I LOVE including kids in wedding ceremonies. Whether the marriage is creating a blended family or simply binding together an existing family, I think it’s ultra important to consider involving the kids in the ceremony. Some celebrants and parents seem to think that the wedding ceremony is about the adults only, but I just don’t accept this; to me, children are an absolutely integral part of a loving family unit, and if family and love are not being celebrated at a wedding, what is?
There are so many ways of including children, and which one/s you choose will depend on how many children there are, whether they’re your own or your partner’s, and how old the children are, but here are just some of the ideas I present to my couples who want to include their children in their ceremony.
- You can all sign a Family Certificate – kids can’t sign the official marriage certificate, but I can definitely produce a beautiful family unity certificate that can be signed by everyone. Some brides like to sign this family certificate in their married name so that it’s the same as the rest of their family member’s names.
- The kids can walk the bride down the aisle.
- You can include them as part of a unity sand ceremony – kids love playing with coloured sand, and what better way to represent the blending of two families than by pouring beautiful coloured sand into a lovely vase to keep forever?
- You can include them as part of a hand fasting ritual – one of my brides told me a strong driver behind their marriage was that they wanted to “tie the family together”, so she, her husband-to-be, and their two kids each chose their favourite coloured ribbon, and we used the four ribbons in a hand fasting ritual that included all four family members.
- The children can act as ring bearers, flower girls, junior groomsmen and junior bridesmaids – I adore it when the little ones bring up the rings for Mummy and Daddy to exchange.
- If they’re old enough, they can read a poem – there are plenty of children’s books that are perfect for weddings. Ask for some ideas!
- You may wish to exchange gifts with your children during the ceremony – a beautiful piece of jewellery that reminds them of this special day can be just as important to your children as your wedding rings are to you.
- The children can hand out ceremony booklets to the guests on arrival.
- They can blow bubbles or throw rose petals during the ceremony and photos.
- You may like to make vows to the children – however I don’t suggest asking a child to answer a question or make a vow to the adult. Kids can be unpredictable and you just never know what might come out of their mouths! This is also not about promising to be the child’s new parent; it’s about promising to be there for them, to support them and to love them no matter what.
Including your kids but also giving them a role to play on the day is a lovely way of reminding them how important they are in your family, and I strongly encourage it!