This past weekend, Hannah was the flower girl in the wedding of a good friend from church.
Hannah had been pretty excited about the whole ordeal. Dress shopping, shoe shopping, shopping, shopping, shopping. Hannah is all-girl, so anything involving pretty dresses and fancy decorations, etc. is right up her alley.
We actually kept her home from daycare Thursday and Friday because she seemed to be coming down with some cold symptoms and we wanted her to get some rest so that she would be ready for the rehearsal Friday night and the wedding Saturday night.
She did well at the rehearsal. She got the idea of walking down the aisle alone and then leaving with the ring bearer, who was a couple years older than Hannah and had been a ring bearer before (he seemed less than enthused to be there).
Despite the rehearsal and all the excitement, you just never know how a four-year-old girl is going to react when they're faced with the task of walking, alone, down an aisle with a couple hundred people watching her. But she did it like a pro. She marched right down the aisle and hit her mark on the stage. And she sat there for a relatively long wedding ceremony, about 45 minutes. She fidgeted a bit now and then, but that's to be expected, I guess. At one point, despite my efforts to hide, she found me in the crowd and waved. I tried to hide again, but she just kept waving. So, I waved back, and that seemed to satisfy her. I was a little concerned that since she knew where I was that she then had the option of coming to me, but she never did. Her bouquet was what mainly kept her occupied, though. It had been dropped earlier in the day and some of the flowers had popped out of it. During the ceremony, she was continually picking up the ones that had fallen out and putting them back in, which caused others to fall out, and so on. She took her place in the recessional and then in the receiving line where, I'm quite certain, she ate up all the attention lavished upon her. Some people asked me with what we bribed her to get her to sit still for the whole ceremony. God's honest truth is that we just didn't. I'm not sure that they believed me -- heck, I barely believe me! But believe this: we are very proud of how well she did.
Hannah did well with the wedding photographer, but I guess she always does for 'professional' photographers -- not so much for me, though. It was funny - for the wedding photographer, she would do exactly as told -- put your arm like this, chin down, smile, etc. -- For me, she typically did exactly the opposite of what I was asking. I don't often ask her to pose for pictures as it's not really my style. Despite her best efforts, I did manage to get a few good shots of her big day. Here's a sampling of the best I got:
(click on any picture to see a larger size)
At the reception, she was 'announced' as part of the wedding party. She came in, ate some of her food and then after the first few slow dances were over and the upbeat music started, she found her way to the dance floor was stayed there for the duration of the night. Even when she was the only one on the dance floor she was out there dancing and watching her dress sway back and forth, but most of the time there were others out there having a good time and enjoying Hannah, too. The bridesmaids were really great with her - dancing with her and holding her occasionally. There weren't many kids there, but Hannah eventually managed to find a friend who was smaller than she.
She had rested earlier in the day for a bit, but hadn't really gotten a good nap like we wanted for her, but despite that, she was out there until nearly eleven o'clock before she admitted being exhausted. She was asleep before her head hit the pillow.
There's no doubt, it was a great day for her and for us.
Finally, one of my favorite pictures of the day -- and it doesn't even have Hannah in it! I kind of got lucky with this panning shot at 1/4 second exposure, but I really liked how it captured the Bride and her Father walking down the aisle:
Films Recently Watched:
Sergeant York (1941) dir. by Howard Hawks
Raging Bull (1980) dir. by Martin Scorsese
A Fish Called Wanda (1988) dir. by Charles Crichton
Million Dollar Baby (2004) dir. by Clint Eastwood
Hulk (2003) dir. by Ang Lee
Panic Room (2002) dir. by David Fincher