Sometimes, STUFF just HAPPENS

Bleargh. The weather has been a fiend lately!
Plan A and Plan B have rain and sun covered, but there’s only going to be discontent when you’re facing gale force winds on an otherwise sunny blue day.

I want to give full credit to all the couples I’ve worked with this past weekend. The weather was beautiful but lousy, and they rolled with it, incredibly well. In particular, one bride who solved her own problem, instead of battling the wind and her [stunningly beautiful, fine lace] extremely long veil, she just pulled the comb out, and tucked the rolled up veil under the edge of her train, mid-ceremony. In that one action, she removed a distraction, not only for her guests, who were watching and wincing as it wound and flicked itself about, but also for herself and her groom. By removing the distraction, she brought the focus back to where it belonged, quickly, calmly, and without any fuss.

Stuff happens. The groom ends up with his Mother-in-Law’s lipstick on his collar before the formal photos. The dog runs off with the rings tied to his collar. The flower-girl shows off her Dora The Explorer knickers mid ceremony.
It rains. It blows a gale. It rains AND blows a gale.
Babies cry, candles refuse to light, pens don’t write… Stuff. It happens.

If you plan carefully, and you’re lucky, stuff happens to other people. But occasionally, all the stars align, and it happens to you, at your ceremony. Here’s the one thing you can do to control that random stuff that happens:

Stay focused. Keep your eyes on your bride or groom, smile, laugh if you can, and carry on as if you’d planned for things to go that way. Your family, and your guests will take their cue from you. How you react will give them a script for their own reaction. And, more importantly, how you react will determine whether that random stuff that just happened becomes the defining moment in your guests’ memories, or just another cute anecdote among many warm memories of a beautiful day.

I’m a great fan of the idea that you should ‘solve your own problem’. So if there’s a simple solution, like taking off your wind-whipped veil, do that. But if it’s not actually YOUR problem, or not one you can solve for yourselves, have faith in your Celebrant and ushers, or during your reception, your Emcee and parents, to take care of the problem for you.

A good Celebrant or Emcee will guide you safely through a potential disaster during the ceremony or speeches, your ushers will help with your guests. Everyone there is on your side, wanting the best possible outcome.Stay calm, and let them help. Don’t waste time or energy on getting cross, pulling faces, or doing the angry stabby gestures dance – all that does is keep everyone’s attention on the other stuff, and you will keep the focus where it should be -on  the committment you and your partner are celebrating.

Stuff happens? Ah, let it. It’s not even important. Unless you allow it to be.
So, yeah, don’t do that!

Breaking Out The Bubbly

I have had so much fun this week, thanks to The Wedding Kit loaning me their bubble machine!
We set the machine up in the entryway of The Corner Store, and ‘commenced to blowing’:
instant clouds of iridescence wafting along the street, [which was fun straight out of the box] but what’s been the most delightful has been the reactions of people passing by.

So far, no-one’s said “bah humbug”.  Apart from one run-away buggy [with baby still inside, and caught just in time!] the bubbles haven’t caused any accidents.
So far.
If anything, it seems like the streams of bubbles occasionally wandering out across the road have caused people to drive a little slower around our horrible corner. Though, I do wonder if I should write a letter of apology to the teachers unlucky enough to attempt crocodile filing  three classes of 8 year olds past my door yesterday.

Men in suits, the Postie, pretty much anyone who had passed by has at the very least smiled, if not dawdled for a while. Small children have predictably erupted into paroxysms of  bubble-glee, thanks to passing parents who parked their car, unstrapped the baby, and walked them over to play!

I haven’t gotten much work done. Without a word of a lie, since I started writing this blog post this morning, I’ve been distracted by a pit bull terrier leaping [all four feet off the ground] to catch bubbles, a classic ’emo-goth-wannabe’ utterly ruining his sad mood, and three tough dudes in black leathers almost choking to death  laughing and trying to catch bubbles in thier mouths.

But the absolute best reactions? All this week, it’s the school boys who have surprised and delighted me. I’ve kind of assumed that teen-aged boys were far too cool to expect any reaction at all to the bubbles – if I’d had to predict, I’d have said a big boy would kick the machine over and run away – turns out, I am totally wrong on that:

So, for your Friday afternoon enjoyement, I give you: What young men [because,  these have all been seniors!] do when surprised by bubbles:

Let’s begin with the group of lads playing a scratch game of “footy with bubbles”, shouting “Gooooaaaalllll!” and running off, shirts over their heads like Pele.

