A wedding is always exciting. A lot of planning and preparation go into action so that the wedding will be memorable meaningful and as one-of-a-kind as the marrying couple. Yet, each couple has consideration unique to them.
- There are couples where both partners marry for the first time.
- There are couples where one or both partners have been married before but have no children.
- There are couples where one or both partners have been married before and have children.
- And there are December couples who often have children and grandchildren.
This article is dedicated to couples that will have a "blended" family once they are married. That is, children will have a new parent and possibly new siblings.
Many, though not all marrying or re-marrying couples are looking for ways to integrate the children into the wedding ceremony and - or reception in such a way that it will become a Family Wedding.
Some people wonder; Why should a wedding not be dedicated to the bride and groom alone? Why should it not be "Their Day"?
There are two main reasons.
- Children need reassurance. They need to know that they are welcome and wanted by both parents and new siblings.
- Most parents WANT their children to be an integral part of the wedding and celebration.
We at A-wedding Day are often asked to suggest ways to involve the children in their parent(s) wedding.
The following are ideas, implementation of which depends on the ages and abilities of the children and the degree of involvement the marrying couple wishes to dedicate to them.
Children must always feel that they are IMPORTANT especially now, when their parent is marrying a new life partner.
LET'S BEGIN WITH PLANNING AND PREPARATION.
Children who are old enough should be asked to put on their thinking caps and help with the wedding planning and preparations. Their input should always be taken into consideration and if possible acted upon.
Children can make recommendations ranging from wedding themes to color schemes. They can suggest decorations, favors and centerpieces and help make them. Some parents even let the children help address envelops and - or stuff them. Of course children of driving age can run errands as well. It is not uncommon for parents of older children to have sons lead the bride and daughters lead the groom to the altar. It is also very important to make a big fuss over shopping for the children's wedding attire and special accessories, making it an exciting family affair.
WE'LL CONTINUE WITH THE CEREMONY
First come the obvious. If the children or grandchildren are not grown ups, they should be given the duties of a Flower Child and Ring Bearer.
Before they assume these duties however, if they are old enough, children could be in charge of having the guests sign the guest book and in charge of escorting guests to their seats.
During the ceremony, after the bride and groom exchange vows, they may integrate vows dedicated especially to the children.
Children who are old and responsible enough, should participate in the Unity Candle ceremony. Here there are a few options. If only one or two children are involved, they should be given their own tapers and join the bride and groom in lighting the pillar candle. However, if more than two children are involved, they should receive their own tapers but rather than light the pillar candle, light their tapers from it.
Only if they choose to do so on their own, the candle lighting ceremony is a perfect opportunity for children who are old enough to congratulate the bride and groom and acknowledge the new family union.
Right after the Family Unity Candle ceremony, is the best time for the new husband and wife to give each of the children a piece of jewelry. Whether it is a 3 bands, personalized, engraved sterling silver Family Unity Ring, a Family Unity pendant (exclusive to A-wedding Day, or some other keepsake item, it should be followed by a BIG welcome hug.
Some engraving ideas for the 3 in 1 ring could be:
- Band 1: Child's name
- Band 2: With Love
- Band 3: Wedding Date.
The bride and groom exchange vows. It is also customary for brides and grooms to present special vows - promises to the children. BUT NEVER request that a child will present wedding vows to the adults.
A special article dedicated to this will follow soon
The reception offers as many opportunities for involving the children as there is imagination. There are also the obvious toasts, dances, special responsibilities and tasks. An article dedicated to involving the children in the reception will follow soon too.