What to Expect When You Take a Baby to a Destination Wedding
Attending a destination wedding is a unique opportunity to travel to a beautiful locale and celebrate the marriage of someone very close to you. (Cue romantic, ukulele music.) But what if you're a guest with a baby? (Strike "romantic". The ukulele is now playing "The Itsy Bitsy Spider".) I recently returned from Maui, where my husband, 11-year-old son, 8-month-old baby daughter and I attended my sister’s gorgeous, destination wedding. Having the baby there, my husband and I may have relaxed a little less and celebrated a little more "conservatively" than if it had just been the two of us, but we were still able to have an enjoyable and memorable experience. Here are some things to expect when you take baby with you to a destination wedding.
You'll Start Off Tired
Traveling with a baby requires an extreme amount of stamina and energy. I’m talking the stamina of Lance Armstrong on performance enhancers. It all begins with packing. It’s a wedding so you pack lots of outfits for the main event and for all the other wedding-related activities. It’s a wedding in Hawaii, so you pack beachwear, beach towels, snorkel masks and fins. Then times that by husband and son, and mostly, BABY. After carrying the baby, stroller, car seat, carriers, favorite toys and suitcases for each of you from home to cab to airport, and get everyone through security… you’re ready for a nap. But, as we all know, flying with babies and naps don’t go together. Get your game face on, Champ!
Your Little One Will Get Bonding Time With Family and Close Friends
Most of the time, only close friends and family attend destination weddings. Brides and grooms choose destination weddings because they want a more intimate group of guests. This results in a wedding group full of familiar faces—those near and dear to the bride and groom. The smaller group gives everyone more face time with one another. Baby will be showered with love and receive some quality, bonding time with relatives and other people who are like family.
Photo Credit: Stacey Divine
You Will Get Amazing Baby Photo Ops
Destination weddings are usually in beautiful, romantic places. You are likely to be invited to a place with surf and sand, picturesque mountains or anywhere else that might be the background image to prints of inspirational quotes.
As if you are not a proud baby-pic-snapping parent as it is, add waves, waterfalls or vineyards to the background, and it’s over. Hope your computer can handle all those GBs of cuteness.
Photo Credit: Christopher Wada
You May Not Get to Join in on the Golf, But You Won't Care
With baby, you simply cannot attend all the wedding activities. You may not get to play golf or go deep sea fishing with the others, but you’ll be happy to spend that time watching your baby dig her itty bitty toes into the sand and splashing with her in the ocean. There are few things more adorable than watching baby play in the sand. And by “play in” I mean, “eat”.
You'll Need a Babysitter
Hotel Concierges will have a list of trusted babysitter services to recommend to you. Don’t think that just because you have several family members at the same location, that child care will be covered. They are all there to celebrate, not babysit. And as much as family and friends may love your child and insist on looking after them, they can’t be sure what the celebratory days and nights might have in store for them.
You Will Deviate From the Rules
On a regular family vacation, it’s easy to plan activities around your baby’s or family’s routine. When you are on vacation for a wedding, there are non-stop activities and events to honor the happy couple which are so nice to attend, but put more demands on a baby. You’ll just have to roll with it, and do what it takes to keep baby happy and comfortable. She may be up extra late some nights, and she may eat at odd times of the day. And you may catch her sucking on greasy chicken strips from another kid’s plate, in her fancy dress.
You'll Appreciate Other Babies in Attendance
You’ll spend a lot of time with the others who also brought their babies. The babies can play with (distract) each other, the parents can bum baby snacks off of each other, and you’ll be glad to have someone to participate in baby-friendly activities with you.
Your Wedding Attire May Be "One, and Done"
Remember the greasy chicken strips baby rolled around in her fingers at dinner? They will likely leave a greasy stain on your dress to commemorate the happy occasion. And you can always count on the usual suspects, spit up, drool and the runny nose, to add to the look. You may also wipe your chocolate chip cookie hands on your white blazer thinking it’s a napkin. Just hope you get a photo of your dress, pre-stainage.
You May Be Very Inspired to Let Loose
When you have a baby, your days of hitting the club scene are few and far between. So when the opportunity to celebrate a joyous occasion (in a beautiful locale, no less) collides with Usher’s “Yeah”, a hard-core party beast will be released who is long overdue on the dance floor. I.e. you may see your husband twerking in the middle of the dance circle. And he may be a little bit sweaty.
Baby Will Be Tuckered Out
Days of sun and sand and nights attending events past bedtime are tiring for any-sized human. Add hours of overstimulation from being passed from one peekaboo face to another and chasing around a very, similarly-sized cousin, and you have one exhausted baby. Also, if there has been a time zone change, brace yourself for baby jet lag. It’s like grown-up jet lag, but they don’t whine as much.
You'll be thankful you did it
You’ll feel grateful that you got to see someone you love tie the knot, but you also got to take a fantastic, family vacation that you may not have otherwise gotten around to taking.
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