Add one very sharp-looking chap, totally lost in thought as bubbles swirled around him, and his less dapper counterpart, later in the day – similarly entranced. Overlay a soundtrack to the effect of “Duuuude. Wait. What?” and try not to giggle too loudly. I’m not certain, but I think he was trying to catch some to put in his pockets for later…

I’ve seen otherwise unperturbably cool dudes,  breaking into dance, or sitting on the kerb laughing, running off to find a mate to drag him back for show and tell – I haven’t laughed this much in months!

My favourite schoolboy quip so far:  “See, if you don’t wag, you miss this stuff”

I’m going to just say it: Nelson College Schoolboys are awesome. I love that they still have that sense of childlike wonder, and are not afraid to show it, even among their peers. It’s been such fun to hear the surprise and delight of passers-by, and to discover that whether one is have been 3 or 63, apparenlty you’re never too old to play in the bubbles.

If you have a moment and you’re in the neighbourhood, come over and play! [Or if your inner child is old and curmudgeonly, you could curl up on the couch and people watch]

A quick shoutout to the guy who started the party – You can hire one of these magic-making machines for just $50 /day from The Wedding Kit – You don’t even need a special occasion – just start the bubbles, and the party will come to you!

The Wedding Kit: Affordable Equpment Hire for weddings, events, and ordinary days!

Children are little, so it’s easy to overlook them

Whether the kids are yours, in your bridal party, or came with your guests, they need some attention in your wedding planning.

First things first. You should carefully consider whether you want children to be part of your wedding celebrations? At the ceremony? At the reception/dinner? Later in the evening? If not, what is your cut off age? Will the no-kids rule apply to close family and friends as well as to the main body of guests? What accommodations can be made for children of guests who are travelling from out-of-town? What will you do if a guest does turn up with their children anyway? Make sure the information is clearly spelled out in your invitations.

If children are welcome, how will you include their needs in your plans? How much time and money are you willing to allocate to keeping them quiet and happy? What accommodations are you willing or able to be made for children of guests who are travelling from out of town, as the evening wears on?

The question of whose responsibility it is to amuse the kids at a wedding is a bit tricky. After all, it IS the parents’ job to keep their young miss or master amused, not yours. In the best of all possible worlds, parents would instinctively choose to leave their rambunctious child at home, rather than put themselves through the drama that can be keeping a small child quiet during a wedding ceremony. But generally, unless specifically asked not to, most parents will bring their children with them. Even though technically, it’s not your problem,  it can pretty quickly become everyone’s problem!So it makes sense to allow for them in your plans.

While any sensible parent will also pack a bag full of distractions for their tiny tot, it’s not often that they’ll do the same for their slightly older child/ren, which is a shame. Bored pre-teens are sometimes worse than bored two  year olds, having had more practice at it. For the sake of everyone’s sanity, it’s a great idea to include them in your plans. Just how much effort you should go to will depend greatly on the size of your junior guest list, and the age range it spans.

If you’re in the middle of a baby boom, and you know that most of your guests will have one or more pre-schoolers with them, it may be worth hiring a nanny, a children’s entertainer, if space permits, a bouncy castle, or even all three.  For older kids, small gestures, such as providing a box of crayons and a colouring book at their table is a nice gesture, and you’d be amazed at how many bigger kids will ‘keep an eye on the littlies for you’ [read: hang out in the kids zone] or go play in the bouncy castle as long as no-one’s watching! Older kids may enjoy being asked to be ‘second camera’ or videographer – with digital technology, it doesn’t matter too much what the results are, and you will probably be pleasantly surprised at what they manage to capture.

Usually, you will know well in advance which guests are bringing their children, so, especially if there will only be a few school aged or pre-teen kids, you will be able to choose a puzzle book, simple game,or other age appropriate amusement, and have it waiting at their table.

It doesn’t take much effort or cash, just a little bit of forward planning. Not only will you win the gratitude of the parents of said children, but you’ll also receive the benefit of having happy children, rather than whiny, bored ones on your wedding day!

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