I am such an ass! I never reported on how Joey did during the events that lead up to the wedding, during the Big Day and afterwards. Where has my head been?
The weekend was stressful for everyone, including Joey. With people staying at our house, he had less of my attention than he is used to. Plus, he is so set in his routine that he hates when any part of it is disrupted. He loved having Lisa, Dawn, Shannon and Skye over and still mentions their names, which is huge, but his behavior was definitely severe.
The day of the wedding, well...let's just say he was less than compliant getting his tux on. My 2 cousins had to wrestle with him to get him dressed and my sister-in-law had to carry him into the limo. He stood for some prep pictures in our house but did not smile and did not want to take any of just the two of us. This was to be expected because he runs hot and cold when it comes to getting him to take pictures other than snapshots.
When we arrived at Corte Bella, he did not want to get out of the limo. He was dragged out by my family and was disheveled. He ran around and screamed for 30 minutes until it was time to walk down the aisle. He lined up behind the flower girl but still did not want to comply with the photographer. I was just happy he still had his vest and shoes on. This was a bonus for me.
As it approached the time for him to walk down the aisle, my Dad offered him the ringbearer pillow. He had a meltdown and I threw the pillow, narrowly missing the chocolate fountain. When it was his time for him to walk, he ran away and sat down on a seat outside. I continued my walk down the aisle and to my surprise, as my parents gave me away, I turned and saw my Joey running down the aisle towards me. He grabbed my hand and then Bryan's and stayed with us during the ceremony. He wanted to light the unity candle, which was not good, but when it came to the sand ceremony, it worked out perfectly that I had extra sand just for him. I let him pick his color and he poured with us. It was perfect.
There was just one more thing: the family vows. When the minister asked Joey if he took Bryan as his stepfather, Joey just nodded his head and then silently said yes. There wasn't a dry eye in the house. Everyone let out a collective "awww.'
Joey sat well for some pictures and the photographer got some really great shots. It was also a good idea that the Minister gave us to give him is own special gift, which was 2 custom made Bride & Groom Legos to give Joey. He called them Mommy Princess and Bryan Prince. He loves Legos so it was a perfect gift! He held them all night.
I also had a babysitter at the wedding to watch over him while I was busy taking nighttime pictures or cutting cake. She is a trained caregiver for Autistic children, plus has a son on the Spectrum, so I knew she would have patience with him.
The night was a success. I'm so glad it worked out. My best advice to couples facing the same adventure is to set realistic expectations and have help on hand. Truly knowing what your child can handle and having people who understand them is the best you thing you can do for all involved.