How to survive (and enjoy!) a wedding with a toddler

September 3, 2018

Everything changes when you have a toddler in tow, and as we found out a couple of weeks ago, attending a wedding is no different.

Casually sipping champagne becomes a distant memory, and that beautiful fountain in the reception grounds becomes a hefty hazard.

However, despite being on duty, it is quite possible to have a lovely time, and it’s a great opportunity to introduce your little one to friends or family who haven’t had the chance to meet them yet.

Not to say we got it 100% right, there are a few things we’d do differently next time round. Here’s a checklist, hopefully making wedding season a little more stress-free…

You can’t pack enough snacks

We packed plenty of snacks, and made sure we opted for some old favourites, as well as some new ones Harrys hadn’t tried before.

The novelty of a tiny packet of raisins kept him busy for quite some time, definitely a win!

Tiny toys are very handy

We didn’t want to be carrying around a big heavy changing bag all day long, filled with toys. So instead we opted to take small plastic toys and stickers.

Over the last few months I’ve been picking up CBeebies magazine whenever the free toys have looked good, stashing them away.

The novelty of new toys kept him busy for longer, and they were perfect for playing with in his highchair through the wedding breakfast and speeches. I organised the little toys into some clear pencil cases, which really helped to keep everything tidy in my changing bag.

Be ready for anything

Life with a toddler can be unpredictable, but you can be sure they’ll somehow make a mess…

We packed a full spare outfit, as well as plenty of nappies and wipes. Ready for any eventuality Harry might throw at us.

These baby wash cloths from Johnsons are ideal for days on the go, and they smell amazing! Bigger than normal wipes, they are the perfect way to give your baby a top to toe clean, without needing water or soap. I keep them handy in my changing bag, to make clean ups easier.

Bring some basic home comforts

When we’re out and about Harry seems to eat more when he has a plate, rather than eating from the highchair tray. A suction plate is a more sensible option for an excitable toddler, as plates smashing on the floor definitely wouldn’t be ideal!

We also brought along ‘Ewan the Dream Sheep’ for nap-time and bedtime, which always helps to settle him down for a snooze.

On a day where routine and familiarity are more or less out the window, a few bits and pieces from home can really help make the day easier. You can always leave them in the car if you’re not sure whether you’ll need them or not.

Take some time off

If you’re attending with a spare pair of hands, I would recommend taking some of the time between the service and the wedding breakfast in shifts. There really is no point in you both chasing after a toddler who just wants to explore.

A break (However brief) and some adult conversation will do you the world of good, during what is likely to be a long day.

Once the wedding breakfast has started, and your toddler is distracted by toys and prevented from roaming by a highchair, you’ll be back together again, ready to enjoy the meal.

Leave on a high

We ended up leaving at eight, and while it felt early as the evening reception was just getting started, it was already past our little one’s bedtime.

I’m a big fan of leaving on a high, and leaving on a positive note, rather than holding on until Harry is overtired and grumpy.

All in all, with a little planning and organisation, we were ready for every eventuality a wedding could throw at us. Between us, we kept Harry entertained, and we all enjoyed the day together… I’m calling that a success!