Jessica Blex-Musfeldt has been a wedding photographer for almost 11 years. In her time working with happy brides and grooms, she’s seen her fair share of kids who cooperate as well as those who don’t.
“I always try to lessen expectations of kids on wedding days. When I’m doing wedding photos, I’m not going to sit and wait for them to stop crying; I just move on,” she said, adding that she doesn’t want to make the situation worse for them.
When working on weddings through her business, Jessica Blex Photography, she tells her clients to make sure that kids stay on a schedule and get a nap if possible before the ceremony.
When it was Blex-Musfeldt’s turn to walk down the aisle in May, all that advice went out the window.
Her 4-year-old stepdaughter, Hadley, is typically relaxed, Blex-Musfeldt said, even if she’s a bit shy. But when the big day arrived, Hadley was the exact opposite.
“She didn’t cooperate most of the day,” she said. At the end of the wedding, “she didn’t like the clapping, so she cried. Now when I hear about kids not cooperating, I feel that more now.”
Because of her age, Hadley didn’t really get what a wedding was or what it entailed. So Blex-Musfeldt and now-husband, Kyle, did what they could to involve her in the planning, including having her be maid of honor.
Blex-Musfeldt ordered several dresses for Hadley to try on and let her pick her favorite one. Hadley came along with the couple to tour wedding venues. And she accompanied Blex-Musfeldt for dress fittings.
“We just talked about how it was more ‘our’ wedding instead of me and Kyle’s wedding,” she said. “It was about us becoming a family and not just me marrying her dad. She kept calling it ‘our wedding.’ ”
When the day arrived, Hadley was overwhelmed by all the people taking care of her.
“Having all the people was a lot for her,” she said.
But she found comfort with Blex-Musfeldt and didn’t want to leave her side. Blex-Musfeldt gave Hadley a necklace that incorporated butterflies, something her mom, who died when she was 1, loved. Kyle’s gift to her was asking if she would adopt Hadley.
Despite some uncooperation and rain most of the day, the wedding was a success.
“At the end of the day, we were a family, and that’s what we wanted,” Blex-Musfeldt said.
When it comes to kids in weddings, planners are seeing some new trends pop up. Carrie Dayton, president of Carrie Dayton Events & Consulting, had this to say:
1. Flower girls are starting to wear clothing with a little soft color, such as blush or light blue, that compliments the wedding colors.
2. Many weddings feature multiple children as attendants instead of one ring bearer and one flower girl. “When there are multiple, some brides have opted to give them little bells to ring as they go down the aisle instead of flowers,” Dayton said.
3. For more casual weddings, ring bearers are wearing suits or suspenders and flat caps.
4. Flower girls are carrying petite nosegays, baskets with floral arrangements or kissing balls, rather than the loose petals that many churches won’t allow.
5. “We have also seen a lot of flowers in flower girls’ hair,” Dayton said. “Rather than wreaths of the past, these are little combs with flowers attached.”
6. “Ring security” outfits, in which the ring bearer acts like a security guard carrying the rings in a safe or lockbox, are falling out of fashion.
The Big Day: Your video guide to planning your wedding
Feast Living presents The Big Day: Bridal Party Hair sponsored by Nebraska Realty
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Coming soon: The Big Day video series starting Jan. 7
The Big Day is sponsored by Nebraska Realty in Omaha, Nebraska.
Planning the perfect wedding requires skill, organization, a few lucky charms, some magic and a village of great friends to help you pull it off. Enter The Big Day video series – your friendly resource designed to help you create your fairytale day.
To kick off the six-part series, we’ll start with the main event – the dress, obviously. Bridal shop experts will reveal the hottest trends in wedding dresses this year and explain what to ask for on your monumental shopping trip to look chic and in-style for every photo op.
The following week, tune in for tasty tips on arguably the best part of wedding planning – the cake. A winner of TLC’s "Next Great Baker" will show viewers the three mouthwatering, gorgeous cake designs brides are loving right now and explain which trend pairs best with which type of wedding.
Next up, we’ll visit our bridal shop experts again, where their stylists will zero in on the show-stopping details that will make your wedding ensemble truly special – from buttons to beading to lace to silhouette features and more.
For our fourth video, we’ll turn our gaze to something that is top-of-mind for many brides – literally. Get inspired by their review of the hair accessory trends to note this year – after all, why should the dress get all the attention?
And even though this technically is your day, you can’t forget your girls – the ones who have always been by your side in life and in love. For our final two installments of this series, we’ll introduce you to the “Bridal Party Boutique,” where fabulous bridal beauty specialists will share DIY makeup and hair tips and tricks with your bridesmaids, so they can feel beautiful and camera-ready from the ceremony to the reception to the sparkler-lined send-off.
No matter what kind of celebration you’re dreaming of, let "The Big Day" video series keep you inspired and on-trend as you plan the best day of your life. Stay tuned for the launch on January 7!