Marriage isn’t as strictly traditional as it once was. Many couples start building a life together long before their wedding day, and often that means heading to the altar with children by their side. Or some weddings are in celebration of a second marriage, in which children from previous relationships are blended together in a new family.
Getting your children involved in your wedding day will be a meaningful gesture for you and them, and a great way to approach this new journey together. Here are a few of the way you can include your kids in your special day and make the occasion that much more memorable for everyone!
Let children process the news of your marriage first.
Before you jump into any wedding details with them, give your kids the space to react to your upcoming marriage and figure out how they feel about it. If it means getting a new stepparent, they might have some complicated emotions to work through.
Explain what your wedding and new marriage will mean, and how it will affect their lives. Allow them to ask questions and express their feelings openly. It will be easier for children to move on to the excitement of the wedding once they’ve processed the news of your marriage.
Get kids involved in the wedding planning.
Let your children help you plan some of the details of your wedding and be part of the fun aspects of wedding preparation. Bring them to the cake tasting, take them dress shopping, and let them meet your officiant before the ceremony.
One of the perks of including kids in your wedding planning process—you can put them to work! Have them make a special mini playlist for the reception or choose a special drink or dessert to serve. They can also help you make favors, write out place cards, and even stamp invitations. They’ll feel included, and you’ll get a little extra stress taken off your plate.
There are a lot of different roles you can set aside for children on the day of your ceremony. You can ask them to join your wedding party as a junior bridesmaid or groomsman or share some of the simpler duties of the maid of honor or best man. If your kids are younger, they can serve as the flower girl or ring bearer.
Even if they aren’t directly in your party, you can still get your children involved in the ceremony itself. Assign them the duties of an usher—handing out programs, showing people to their seats, etc. Ask them to read a passage during the ceremony or even walk you down the aisle and give you away!
Write them into your vows.
Singling your children out in your vows, or having your officiant mention their name, is an important part of making them feel included during a time of big change. Remind them how much they mean to you and your partner, and that they’re embarking on this new journey with you.
Some families even like to plan a short unity tradition as part of the ceremony. This is usually a small ritual or gesture that represents the blending of two families, such as having the child light a candle or saying a special family vow.
Have kid-friendly touches at your reception.
While there’s no reason you need to have your kids at your side for the entire reception (unless you’d like to), you can still design aspects of your celebration to help them enjoy it too! Include them in special traditions, such as the first dance or cutting the cake, but give them their own space to have fun and burn their energy.
Set up a separate area for children—a “kids’ reception” of sorts—with games, activities, special food, and a designated helper. Oh, and don’t forget to invite a few other kids to keep them company!
When you plan your wedding with Casual Elegance, we’ll help you figure out the best ways to include your children and any other special individuals in your wedding ceremony. Our experienced officiant, Pastor Ed Bruning, has conducted many different types of ceremonies that beautifully honor children, parents, and other special guests.
Give us a call today at 702-580-6589 to start planning the casually elegant wedding of your dreams!