Monday, 18 August 2014

4 Weddings and A Hearing Loss Fail

This summer, we attended 4 weddings (no funeral...knock on wood). Each one of them different, but ultimately the newlyweds demonstrated true, undying love for each other. Weddings are insanely fun - from the ceremony all the way to the reception (I especially love eating and drinking at weddings, because that's how I show my joy for them). My feet might hurt in my new wedge heels (4 inches, no less! I am VERY short), but the most annoying part about attending weddings is not being able to understand the speeches...

My first stint as a bridesmaid! But man, those heels killed me.


I wish we could request closed captioning for all the speeches. It would make life SO much easier. Alas, we can't ask for such things, especially since it isn't our big day. Sure, we'll do our best to get a vantage point when looking for seating, but we can't always predict where the speakers will be, if they'll have an accent, or if they'll hold the mike ridiculously close to their mouth that we can't lipread.
Captioning at our wedding, October 2011. This was one of our first 'must-have' things on our wedding list (it helps that we were friends with a Captionist too!)  My husband actually said these words - burned in black and white for all eternity...
This is what I call a 'hearing loss fail'. I went through all the weddings only understanding 60% of what was being said (if the ceremony was in a church, I probably got 90% of it). At times it was boring if no one was laughing or crying. If everyone started laughing, I'd probably end up doing my 'fake' laugh (note: that's bluffing!), or if everyone started clapping, I'd do an obligatory clap. Even if I only get 60% of what's being said at weddings, I do get a pretty good idea as to what's going on (even the ridiculously cheesy, weird parts).

At one wedding, we both found it pretty tough to take care of Rachel - partly because the venue wasn't exactly kid-friendly (though, very, very beautiful and romantic). As a result, we couldn't follow what was going on as we were in-and-out of the venue. At another wedding, the bride and groom gave a THIRTY minute thank-you speech (!!!). Halfway through their speech, we had to leave the room to allow Rachel to crawl around as she was getting antsy.
Our little girl crawling around!On this day, it was SUPER hot (34 degrees!) and she was a trooper in this puffy dress!

Interestingly, I was particularly pleased to learn that family rooms are available at most places - this made it easier to breastfeed! At the last wedding we attended (and the one where I was a bridesmaid), my boobs were on the verge of explosion during speeches - and they DID explode. I dashed off to the washroom (in desperation) with my little girl, hoping that she'd take some milk. She didn't take any! Apparently, the excitement of the day left her incredibly distracted and without an appetite.

Thankfully my mom was in attendance and was able to get the breast pump for me, and while waiting for the pump to arrive, I stood in the bathroom stall, literally half naked when I got a knock on the door saying that the bride needed my stall (it took me a few minutes to figure out what the other person on the other end was saying, as I was particularly focused on stopping milk leakage). Fortunately, I managed to find a private room to express the nearly 7oz of milk in less than 5 minutes! Embarrassing.

So here are some tips for HOHs planning to attend a wedding:
  • Ask for a copy of the speech in advance (if possible!)
  • Get to the ceremony and reception on time, or early if possible. You might be able to get a better seat (even if it's far away)
  • Tell someone you're a HOH! They might be able to make last minute accommodations for you. (or better yet, let the speakers know not to cover up their mouths too much).
  • Offer to pay for captioning costs at the wedding (if you've got the money to spare). You could get your own personal computer.
  • Record speeches and send them off to be transcribed ex post facto (the cheaper alternative). You might laugh later, but at least you'll be in the loop for years to come.
For mommies who are still breastfeeding (at this point, we're trying to switch to breastfeeding PLUS formula feeding):
  • Bring your breastpump! It is not the easiest to manually pump (by hand... I've had to to this, and it's like milking yourself - I felt like a cow)
  • Pump some milk beforehand. It's always great to have extra on hand if you're in a venue where it isn't easy to breastfeed. Most places will provide hot water to warm up the bottle.
  • Pray that your child will take the bottle (mine didn't take it until she was 8 months old!)
  • Bring toys. LOTS of toys. (and make sure they don't make sound)
  • If your child is self-feeding, puffs and mum mums are great to have on hand.
  • Bring a beach blanket! Great for putting the babe on the grass to play while waiting.
SIGH. Oh. Weddings. How I love them! Congratulations to the four couples who tied the knot this year - we are so thrilled for you guys.

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