London mum

Motherhood To Bridehood: Planning A Wedding With A Toddler

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Despite the fact that I now feel my wedding already belongs to the Cretacic!, I recently wrote an article for the Wedding Planner, one of my main online sources of pre-wedding inspiration (working in partnership with John Lewis).

The article was genuinely written for all brides-to-be who embraced motherhood before bridehood (brave move, ladies, yet you must know you have tripled your workload!). Planning what is probably the largest and most complex party of your life whilst changing nappies, wiping pure stains from the ceiling and dealing with toddler unexpected tantrums is certainly not the easiest task in the universe, and I for one wish I could travel back in time and teach myself a thing or two after learning from my own mistakes…

1. Schedule short photography sessions before they hit the candy bar

Because they WILL all hit that candy bar and no sugar rushed child will want to pay attention to the man behind the big and scary camera. I wish I had more footage of myself as a bride with my son, but the day goes so fast and if you’re not organised enough, you’ll miss out on good family shots. Oh, and you can now get more creative with your wedding cake, we kept the sea theme while adding little sea creatures to it in order to entertain the little ones…(I’m sure it would have even worked if they were still awake when we cut it!)

2. But candy bars are not the enemy…

It may sound silly as weddings are all about the food, but make sure the tiny humans have some nutritious food before the event as well as keeping them well hydrated throughout the evening. Although I am usually very strict when it comes to my child’s sugar intake, at weddings children will not fully appreciate the gorgeous roast rump of lamb with buttered spinach, carrot, champ potato and port sauce or the confit duck that looks so heavenly on the plate. They will instead hunt for coloured marshmallows on top of pretty cupcakes and chocolate fountains, so set them free because if they’re happy, you’ll be enjoying yourself for the rest of the evening!

3. Don’t fret over the entertainment

Believe it or not, for most children, the party itself is a playground and they won’t need as much entertainment as you’d think. Being the mother of a 2 and half year old toddler who is still discovering the world, I got myself ready with a few colouring kits and, of course, some magic bubble guns which always put smiles on their faces. Keep magicians and clowns for birthday parties, there’s really no need to organise too much entertainment for them, instead try and get them on the dance floor!

4. Sun protection, funny plasters and all kinds of prevention kits…

A must. Whether it’s a day time beach wedding or a late evening at a sumptuous castle, children tend to get themselves in some kind of trouble so have the mighty Peppa Pig plasters ready for protecting scratches and save you some drama.

5. Child care – a must!

Although I had family to look after my tiny version, I wouldn’t say this was the wisest choice. I feel as though I sacrificed my mother’s energy levels for the entire evening, and as much as both my parents love looking after their grandchildren, I coudn’t say now that they made the most of their evening because of having to pay constant attention to a child. Plus, they both missed some photo sessions and didn’t get to even finish their plates! I highly recommend that any mum and bride-to-be set outside childcare for the evening.

6. Spare clothing

Especially for the youngest ones this is pretty compulsory, although photoshop can make chocolate stains disappear better than Vanish, let’s not make photographers’ job harder than it is 🙂

7. Let them be little…

And by this I mean do not expect them to behave differently just because they are attending a party where most of the guests are grown ups. I’ve noticed that most parents are quite stressed around their offsprings at weddings therefore they don’t get to fully enjoy the evening.

My dream was to have my wedding by the Black Sea with a huge barbecue party on the beach and dance barefoot on the sand until sunrise…Magically, it all happened and we watched the sunrise with our closest friends on guitar chords… Organising a wedding around a child requires more effort, but those moments captured together are priceless.

Wedding location: Briza Pub & Beach, Mamaia Constanta, Black Sea

Catering: Ana & Ion with special thanks to the most amazing chef Paul Bacila who put his own soul into our special day.

Photography: Anna Pawleta Photography, London

Dress by world wide famous Israeli Zahavit Tshuba from the mix and match collection from the exclusive London bridal boutique Les Trois Soeurs in Canary Wharf.

Beach bridal outfit and bridesmaids: Asos Bridal 

Flower arrangements: talented Cristina at Flori-in-Dar