An invitation to a wedding: once a joyous social outing to look forward to, providing the perfect excuse to indulge in a new outfit and a pedicure. Now a childcare logistical nightmare with accompanying outfit stress and almost certain need for ‘controlling’ underwear.
Here’s how it used to go, compared to how it goes now:
Pre: spend weeks researching outfit, comparing notes with fellow guests and ensuring the colour and style doesn’t clash with the bridesmaids or mother / in-law. Locate matching accessories and coordinating handbag.
Post: enjoy preceding weeks of laid-back attitude towards outfit, comfortable in the knowledge that the Whistles dress from cousin Tom’s wedding last year can be recycled and wheeled out for this occasion. Morning of wedding – encounter total meltdown upon discovery that dress no longer fits and now looks like one of the four-year old’s outfits. Call in emergency control pants in attempt to rectify the situation. Grab accessories at last minute, debate whether anyone will notice the hand-crafted beaded bracelet is actually daughter’s Frozen stocking filler, and the (once-fashionable) ‘oversized style bag’ is actually a change bag.
Pre: book preening sessions with ample time. Wax, pedicure, manicure and fake tan all scheduled in and arranged with enough time to allow for any disasters / orange fading.
Post: hastily fake tan only the parts of the body that will be on display the day before the wedding, and during toddler’s nap time. Result: two orange lower legs and arms (will be fine so long as cardigan does not come off / wind doesn’t blow dress up). Nail varnish is dictated by shoe choice, decide on peep toe shoes and therefore only paint big toes.
Pre: book blow dry for morning of wedding to achieve bouffant, body-filled hair whilst sipping green tea and flicking through Hello!
Post: grab ten-minute window to attack hair with outdated heated rollers aiming for voluminous Jackie Collins glam and inevitably achieving Brian May bush.
Pre: take steps to avoid potential hazards including nail varnish smudges, creasing in the car and deodorant on black dresses.
Post: dodge Sudocrem wielding children attacking from all angles, snot contact, exploding nappies, scratchy Barbie hands in close proximity to sheer tights, and remove (now flat) fascinators from underneath toddler’s bottom and explain it’s not actually a bird’s nest.
Pre: smile serenely as the bride enters, look lovingly at partner, and take photos whilst remaining elegant and un-creased.
Post: sob uncontrollably as bride enters, look at partner with disdain for not taking children to park and allowing ample time to get ready, discover children have removed camera altogether from giant change bag and in its place find mouldy banana, Peppa Pig plastic figurines and 500 nappy sacks.
Pre: make interesting conversation with fellow guests, discuss current affairs, popular culture and amusing anecdotes about the bride and groom.
Post: show entire table pictures of children, talk about the current toddler sleep issues and attempt to stay upright in chair having devoured an entire bottle of red single-handedly.
Pre: drink, dance and be merry.
Post: lose shoe, discard control pants, cry about missing the children, and be put to bed by 9pm in drunken stupor whilst still wearing makeup and one heated roller.
8. Morning after the night before
Pre: wake up mid-morning and enjoy a leisurely breakfast.
Post: admit defeat against body clock’s insistence on waking up at 5am. Collect children by 9am and spend the remainder of the day in emotional / hungover turmoil living in fear of the publication of Facebook photos.
Image credit: Lovethispic.com