georgie behaved herself really well all day long, although I have to admit the hour-long ceremony was a little less solemn than it might otherwise have been.
From our aisle near the back of the church there emitted many happy noises, bangs, growls, giggles, and even the occasional “up!”. There was even a delighted cry of “Raa Raa!” at one particularly quiet point of the ceremony… maybe popping a few of her Raa Raa Little Library books in her teddy bear rucksack was a bit of a mistake after all! She clambered over the pews, under the pews, around and along the pews, and even lay on my lap while her feet walked up the back of the jacket of (thankfully) a friend of ours in the aisle in front! There were several people watching her antics with amusement. Oh, and she ate some snacks too.
Towards the end of the ceremony Georgie managed to make friends with the driver of the wedding car, who sat in the back of the church and played peekaboo with her, before giving up his order of service to her delighted grasp. She had the man so smitten by the time we went out to the car park that he allowed her to clamber all over the front seat of his rather gorgeous and utterly pristine (and undoubtedly VERY expensive) car! She stood on the edge of the seat, peering over the steering wheel and pretending to drive, which was just completely adorable… even if I do say so myself.
After the intimate ceremony everyone jumped in their cars and headed to a nearby pub who had the bucks fizz waiting and served up a fantastic buffet for lunch (this being Georgie’s second lunch, and therefore her third meal of the day). It was amazingly relaxed and intimate – everyone soon said hello and introduced themselves to the few people they didn’t already know! Georgie even managed to find the other little person to play with for a while. She also ran around the lawn outside the pub in just her nappy to the soundtrack of gales of laughter from all the watching wedding guests and pub staff… but we’ll skip over that part as it’s a little undignified for a wedding guest!
Lunch was eaten on picnic tables in the glorious sunshine, with shoes being kicked off and friends laughing, chatting, and generally catching up with each other’s news. Becky and Seb mingled, hugged, emanated a glow of wedded bliss, and both looked simply stunning in their regalia. It was just perfect for them – such a relaxed and friendly atmosphere whilst still being well thought out and incredibly special.
Once us lazy lot had passed the afternoon lazing about in this fashion outside the pub (while Georgie ate yet more snacks) we all headed over to the evening reception, which was a fab party in a converted barn. It had all the ingredients of a great party: a hog roast, free pimms for all, a great cover band, masses of finger food, cake, sweeties, dancing, lots of lovely people, and (amazingly) a still happy toddler running around socialising with everyone. James resenting paying for a soft drink alternative for me when they had free booze, so ordered a “pimms without the pimms for my pregnant wife please” which did the trick!
Georgie had two dinners during the evening – a plateful of hog roast and another of finger food from the buffet a good while later, bringing her total meal count for the day up to five: one breakfast, two lunches, two dinners, and a whole lot of constant snacking in between times. As a friend of mine put it the next day “she ate like a horse”. I really do not know where she put it all! She started visibly drooping at around half nine though, after 15 hours of being awake, so we called it a day a little while later, leaving the party at half ten. She fell asleep curled against my chest in the taxi before we even got 5 minutes away from the venue, bless her.
The whole day was all the things a good wedding should be: original, magical, enjoyable, memorable, and a perfect reflection of the couple themselves. I hope that Becky and Seb are very proud of themselves for pulling off such a great day, everyone had a whale of a time! Even if we did all get ill afterwards, it was worth it! We felt so honoured to be chosen to be at the ceremony with them for such a small intimate ceremony too – it was such a privilege to be there.