A tattoo parlor (Why parlor? Why not “shop” or "emporium"?) in Alameda has a sign in the window: "If you have to come in with children, please control them."
I would like a copy of that sign for the wedding room. Several children were part of weddings this week -some rowdy, some very well-behaved.
The centerpiece of the wedding room is the arch, a lovely garden trellis strung with plastic vines and Christmas lights. The tables on either side of the arch used to hold bouquets before the staff discovered couples were leaving with them. Now they sit empty, sentries for the arch.
The rowdy child spent the entire wedding fiddling with one of the tables, which at least kept him busy. When he reached for the arch, I had to ask the parents (aka the bride & groom) to stop him. Children love to pull on things, and the arch must not be disturbed. Luckily, the boy was distracted long enough to let me finish the ceremony.
On the other side were the couple who had 3 children between them, all of whom participated in the wedding - 2 ring-bearers and a best "man". It was beautiful to see how happy they and the couple were to have the whole family involved in the ceremony. The parents obviously had impressed upon them how important the wedding was and how important their part in it was. Well done!
As a bonus, I got to train a new staff member. She observed me performing a couple weddings, and didn't understand why I didn't need a copy of the ceremony. "I've done 1,500 weddings," I told her.
"It's muscle memory now, and it will be for you too."
The bride who arrived in sweats and emerged from the ladies' room in a lovely full-length white dress to match her groom's 3-piece suit. Clever girl - I wouldn't want to get anything on that dress, either.