Sunday, March 30, 2014

Wedding Stories: How a Bunny and a Triceratops Became a Special Part of Our Wedding

While still living in Overland Park, Kansas, my nephew Axton spent the weekend with me.  His weekend visits usually consisted of trips to the park, the mall, Target, watching movies on my laptop, reading a thousand books before bedtime, and eating out at a sit down restaurant of his choice.  He chose On the Border.  

Axton had learned, not too many weeks before that day, that I was engaged to Charlie.  He had spent time with Charlie when Charlie flew into Kansas City for Axton's 6th birthday party.  Axton loved Charlie instantly.  I learned, that day at On the Border, that his excitement for the impending wedding ceremony was a lot more than I had ever anticipated it would be.  Just after ordering our drinks, Axton became very serious.

"Aunt Jessica," he said with his hands clasped on the table, "I want to have a business meeting with you."  He knows the way to my heart and he had also apparently retained a conversation from a year or so earlier when I explained to him what lunch meetings were and that sometimes I had them at On the Border.  Suppressing a smile, I put on my serious face and nodded at him to proceed.

"My friend Rogan was a ring bear and I want to be a ring bear in your wedding," his eye contact never wavered.

"Perfect!  Charlie and I already decided that you are going to be our ring bearer."  He smiled and I started to look at the menu.

"I'm not done, though."  I closed the menu.  "Bunny wants to be a ring bear too."

I had anticipated this and had even thought to offer it up.  Bunny has been Axton's favorite stuffed animal since birth.  He has infused so much personality in his stories of Bunny and what Bunny says or does that most of the adults in Axton's life feel like Bunny is alive too.

"Okay," I say.  

"Really?  Can he wear a tux too?  Do I get to wear a tux?"

"Yes, you get to wear a tux.   We will have to try to find a tux for Bunny.  Maybe they have one at Build-a-Bear that will fit."

"Wa-hoo!"  He picks up scraggly, dirty bunny  from the seat next to him.  "Did you hear that Bunny?  You get to be a ring bear!"  Bunny was pleased.  

"Anything else?"

"Yes.  Uhhh...do I have to carry the rings on a pillow?"

"Well, I don't really like the pillow idea but I don't know what else to do.  So, I don't know."

His eyes lit up.  "Well, I was thinking maybe I could carry them on a triceratops.  You know, on it's horns."

I laughed and said, "That would be awesome!" 

We discussed the possibilities of finding just the right triceratops and that he would have to walk very carefully so the rings wouldn't slip off the horns.  I also texted Charlie to let him know about the idea and make sure he didn't think it was weird.  Although, regardless, we would've ended up with a triceratops anyway.

We found a tux for Bunny at Build-A-Bear.  He wore both a tie and a bow tie since Axton couldn't decide which looked better on Bunny.  Charlie found the perfect sized triceratops at ToysRUs and it now lives with Axton.  

Axton practiced very very hard, the day before and the day of the wedding, to walk carefully down the aisle with our rings around the triceratop's horns.



Axton and Bunny were the coolest ring bearers ever!

That conversation with Axton set the tone for how I wanted our wedding and wedding planning to be.  I wanted the people involved, who had to sacrifice time and money, into being part of our wedding to have fun.  Why not have a bunny and a triceratops in the wedding?  The ring bearer should get to have fun too!  Some brides might be focused on everything being perfect and matchy, but having Axton's input and excitement is part of what made our wedding perfect.