By Anchel Krishna @anchelk
The Krishna family recently went to their first family wedding with their preschool aged daughter in tow. Anchel shares the tips that helped make it a fun event for everyone.
Over the last several years Victoria Day long weekend in Canada has marked a season for us. No, it’s not the ‘unofficial’ start of the summer as it is for most Canadians; it is the official start of Indian wedding season.
For those of you that have been to an Indian wedding, you know that it is an elaborate, multi-day affair. In our Hindu family, the traditions consist of several pre and post-wedding events. There are tonnes of spicy food, late nights, loud music and beautiful, colourful, elaborate clothes. It is a lot of fun.
Over this past weekend my cousin married a wonderful girl (congratulations, Sumit and Ritu)! It was our first family wedding with Syona. We’ve been to a number of weddings and receptions with her, but this was the first one that involved a close family member where we attended all of the different events. And we all had a great time, including Syona! Here are some of my top tips to ensure you enjoy your weddings this summer:
- Pack smart. We never knew when the food would be served or if it would be too spicy. So we packed snacks, drinks and a few small toys. We also took a number of backup outfits in case there was an accident or Syona’s Indian outfits got too pinchy. We also didn’t pack too much as it can be cumbersome to cart it all around.
- Prepare your kid. Syona is pretty social and loves attention, which she gets from all of our extended family. However at a certain point she needs downtime. So we made sure we told her the plans for the day and what would be happening. That way she was in the loop about what was happening.
- Set realistic expectations. Syona is 3 ½ and we need to take that into account when we’re trying to get somewhere on time or are planning a late night. While we know she loves music and dancing we certainly don’t expect her to be at the reception until we get kicked out of the hall. Some kids are fine to fall asleep on the mandap or curl up in a corner of the hall, but Syona won’t sleep outside of our house so we had to plan accordingly.
- Get a babysitter if you need one. Dilip and I knew that we’d be at the reception until pretty late. So we asked Dilip’s parents (who were also planning to attend the reception) if they would mind leaving a bit earlier and taking Syona home. They were happy to help and ended up sleeping over, which allowed Dilip and I to stay at the reception late. Bonus: there are so many friends and family members around that want to play with Syona there were times that it actually felt like a break!
- Plan your outfit. Little kids that you have to carry and heavy saris do not mix. I was wearing a really nice one that my mom picked up for me last time she was in India. I loved it, it looked great, but it was heavy and there was a lot of work on it, which meant some inadvertent scratches for Syona. As for taking her to the bathroom and diaper changes, Dilip was on solo duty that night as it wasn’t possible in that sari (perhaps I should wear one every day!)
- Have fun. If you’re stressed, your kids pick up on it. So kick up your heels and have a great time. After all, it is a wedding!
What are your wedding survival tips when you have your kids in tow?
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