Having your Kids included in your Wedding
If you or your fiancé have kids it is important to make them feel included in the big day. This wedding will not only be changing your life, but it will also be changing theirs. You want to make sure that they don’t feel replaced or any resentment towards your marriage. There is not a perfect or right way to do this. Every situation and child is different. Some children would rather not be a big part of the wedding, while some will want to do anything you will let them do. Either way, from the very beginning, let them know how important they are to you and how important they are to your marriage. Here are some ideas to help you get started (if you have anymore, please share them at the bottom).
The Hand Ceremony- The hand ceremony includes a special vow that is read during the wedding ceremony. It includes the hopes and promises the parents would like to offer to one another and to their children. This vow asks the children to come up and to be apart of ceremony. To read the hand ceremony go to: http://www.4harpmusic.com/handceremonyforchildren.htm
Family Unity Candle Ceremony – This can work a few different ways.
1. Have a candle for the bride, groom, each of the children and a unity candle. The bride and groom can each light their own candle, and then take their candle and light their kid’s candle. After all the candles are lit, each person can grab their candle and together lit the unity candle.
2. Have one candle for the couple, a candle for the children and a unity candle. The couple will light their candle together and the children (or child) will light their candle. Then together they will light the unity candle.
The Medallion Ceremony – During your wedding ceremony you will take time to say a few words on behalf of your children and present them with a family medallion. A family medallion has three circles on it, representing the link between the groom, bride and children.
The Sand Ceremony – The sand ceremony works perfectly for younger children. You will need a bottle, cork, funnel and a different color of sand representing each member of your family. During the ceremony everyone will take turns dumping their sand into the bottle, and then the bride or groom will add the cork. This makes a great keepsake for after the wedding.
Adding Children in your Vows – Make up your own vows to fit your children and new family. Here is an example:
Groom: I, ______want you to know how much I cherish your mother and how much I greatly appreciate the opportunity to share in your lives as well. Over the last few years I fallen in love with idea of us being a family and can’t wait to start a new life with you. I will be there for you, in whatever you may need. I will cherish your friendship and respect you. My intentions are not to replace anyone, but be an addition to your life.
Bride: I, _______ love you and your father with all my heart and will live the rest of my life with my very best attentions to make your life full and happy. I will listen to your needs and do my best to fulfill them. I will trust, support and respect you. My intentions are not to replace anyone, but to be an addition to your life.
Wedding Officiant: Do you ________ (Children’s names), promise to love, support and respect your new family?
Children: I do
The children might also want to contribute their own vows. This would be a great gesture from their part, but don’t expect or push any of this on them.
Family Rings or Other Gifts – During your ceremony or reception give each of your children a symbol that represents their part in starting a new family. This could be jewelry, a pocket watch, music box or whatever you would like it to be.
Escorting the Bride or Groom – Let one of the older children walk the bride or groom down the aisle.
Family Toast – Have a toasting glass for each member of your family and include them in your toast.
Family Table – Include your children in your head table or have a table just for you guys.
Special Dances – After the first dance, have a father and daughter dance or mother and son dance or whatever combination fits your family.
Find some song ideas at: http://www.wedalert.com/songs/index.asp
Including your Kids in your Wedding Party – Let each of your kids play a role in your wedding (flower girl, bridesmaid, best man, etc.) If none of these roles are right for them, have them be an honorary attendant. You can give them a special title and let them play whatever role you would like them to.
Family Wedding Invitation – Include your kids in your invitations. Example:
Please join Katie
As she celebrates the marriage
Her mother Kim Henkel
John Manley and Kay Campbell
Request your presence
As they start their new journey together,
Along with their son David and daughter Jill.
Family Wedding Topper – Have a wedding topper that includes your whole family.
Family Honeymoon – Turn your honeymoon into a family affair, or have a small family vacation after your honeymoon.
Other Odds and Ins – Get their advice on some of the wedding planning, from picking out the wedding colors and to opening the gifts.
Whether you plan on including your kids a lot or a little, just remember that it is important to help solve any negative feelings that they are dealing with right now and do your best to continually make sure they don’t feel alone. This is the start of a new life for them and it is important to make them feel loved and included. If they are resistant at first, be patient and give them time to adjust.