Involving Children in Wedding Ceremony

Posted by in Auckland Celebrant Blog, Wedding Ceremonies, Wedding Ceremony Tips

Involving Children in Wedding Ceremony

When I meet with couples to discuss their wedding plans, I get quite excited when they tell me about their child or children and how important that involving children in wedding ceremony is to them. No two families are the same and that creates an endless scope of wonderful and creative ways that I can write a child or children into a wedding ceremony, to create a beautifully touching day.

What role does your child want to play?

It’s incredibly important to involve your children, and if they are old enough, ask for their input so they don’t ever feel left out of such an important day. A great idea is to ask each child how they feel about playing a role in the ceremony and even give them some options so they can choose.

I recently performed a wedding where the bride-to-be already had a 6 year old son and she wanted to make sure that he was included in the ceremony. I wrote a special part into the ceremony to “acknowledge John”. During the ceremony his Mum and new Dad addressed him and shared how he was loved and appreciated and how truly blessed they were to have John in their lives. They both then presented him with a “man necklace” to remind him always of the special day.

In September I performed a beautiful blended family wedding ceremony. The couple had 7 gorgeous children between them from previous relationships. The couple wanted to demonstrate the unity of their new blended family by involving children in the wedding ceremony. We incorporated candle lighting into the ceremony by featuring a large candelabra that held 7 candles. I introduced each child starting with the eldest and each in turn lit a candle, starting from one end, then the other end, until the final centre candle was lit. This was a special and very moving wedding ceremony.

Don’t Let Young Children Steal the Show

Even the best behaved young children can get restless, and this can be distracting especially during weddings. My advice is: when young children are involved in a wedding ceremony ensure there is make one family member or friend, per child, responsible for looking after each of them. Then if a child does misbehave, the adult can move the child away quickly so as not to cause an unnecessary distraction, and the adult isn’t leaving other children unattended.

In saying that, at another recent wedding the bride-to-be’s 2 year old was a gorgeous little flower girl and walked up the aisle holding hands with the bridesmaid. During the wedding ceremony she started to get a bit agitated and got up and sat on the floor. However at no time was she distracting, and on this occasion it just reinforced that children brought in from a previous relationship are a blessing.

Prior to the wedding ceremony starting if you do have a young child who is misbehaving, you should be prepared to make the tough decision to remove the child from the ceremony and have them sit with a family member or friend. This decision is obviously an extreme last resort! But after all your wedding planning, it’s important that you enjoy every second of it and not have your focus diverted away.

How to include children in a wedding ceremony?

WEDDING PARTY
It goes without saying that little girls make the cutest flower girls and they get so excited getting to dress up in a special dress, and of course little boys look so cute in page boy outfits.

STAND WITH MUM AND DAD
Children can walk out with Mum, or once Mum has walked down the aisle they could stand up by their parents. If a blended family, the children could stand on the side of their own parent, or if just one child they can stand beside their parent.

READING
A child could write something special and touching to read out, or alternatively read a poem or verse that they or you chose.

RING BEARERS
This is a very special and important role. It’s best to ensure that after the rings are given to the couple that the child (if young) is collected by a grandparent or relative and taken back to their seat.

RING WARMING CEREMONY
A wonderful new tradition where everyone takes a turn holding the wedding bands and offers their own silent wish while they do so.  This can also be done prior to the ceremony so the family can share a very intimate and private moment.

PLAYING INSTRUMENTS & SINGING
If you have children who are talented musically – get them to sing or perform a musical piece to create a very special part of the wedding ceremony. However be realistic of their ability and if not as skilled, then perhaps less is more.

LIGHTING CANDLES
Either the whole family or just children can light a candle each to symbolise the family uniting.

POURING SAND
Each person holds a small vile of different coloured sand and everyone takes a turn pouring their sand into a bigger urn. This is great for blended families as a symbol of family unity.

HORSESHOE (or other similar type gifts)
These can be presented to parents by their children or also by other relatives like nieces and nephews.

“WE DO TOO!”
After the couple say their “I do’s”, the celebrant asks the children to say “We do too”.

RELEASING BALLOONS, DOVES OR BUTTERFLIES
This is a great way to show family unity and create a beautiful visual at the wedding ceremony.

If you want to talk about how to include your child or children in your wedding ceremony contact me. Let’s work together to create your perfect wedding ceremony, for your family.

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