Kids. You love them, and they’re tons of fun, but when it comes to sitting still…let’s just say they have some learning to do. Unfortunately, a restless kid can totally derail a serious wedding ceremony. (And if you don’t believe me, ask my cousin, whose 7-year-old son spent half of her wedding mass tugging on her dress and asking to try the wine). If you want to have an elegant, classy wedding, you may feel like the little ones just can’t be involved.
But, I have good news: even if you have a particularly wiggly kid in your life, you can still include them in your wedding festivities! There are plenty of jobs they can do that don’t involve standing at the altar as you exchange vows. Here are just a few ways you can get your own children, nieces, nephews, or cousins involved in your wedding.
1. Let Them Be Your Escorts Down the Aisle
Having your child walk you down the aisle is a popular choice among blended families, and it’s a wonderful way to invite your child to be part of the wedding ceremony. Your little man (or lady) can walk you down the aisle, “give you away” (indicating their support for the wedding) and then go hang out with grandma in the pew for the rest of the ceremony.
What do you do if you have multiple kids in your life? Let them all be your escorts! There’s no hard and fast rule dictating who should join you down the aisle, and letting all your kids share this moment with you is a great way to make everyone feel like one big, happy family.
2. Get Crafty with Wedding Decor
It’s no secret that kids love arts and crafts (who doesn’t, to be honest). So, why not indulge the kids in your life and get your wedding DIY projects done all at once? Let the kids get involved with your special day by having them design place cards, stamp envelopes, or make decorations for the guest book stand and dessert table.
These simple projects will give the little ones a sense of inclusion—and they won’t affect your aesthetic too much if someone gets a little heavy-handed with the glitter. Best of all, you will love seeing the look of pride on the kids’ faces when they point out the escort cards or welcome baskets they made. It’s a win for everyone!
3. Light a Family Unity Candle
One great way to do this is by including your children in the unity candle ceremony. Traditionally, the couple lights two candles, which they use to light one larger candle (symbolizing their two lives becoming one). You can give this ceremony an updated twist by lighting a candle for each child in your blended family, and then having everyone light the large candle together.
4. Let Them Have the Limelight (Temporarily)
We all know that kid who loves to sing, recite poetry, juggle—pretty much anything that earns him or her applause. These kids can get a little antsy if the spotlight’s not on them, but they’re also amazing to watch when they’re in their element. If you have a kid who’s particularly hammy, the best thing you can do is give them a little chance to shine.
Talk to any kids (cousins, nephews, neighbors, etc.) you might want to perform at your wedding and find out what they’re comfortable with. Some may want to sing during the ceremony. Some may want a special dance with you or their parent at the reception. Some may want to read a poem during the toasts. Figure out what will make them feel most comfortable, and give them the opportunity to wow your guests. Trust me, you won’t regret it!
5. Say Cheese!
Give the kids at your wedding disposable cameras and let them loose at the reception. Not only will this give them something to do (you can even give them a scavenger hunt so they have a task to accomplish), but you just might get some of the sweetest, funniest, and most unique photos of the night. Make sure to save room in your wedding album for your favorites!
With these tips, the kids in your life can take an active role in your wedding. You’ll love it, they’ll love it, and everyone will have a great day—even if their moms won’t let them have any wine.