Everybody loves a good wedding. Having the chance to see friends or family get married is usually a pleasant experience that is accompanied by flowing alcohol, embarrassing dancing and accidental one night hook ups with a distant cousin… Unfortunately when you throw a toddler into the mix the alcohol is no longer a thing of pleasure but one of necessity. We have taken our two and half year old son to three weddings within the last 18 months, with the most recent being last week. Out of those three weddings I have only got to see one actual ceremony and that was only because I was the Best Man. The other two times were spent squinting through the venue window as I had to usher my son out for making inappropriate noises. Despite being impressed by my son’s realistic attempt at replicating the mating call of a Peacock, apparently it can be quite off putting during the recital of the vows.
Thankfully the ceremony last week was relatively short and we were back with the wedding party just 20 minutes later. The buzz of the happy guests mingling with post nuptial drinks was loud enough to mask my shrieks of “put the stones down”, “step away from the pond” and “no you can’t ride the Peacock” [not a euphemism, there was a peacock]. Even when I did manage to snatch a glass of well-deserved champagne it did little to take the edge off. I could see my Wife laughing and joking with our friends in the court yard whilst I was congregated with a gaggle of under 3’s that had mastered the art of omnidirectional stone throwing. The wedding procession moved to the perfectly pruned gardens for photo sessions. Champagne number 3 was starting to kick in and my auto response to “your son is being so good” was a little more believable. To be fair he was good at keeping himself entertained as even after 23 mindless sprints around the garden, four yanked flower heads and a face first slip into the pond he was still finding things to do.
The night progressed quickly for most and slowly for some as I cut the lonely figure in the garden. The first dance came and went, the cake was cut and ate and the jokes were told and laughed. I managed the occasional tag team with my Wife to grab a free beer. The plan of our son running himself to sleep had backfired and overtiredness had kicked in, it was time to call it a day, but not before one last novelty photo of the three of us. The journey home was a welcome one and it wasn’t long before the boy was asleep in the back. I love my family time and it is something I cherish but there are some times when it would be best to leave them at home and weddings are one of them.