Since turning 30 the wedding season started for myself and the husband, the majority of these were done without children, some pregnant and some with children.
Weddings before having a child you have time to prepare, sort out an outfit, sleep the night before. You seek out fellow party companions, knowing you will be singing “living on a prayer” by 10 pm together. You are the last one standing looking for the next party after the wedding has finished. Once we ended up basically in a scout hut filled with smoke (to the point of not being able to see) and lasers playing intense trance music, claiming to be a night club, very strange experience but always good to have a story to tell.
So when you have children you are sometimes given the choice to bring your children or it’s no children. Now when the toddler gets older I will be happy to take him but at the moment he wouldn’t sit still or be quiet at the right times so when I open an invite and it’s no children, I’m thinking result, straight away I text my mum and book in a sleepover and maybe push for hangover time too.
Attending a wedding being a parent
You start preparing for this day a month before, dieting, selecting an outfit, this can take some weeks as you have to fit it into your lunch breaks. Closer to the day it involves packing up child for a sleepover, never easy but your not worried because good times are to follow.
When the day comes I can guarantee you will be knackered because even though your child has been sleeping perfectly for 9 months, last night was the night they decided that they would wake up at 2 am and 5 am, just enough times so you wouldn’t of been able to get the 4 hrs solid sleep. However, you’ve got 24 hrs off! You just think I’ll drink vodka and red bull when I’m flagging later. You have also spent the last week avoiding any sick or slightly sick children as you just know your child will pick something up then potentially one of you might not be able to go to the wedding, play dates are rearranged, no trips to park or soft play, you are not taking any risks!
Once your child is settled into their new home for the next 24 hrs you have about an hour to get ready, not much time but I always start the hair routine the night before and nails are done, so an hour is achievable. Then you need to workout who is allowed to get the most drunk, this will depend on who knows the bride and groom the best. If it’s school friends it’s easy but basically someone has to hold it together tomorrow for the child’s sake.
You usually arrive to pre ceremony drinks and start meeting all the guests, small talk starts. This is the time you can establish who is going for it and whose just not that hardcore. When you meet a couple with kids you ask “kids having a sleepover?” if the answer is “no we have babysitter” it means one is going to get very drunk quickly and pass out somewhere whilst the other is holding off to keep it together. If the answer is “yes they are having a sleeping over”, these are your party couples. Parents rarely get to go out together and so the promise of free booze its even better, they have been given the chance to re-live their pre child days, dance, do shots, sing along to cheesy songs, have a conversation!
The ceremonies are always great, since I had a child I’m a mess at these things, at my friends wedding I was practically sobbing as soon as she walked in! I think weddings are always a lot more emotional now as I have started to think about when my child grows up and when they get married, this always sets me off.
Anyway after the ceremony it’s time to start drinking and it starts to flow. Then there is the wedding breakfast a chance to sit and eat and have a conversation and more wine. You actually end up just talking about your kids. After the meal it’s time for dancing, most parents peak around 7/8 pm. They have been drinking for about 6 hours and night is just getting started. Drinking, gossiping, meeting other parents who are in the same position as you, talking about the freedom of the night and a lie in.
It’s turned 9 pm and things are going downhill as the vodka and red bull has been cracked open, that’s another couple of hours of partying in you. By 10 pm you are contemplating a cup of tea to boost energy levels. By 11 pm it’s done, your in your flat shoes, you had to sit down and just keep thinking about a guaranteed nights sleep.
Why is it when you have a hangover and a chance to sleep you spring out of bed at 6:30 am and this time it’s crap as there is no happy child just a hangover, this is the moment I think to myself, I’m glad I don’t do this every weekend any more. Then I remember the night before and remember it being great. I lost the fear when I became a parent as there is no time to stress out about that. Then I tell myself “you can beat this hangover, you gave birth!”. Even if it was your turn to get drunk your partner would of got food poisoning and can’t get out of bed for rest of day, obviously it was nothing to do with the alcohol he drunk….mmmmm
I love a good wedding, may many more of my friends get married soon.