As a mobile mama, I think that when invited to a family wedding, I should bring my family with me!
So here is my top 8 for how to survive the day with under 5s!
1) Pack drinks, snacks & a sandwich. Inevitably , I was so busy making myself look beautiful (and it took me a LONG time!) that I forgot to feed everyone! So we arrived at the venue for a 3pm start with a hungry 3-year-old. Not good!
2) Bring quiet toys. We packed some Power Rangers, a few cars, a book etc, into a toddler rucksack that could be carried round wherever we went, so we could pull out a toy at any moment!
3) Spare party clothes, some running around clothes and pyjamas. Mini Malik was having SO much fun that he did inevitably wet himself in his beautiful little suit. Thankfully it wasnt until 10pm, so I just popped him into his PJs! Micro Malik did a fantastic job of keeping his teeny suit clean, but there was at least one baby who had possetted down his party outfit!
4) Make sure everyone knows who your child is. That way, if they get hurt, are a pain in the bum, need a wee … people know who to look for! I set Micro Malik down in his pram for a snooze outside where it was cooler and quieter, and because Mini Malik was so busy playing with his new teenage friends, I went to show off my Bollywood moves on the dance floor (I tried at least, and did LOTS of copying!). Micro Malik woke up and started crying, so a nearby lady, that we didn’t know, came straight to us to tell us!
5) Find out where the exits are. I discovered at one point that an overgrown area I thought was safe, actually led out to the car park! Not so good.
6) Somewhere to snooze. We didn’t leave the party until past 11pm, so by that point there were lots of small children who had fallen asleep. One family brought their car seat out for their 4-year-old to sleep in!
7) Bring some bubbles. At my wedding, we had bubbles on the tables and I’ve got some beautiful pictures of the children playing outside with them (In fact those children were at this wedding, only they are now moustached teenagers!). Children of all ages just LOVE them, and so do the adults too! Dont forget to tell the photographer, so they can take some pictures of the fun, the bride and groom will thank you for it.
8) Try to relax. Dont worry that they’ve eaten their body weight in sugar, or that they’ve spilled juice on their new shoes, or that they are REALLY ANNOYING the couple on the other table. If you are stressed out, they’ll just act up more! You know how your children behave best: do plenty of re-direction, pick your battles wisely and try to enjoy the party. It doesn’t have to be stressful, other adults will intervene if they are putting themselves in danger, if they’re not then why worry!