If you read yesterday's blog post, then you know about my little sister Alyson recently getting married.  She got married over Zachary and my brother's birthdays and it was quite the beautiful Fall event filled with family, friends, and a whole lot of love!

children at weddings

children at weddings

activities fro children at weddings

children at weddings

When it comes to weddings, I absolutely love them!  And in another life, I think I would be a professional wedding planner.  In fact, I know I would be a professional wedding planner!  But, one thing I don't love so much is dealing with the crazy, hectic and down right exhausting moments that can come when you are attending a wedding with small children. 

Over the years, I have been to a few weddings.  Two of which were my brother Jason's and my sister Holly's.  During my brother's wedding, I was just pregnant with Isaac.  So aside from my pregnancy discomforts, going to that wedding was a piece of cake!  When my sister Holly got married, I had Isaac and Emi by then.  At that time, Isaac was 1.5 years old and Emi was just 4 months.  So I knew this time around, things would be quite different.  But still manageable because Dave and I just had two kids.  Which meant we could each take one and even trade off when needed.

Fast forward to my sister Alyson's wedding and we had all four of our kids a part of the two day event!  And this time around I knew I would have to give way more thoughts and planning into how Dave and I would do things with our kids for this particular wedding.  Sounds familiar?  If you have kids and have attended wedding festivities with them in tow, I would love for you to share in the comments below what you did; because I feel like there is always a new trick or two to learn.  But, if you are new to this phase of parenthood and are wondering how to go about surviving a wedding with children, here are three tricks that have really worked for me this time around.

How to Survive (and Enjoy) a Wedding with Small Children

1) Bring lots of different snack options and water bottles or sippy cups for each child.  
No doubt about it, your kids are going to get hungry during multiple and various times of the wedding festivities.  So to keep your littles from going into 'hangry mode' have some stress and mess free snacks on hand.  Some of my favorites are snack size Ziploc bags filled with gold fish crackers, pretzels, trail mix, carrot sticks, and grapes.  Other good options are mini raisin boxes, fruit snacks, granola bars, apple sauce pouches, and fruit leather strips.

2) Pack everything, including the kitchen sink!
This may sound funny, or even ridiculous, but I'm serious!  Most weddings are a day long event.  Giving you little time to run home (or to the store) to grab something you need.  So bring a small suit case, or duffle bag with you and fill it with a change of clothes for each kids, some toys (preferably new ones so your kids will stay entertained with them longer than usual), a days worth of diapers and diaper wipes, a pair of comfortable shoes for each child to change into and run around in when they aren't needed for wedding photos or anything else, smart devices and their portable chargers so you can pull up a game or movie when needed, and a blanket or small pillow (or even both!) so they can lie down and take a nap if they get too tired and cranky.

3) Consider renting a hotel room.
Yep, you read right!  Most weddings have some down time in between all the festivities.  But it isn't enough time for you to drive home and give your kiddos a nap or break there.  So one thing Dave and I did this time around was take our kids to a nearby hotel after the wedding ceremony to relax, eat some lunch and even take a quick cat nap. By the time we needed to meet up with everyone for the reception portion of the wedding, all of my kids were happy and ready to go for the next round of wedding fun.

Hooray for wedded bliss!

P.S. My good friend Roxana Baker took all the photos for my sister's special day.  And, if you want to learn more about LDS (aka Mormon) weddings, you can go HERE.  

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