People under 18 and little kids in weddings are already challenging enough as it is. Here is a little bit of a clue as to what these people are thinking about your wedding and how you can make it so that there is less drama on your wedding day.
I have been honored with having the opportunity to marry couples from all over the state of California since 2006. In that time I have been witness to some very beautiful ceremonies, and, as well, some catastrophes which could have been fit for a place on the Tosh.0 show, seriously. Every bride wants her niece or her little sister or some other little kid to be her flower girl, and there are a lot of brides, too, who want their younger siblings and cousins and nieces and nephews in their wedding party. This is all wonderful and fine and good, but what no bride ever really thinks about is why it is that when they are choosing who will stand with them as they trade vows with their beloved, the minors and little tiny kids seem to be so totally not into the day. Well, that’s because they are not.
No bride, Goddess bless her, can think past what she wants and who she wants to stand as witness to her nuptials. This is typical. What is also typical is that people who are still in grades k through 12 are going to have a different thought about what they are being asked to do for this person who is marrying. Where the bride can visualize the photography session of these people in her wedding party and see them there smiling and beautifully dressed, the children who are still too young to understand what is happening and why they are being made to wear these very nice clothes are not going be very happy children. I know that there is a tradition of having the tiny little ones walk and throw rose petals, but I also know one very stark fact that will never change – this tradition needs to change.
Think back to when you were in high school and how it was that you would no way put on that peach colored chiffon nightmare (because you are so evil cool in your Led Zeppelin shirt) and then recognize the real reason why your younger family members are balking at the idea that you need them in your wedding party. Here you have these people who are more inclined to wreck their clothes so that they CAN look cool who are now being asked to wear formal attire. Here you have these little mud pie bakers being asked to stand still, not fidget, not be kids, and you want them to do this in front of people. It is your wedding day, I know, but it is not their wedding day. No one likes being forced to do anything, and when you have to force a kid to do something at all, there will likely be big fat tantrums from children whose attire cost too much for just such antics.
Ceremonies are created by adults because they are meant for adults. If you are thinking to have children in your wedding party, my thought there is that it might be best to ask the kids – NOT the parents. If there will be anything at all that will make a kid both cringe and feel way cool it is if they are being asked to stand up for their loved one. When we ask parents, they just tell people that THEY (the parents) would be honored if their kids could be part of something so life changing. When we ask the kids what they think, not only are they confused, but in the case of a teenager, things can get downright ugly and why? Because, they were not given the opportunity to answer a question for themselves. They already don’t want to wear that dress or that tuxedo, already don’t like being paraded in front of people wearing those things that are just awful in their eyes, and here we are, their parents, making this choice for them.
To the brides to be reading this, when it comes to figuring out who you want in your wedding party, it is wise to sit down with the people who you are considering being in your party and ask them questions. You may find out that they are not as happy to be included as both you and their parents assumed them to be.