Making sure everyone is involved in your special day is entirely possible if a few wedding ideas that include children are incorporated into the agenda. This is key whether the children are part of the wedding party itself or simply attending as guests.
Children at Weddings
It's not uncommon for children to be on a wedding guest list. In addition to simply attending the wedding, though, many children play a more important role in this life-changing event. If the wedding is the second marriage for the bride, groom, or both, one or both of the individuals may have children from a previous relationship. Sons and daughters can easily take part in the ceremony, whether via traditional means or through other outlets that allow the children to be integral parts of the special day.
Traditional Wedding Ideas That Include Children
Children may traditionally take on any number of responsibilities during the course of a wedding. The more common roles that children hold during wedding ceremonies include:
- Flower girls
- Ring bearers
- Bridesmaids or groomsmen (for older children)
Other Roles for Children
Never underestimate the importance of creativity when it comes to a wedding. That doesn't just apply to floral arrangements and food; it's also pertinent when it comes to designating the roles that various family members will play during the wedding. When children are concerned, this decision is of prime importance. They may occasionally feel left out amid the general hubbub surrounding the planning stages. It can be helpful to let them know that they're a part of the process by involving them in key elements of the wedding. Of course, this can be accomplished in many ways. Here are a few ideas that allow the children to physically take part in the wedding:
- Standing by the bride's and groom's sides is another option that allows the children to be active participants in the wedding. This represents the new family unit that is formed through the bond of marriage.
- Unity candles symbolize the union of two becoming one. One taper represents the bride and one represents the groom. During the ceremony, the mother's children may light their mother's candle, while the father's children may do the same for their father's candle. The individual candles are then united with the unity candle, which creates a vivid flame. There are other practices that are acceptable; for example, if only one individual has children, the other individual's mother may light his or her candle instead.
- Vows are traditionally given by the couple, but it's not unusual for individuals with children to request that the minister include a set of vows especially for the children to recite. These vows may state that the children promise to love their parent's new partner, and may end with "we do" to confirm the sentiment. This is a particularly loving way to include the children, as it involves their participation in a very direct manner.
The Creative Route
If the children would rather take on a behind-the-scenes role for the wedding, consider the many services you might otherwise pay for. A child's helping hand is not only welcome, it's also a wonderful way to involve him or her in the planning process. Creative ideas include:
- Put the kids in charge of some decorations. This is ideal if there are other children attending the wedding as guests; the kids could take control of the children's table(s) and create playful favors and decorations, or even put together small gift bags for the other children.
- Consult with the kids on specific details. Small contributions, like choosing a favorite flower or a particular color, allow the children to have a great hand in the wedding planning process.
- Allow the children to show off their unique talents. Examples include playing a musical instrument during the ceremony or reading a special poem.
Don't Forget the Reception
Children can easily take part in reception festivities. A toast for the kids is a heartwarming gesture that makes the wedding a true family affair. A similar idea is to include dancing with the children after the traditional bride and groom dance. Finally, reception planning can be a monumental task; ask the kids to take on small roles, such as seating guests or organizing tables, to ensure that things go off without a hitch.
There are many creative wedding ideas that include children and can make your special day truly a family affair.