Back in March, Daniel's dad asked if Jack could be a ring bearer in his upcoming June wedding. We said, "Sure" but with the caveat that Jack is 1.5 years old and has a mind of his own and we couldn't guarantee that he would actually do it.
Initially we figured that as social as Jack is and his general willingness to meet new people, we had a decent shot of him actually going through with the process.
The rehearsal was late on Saturday night, so Jack stayed home with me. We didn't want to push him too much. He had already had a busy week and we wanted him to be well rested for his Grandpa's big day.
Also, any time we tried to put him in his suit (to see how he would do), he would cry and fight the whole process. We tried this procedure twice and I started to worry that things might not go as planned.
Last week, he also started throwing little baby temper tantrums. Mostly this consists of laying down on the floor (very carefully so he doesn't bump his head) and refusing to do what you ask. This is generally accompanied by a little crying.
I was beginning to doubt that the ring bearer thing would actually happen. It didn't help that he only squeezed in a catnap on the way to the wedding (in Chattanooga) and didn't have another opportunity to sleep until we left 6 hours later.
We arrived an hour-and-a-half before the wedding. Before we did anything else, Daniel and I took Jack into the auditorium. Daniel went and stood on the stage while I stayed back with Jack. We told him to walk to Daddy and he bolted down the aisle. We did it twice to be certain. His mini rehearsal was perfect. It helped that there were stairs to the stage and he LOVES stairs. He still wasn't in his suit and there was no one in the audience, so our fingers were crossed at this point.
Daniel went to get ready with the guys and I took Jack to the girls area. We found some other kids (there were a total of 6 kids in the wedding) and Jack had a good time playing.
I wasn't sure how soon to put his suit on him. I wanted him to have some time to get acclimated (so that he wouldn't be throwing a fit as we were sending him down the aisle) but I didn't want to do it too soon either. About 30 minutes before the ceremony, I helped him put his suit on (it was a bit like roping a calf) and we attempted to take some photos. He just wanted to climb on the TV stand in the classroom where we were getting ready.
Ten minutes before the start of the wedding, we took him downstairs and he wandered around. He really wanted to go into the auditorium and would cry every time we said no. Daniel decided to let him do a "live" test run and walked with him down to the stage.
I think the audience enjoyed getting a little preview of what was to come. Jack seemed to enjoy the walk down to the stairs/stage.
When the bridal party lined up, the lady directing everything informed us that Jack would be the first kid to go and he would be walking by himself! He was also the youngest child. I held him until it was his turn to go and then I set him loose and told him to walk to Daddy.
He ran down the aisle and never even looked back. Daniel's dad had the biggest grin on his face. Daniel's sister, Emily, later told me that she and the other bridesmaids were chanting something along the lines of, "Let's go buddy" and "good job."
Jack was so pleased that he got to climb stairs by himself (and without a hand rail!). The audience seemed impressed with his abilities.
Once the ceremony started, I grabbed Jack and he sat with me until the end. Yay for snacks and toys as distractions. At the end, Jack went to Daniel and was carried out of the auditorium. After the wedding, I had several people come up and tell me that Jack stole the show. The lady that played the harp during the ceremony told us that we should rent Jack out for weddings.
The whole ceremony went off without a hitch, though I was pretty distracted with occupying Jack. Watching him walk down the aisle made me tear up a bit. How can my little baby already be big enough to walk down the aisle at a wedding?!?
Jack made it through the entire ceremony, but he was getting tired at the reception and he was not a fan of having to be held during pictures. He slept all of the way home.