I have photo evidence of their scheming prior to the ceremony, and then the photographer has a smattering of shots where they were caught in the act. In hindsight, it probably would have been better to dump the wailing bundle of childhood in a back pew and smile on, hoping that no one would notice. But I'm getting ahead of myself, and despite the shenanigans (intentionally gendered), we/I did experience more good times than not.
Rehearsal: The girls had a great time watching the goings on, albeit from a vantage point in the choir loft as we got there after things had started, and it was a good way to slip in quietly. In hindsight, that might have been a better place during the actual ceremony. This experience led me to an inflated sense of confidence that the girls would "love" the ceremony itself given the amount of giggles and rapt attention that was happening during the yadda-yadda-yaddas of the rehearsal.
Ceremony: No. Rapt attention--gone. Giggles--gone. Whining complaints--very much present. Boredom--well established. Diversions--none. It turns out that a wedding is not an ideal place to teach some hard lessons to a five-year old about patience in the face of boredom. Check out her mug pre-ceremony (far right); parents and non-parents alike can see this one coming.
What is that you notice? Sweet cheeks (second from left) is also looking less than thrilled to be here? Why, yes. You have made a good observation. Now fast forward to the blessed moment where she whacked her head, loudly, against the back of the wooden pew and began wailing, loudly, out of shock. Fortunately, it wasn't at any important moment in the ceremony...just the start of the vows. Scratch that. You can apologize all you want for your children's embarrasingly bad timing, and those apologies are generally well received, but it is what it is: frustrating for all. At least #1 wasn't complaining tooo loudly so that at least 3 pews could hear how she thought this was boooorrrinng. Right. Scratch that too. But, I didn't have to deal with her as our girls
What else is it that you notice from the above picture? My nephew isn't looking quite so angelic either? He's a bit of a light switch. The above picture was taken at 3:30 p.m. This next picture was taken immediately after it, also at 3:30 p.m.
He looks a bit better, eh? My kids...no. And this next shot, again taken immediately after the one before it, is one of my favorites.
This young man...I tell 'ya. He was my hot date at the reception after the hubs took the girls home. But, I only got half a dance out of him, he has a mega-six-year-old crush on his new aunt, and he didn't even bring me any cake, so our date night wasn't the stuff that Hollywood movies are made of. Then again, he was quite the dapper little man in his wedding finery and would enjoy a turn on a red carpet.
Meanwhile, daughter #2 has an intense devotion to her belly button (her "boo-y button"), which is pretty great that she can take her lovey with her wherever she goes and it never gets lost. But then things like this happen:
The dress is in her way. She spent a good amount of the ceremony and reception with it hiked up to her armpits so she could find it.
Also, I brought our camera along for one purpose only, knowing that a photographer will obviously be covering the rest. I wanted one...just one...good picture of the girls together, dressed up and happy. This is the best I got:
We had to negotiate for a while before #2 would stop chewing on the naked babydoll's face. And #1 can't help mugging when there's a camera in her face. For some reason, we decided that having them pose on a seriously ugly couch would also make the picture better. Which it didn't.
All of this leads us to the pictures after the ceremony. This is where I don't have visual evidence, and I rather wish that no one else did either, but someone does, and it's probably going to wind up in one of those horrid "21 worst wedding pictures" lists on Buzzfeed before long. Picture this: #1 thrown more or less over her dad's shoulder as she's kicking and screaming about who-knows-what-and-it-doesn't-matter-cause-you're-not-getting-your-way-anyway-dangit while my entire family clusters, as happily as we can, around the happy couple. I've never been involved in wedding pictures that have moved along as quickly as these did. Not that our daughter was the only reason for this, but I have to think that she contributed her part in getting everyone out the door of the church and on to the party. Parent of the year award right there.
And that, my friend, is why we have already lined up babysitting for the next two weddings we are attending this year.