By Jennifer Borgh, WPICC of Jennifer Borgh Events
A wedding is a very special occasion for couples that want to unite their love. For couples that have a child/children from a previous relationship, a wedding becomes a celebration of both the love that the couple share and a celebration for the new family they are creating.
The memories of a wedding can last a lifetime so it’s paramount for the couple who already have children to include them in their wedding. Not including the children can make them feel like they are not a big part of the celebration and can cause hurt feelings and have an impact on how the children view this new family unit for many years to come. Some simple ideas can make their children feel special and a priority in this new family.
There are many ideas to include the children in both the ceremony and reception such as:
Giving a ring or other piece of jewelry with the children as a symbol of the commitment you are making to them
- Ask the children for feedback and ideas while planning. Sometimes kids have out of the box ideas that can make your wedding very special.
- Include the children in the vows
- Have the children stand for the ceremony, walk down the aisle, or in the front row with reserved seats.
- Let them have a special job for the wedding. Usher, flower girl, ring bearer, best man, maid of honour.
- Pour sand (each family member could choose their own colours) into a vase as part of the ceremony.
- Write a story or draw the pictures in the guest book
- Let their talents show (if they dance, let them do a dance, if they sing, let them sing a song)
- Let them read their own vows, a poem or special reading. If they are older they might want to make a speech at the reception
- Children can have a special dance with their parent
- Children can be seated at the head table.
- Children can be included in engagement shots
- Prior to the wedding give them a special card, gift or note to show them how much they mean to you and how much this new family means to both of you.
- Let them stay up late and enjoy the party until the end.
- Light a unity candle
- Present child with a flower at the beginning of the ceremony (quoted from Tracey Manailescu, WPIC)
It’s important to take cues from the children. For some children they may not feel comfortable being involved and it’s important to respect that, but still do special things for them that don’t put them in the spotlight. The small things will still have an impact to them such as, reserved seating in the front row or vows that mention them as part of the commitment.
Life needs as many happy occasions as possible, so these tips will hopefully help make this celebration a momentous occasion for the entire family.
Photo credit Diane Denby and Sharon Martin