A wedding can be an exciting occasion for children or it can be unsettling one if a parent is marrying a new partner. Whether your children belong to both of you or just one, they’ll be part of the new family you’re creating. Your wedding will set the tone for the life you are all beginning together.
Give Them a Prominent Role
The bride and groom are the lead players in any wedding, but your kids can have strong supporting roles. When my husband and I got married, I had two boys from a previous marriage. They were both middle-school aged — much too old to be ring bearers.
I decided to have them walk me down the aisle. It gave them an important place in the ceremony, and made them feel more vested in the proceedings. You can accomplish the same thing by making your children bridesmaids or groomsmen.
If they’re musically inclined, you can have them sing or play an instrument during the ceremony. I knew of one wedding where the kids were invited up to the alter for the lighting of a unity candle.
Involve Them in the Planning
My sons got to help choose the shirts that they and the groomsmen would be wearing. Maybe you have creative kids who would enjoy making decorations or entertaining guests. What child wouldn’t want to help out at the caterers tasting cakes and other goodies? The kids don’t have to be a part of every decision, but you can involve them selectively in activities you and they can have fun doing together.
Make It Kid Friendly
We had Mexican food at the rehearsal dinner, so the tables were decorated with fun little favors like mini maracas and noisy clackers. At the wedding reception we had bubbles and confetti. The kids had a blast playing with them – and so did many of the adults. We also made sure there were plenty of kid friendly food options on the buffet table.
Some people take it a step further, planning separate activities for the kids while the adults are drinking and dancing. You might arrange for them to watch movies or play games in an adjoining room. If there are going to be a lot of children at the wedding, take a head count and arrange for child care. Even for older kids, you’ll want to have someone in charge of monitoring their activities and making sure they have plenty of snacks.
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