The church where my sister was married had a very firm rule that any children who were members of the wedding party had to be at least five. My son, at age six, qualified to be a ring bearer. My daughter, who would turn three just days before the wedding, could not be a flower girl, so the honor went to the groom’s five-year-old sister, who was barely eligible.
My daughter was devastated. I was a bridesmaid, and my son was the ring bearer. What would she be?
We tried to console her by telling her she could be “Daddy’s date” because my husband also had no role in the wedding party. It didn’t work. Even at three, she was intelligent enough to know when she was being patronized.
After many tears and the purchase of a pretty white dress almost as nice as a flower girl’s, we headed across country to the wedding in California. The wedding in an old church in Monterey was lovely. The reception was in a posh resort on the Seventeen Mile Drive. Pictures featured the Pacific Ocean, cypress trees, and rolling green lawns.
My daughter made a fine date for my husband, until he abandoned her at the dinner table. In fact, everyone at our table—including me—abandoned her. She was stuck in her toddler’s booster seat, unable to get down from the table where she sat all alone.
Tears came, until my father noticed her sobbing and rescued her.
I don’t have a picture of my daughter as Daddy’s date. But I do have this picture of her with my father. She stuck close to Grandpa after the rescue. In essence, she became Grandpa’s date, and he was much more attentive to her than my husband had been.
Today, my daughter turns thirty. She can stick up for herself much better now than at age three. At five-foot-nine, she no long needs a booster seat. And she is much more likely to patronize me than the other way around.
What wedding stories can you tell about your family?