Weddings are always special because they celebrate the joining of two people, but when one or both of you have children, the ceremony then becomes a celebration of a family—which is very special in its own right. When you are thinking about how to incorporate your children in your wedding ceremony, there are a lot of unique and fun ways to make them a part of the big day. Here are a few unforgettable ways to get your kids involved in the ceremony. Use all of them or combine them in ways that fit with your wedding and your family.
1. Have the Child Be a Flower Girl/ Ring Bearer
Assigning your kid(s) to be the flower girl or ring bearer is the most traditional way to get a child involved in the ceremony (and one of the easiest ways if the child is young). Though these roles are traditional, you could modernize them by having the flower girl or ring bearer hold up a sign that says, “Here comes mommy,” or frame a picture of the whole family for him or her to carry down the aisle.
2. Make the Child a Bridesmaid/ Groomsman
Who says that bridesmaids or groomsmen need to be of a certain age and height? Put your little guy or gal in a matching tux or dress, and have him or her stand right next to you at the ceremony. This is a great way to get older kids involved that may be a little too old for a flower girl or ring bearer role.
3. Write Your Kids Into Your Custom Vows
If you are writing your own vows, a really sweet and special thing to do is to incorporate your kids into them. Vow to always protect a new stepdaughter or stepson as your own, or talk about how your child has bonded the two of you together. If you don’t consider yourself the wordsmith, there are several resources for blended family vows or vows that mention children. Be careful though—mentioning your children in your vows is certain to not leave a dry eye in the house.
4. Have Your Kids Walk the Bride Down the Aisle
If you are going the traditional route of walking down the aisle, have one or all of your kids do the honors. Not only is this is a prime photo opportunity, but it also makes for a memorable moment in your ceremony. Having a child or all your children walk the bride down the aisle puts them front and center on the big day and symbolizes all of you coming together as a family.
5. “Hire” Your Kids to Be Photographers
Is there anything sweeter than the perspective of a child? In addition to a hired photographer, assign your kid to take photos of the wedding day from his or her point of view. With the imagination and height of a child, you are sure to get some hilarious and adorable photos that you’ll cherish for a long time.
6. Perform a Unity Candle Ceremony
Many couples choose to perform a unity candle ceremony to essentially celebrate two becoming one unit. Including children into a unity candle ceremony will symbolize all of you bonding together and will undoubtedly be a highlight in the wedding. In fact, instead of candles you could pour sand, pebbles, or even favorite kinds of candy into one single vase for something more kid-friendly. Ask your kids for input on this part of the ceremony and get as creative as you can. You’ll be surprised at what they might be able to come up with to celebrate you coming together as a family.
7. Have Your Child Perform a Reading
If your child is of reading age and feels comfortable with it, ask him or her to perform a reading at the ceremony. You can find classic, easy reader passages that are appropriate for weddings in “Winnie the Pooh,” “The Velveteen Rabbit,” or “The Secret Garden.” You could also ask him or her to get really creative and prepare something especially for the ceremony—a poem or a small essay—that you can later have framed.
8. Get Them to be Helpers With Wedding Décor
Weddings are a lot of work for everyone involved and can often detract from family time once it gets down to crunch time. To help your kids feel a part of the wedding and to get some much-needed help, ask them if they would be willing to help you with wedding plans. Have them give you input on everything from the flowers to the cake to the ceremony. Kids would also love to help out with any craft or DIY projects for the wedding. Having handmade kid decorations at your wedding will be charming and make the event a true family affair. If you have really little ones, ask them to draw pictures of the two of you to decorate the venue, which will really give your guests the “aww” factor.
If you’re incorporating children into your wedding, and especially if you’re inviting kids to the wedding, make sure you plan some activities to keep kids busy throughout the reception!