It is becoming increasingly common that couples who are planning their wedding already have children together or it may be your second marriage and you have children from your previous relationship. It is natural that you would want them to feel a part of your celebrations and are looking for ways that they can be included.
Firstly it is a good idea to ask whether they would like to be part of the proceedings and then decide on a role that is appropriate for their age.
Here are some lovely ideas of ways to include your children in your ceremony.
1. Mention their names
A lovely and simple way of including your children in your wedding ceremony is to mention their names, if it is a very family orientated ceremony then I typically mention the children in the opening and also during the story of the couple.
2. Flower Girls and Page boys
There is one sight that always melts my heart and that is seeing the little flower girls and pageboys entering the ceremony area.
They are typically between two and eight years old; old enough to understand what they have been asked to do yet young enough to be extremely cute and enjoy every second of it!
If they are particularly tiny then they may be accompanied by another family member or one of the bridesmaids. Little ones can often be unpredictable so it is always a good idea to just go with the flow and never put any pressure on them to perform!
3. Ring Bearer or Ring Security
Typically the Ring Bearer would be under eight years old and often they walk down the aisle just before the flower girls carrying the rings on a little pillow, it is very important to make sure that the rings are safely secure as we don’t want them disappearing during their journey!
Another lovely idea is to put them in charge of Ring Security, there are some lovely sets that include carrying cases in which the ring box can be safely stored, some come complete with sunglasses and a security badge, very cool!
4.Bridesmaids and Groomsmen
For the slightly older children, giving them the roles of Bridesmaid or Groomsman is a lovely way for them to feel involved, they might also be able to be included in the celebrations leading up to the wedding, such as the bridal shower.
5. Escort of the Bride
There is no rule as to who walks the Bride down the aisle. If you have older children, it can be particularly beautiful and meaningful if they are your escort and is a wonderful way to publicly acknowledge the special relationship and bond you share with them.
6.Deliver a song or reading
Your child may wish to sing a song or read a piece of poetry, or they may wish to write you their own poem. This is always a particularly sweet part of a ceremony and giving them their moment to shine will really make them feel a part of the celebrations.
7. A gift of a bracelet
The gift of a bracelet to your child during the ceremony is a beautiful way to acknowledge your family bond; as wedding rings symbolise lasting commitment and never-ending love, the bracelet is also a reminder that they are encircled with the love of the family.
8.Family Unity Sand Ceremony
This is such a beautiful way to include children in a wedding ceremony and is particularly symbolic when two families are joining together.
Each family member has their own different colour of sand. The sand in their individual bottles, represents their past and future and their personalities and uniqueness that they bring to the family. The family relationship is symbolised through the pouring of the individual layers of sand to represent each family member and then everyone pours their sand together, representing their commitment to each other as a family unit.
9. Hand fasting
You may choose to include a Hand fasting ceremony to symbolise entering into the bonds of marriage; this is where the expression “tying the knot” comes from. It is a lovely idea if children are included in placing the coloured ribbons across your wrists. Each colour represents different virtues and qualities and so it is very special if the child is allowed to choose, it may be their favourite colour, or if they are a little older, because they resonate with the meanings of the colour they have chosen.