Everyone wants to have a picture-perfect wedding. Little girls dream of it from the time they are born. The long, flowing white gown, flowers in the hair, everything.

If we really want perfect weddings, then we shouldn’t have kids in them. This was never more evident than at the wedding we attended this weekend.

My 3-year-old daughter, Raygan, was a flower girl and her 3-year-old cousin, Brodie, was the ring bearer. There is nothing more nerve-wracking than expecting your child to walk, properly, down an aisle in front of 300 watching adults.

During the rehearsal on Thursday night, Raygan kept laying back and throwing her feet up in the air (while wearing a dress) and running around trying to pick up all of the rose petals. Brodie, on the other hand, was doing all he could to tear up the ring-bearer pillow. He would balance it on his feet and then kick it to the floor and try to pull every ribbon out, one by one.

They did pretty good about walking down the aisle on Thursday, but that doesn’t mean anything until the main event.

When we arrived on Friday, I could tell that Raygan needed a nap and a spanking. She wouldn’t let them take any pictures of her and she kept saying that the dress was hurting her. (The dress was a very expensive and beautiful dress that, any other day, would have made her more than happy to wear.)

When the wedding music started, it was time to put on the serious talk. I told both of them that if they did good, there would be cake. If they did badly, there would be no cake. Threats I didn’t intend to keep, but for the sake of the wedding, I made them anyway.

Brodie went down the aisle without a hitch. When it was Raygan’s turn, she took two steps, turned around and with the biggest smile in the world said, “Am I doing good?” I said, “Yes, baby, now keep walking.”

When everyone was in place and the bride had just walked down the aisle, Raygan, in her full tone voice said, “Where’s my Nana?” People laughed and I pointed at Nana and told her to be quiet.

During the 30-minute ceremony there were flips, turns, one fall off the stage and a couple of pouts. But she made it through it. Brodie, on the other hand, was shoving the pillow into the plant beside him and teaching the groomsmen how to count on their fingers.

They walked out of the ceremony in perfect order. All the while, the bride and groom sealed their vows and had no idea about all of the chaos to the right and left of them.

I guess everyone knows what to expect when they get married, especially when they have toddlers in the wedding.

I’m glad that we were able to participate in the wedding, but I’m really glad it’s over. No more worries about a run-away flower girl.

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