It is important – and often great fun – to involve your children in the wedding plans. So, where do you begin?
- Ask for their opinion and advice on just about everything no matter what age they are, even a young child will have an opinion.
- Include them in the choice of outfits, shopping trips, choosing the hairdresser and so on.
- If you have older children, why not let them arrange your hen/stag night?
- Give them a job to help you out. Younger kids could help fill invites into envelopes, draw pictures for your menus or table plan, bake cookies or make sweets they can hand out to your guests as favours.
Older kids could drive around to collect hire outfits, flowers, search the internet for information or maps, call guests to chase replies or even make the orders of service.
On the wedding day
- Ask them to cook a special breakfast for everyone at home that morning.
- Have the younger children as bridesmaids/flower girls/page boys or even ring bearers.
- Older children can be your witnesses, best man, chief bridesmaid or ushers.
- Have a child escort you into the ceremony and maybe even give you away.
- Ask a child to do a reading at the ceremony or a poem that is family-related.
After the ceremony
- Ask older children to head a table at the reception or act as Master of Ceremonies.
- The speeches are always a good opportunity to include your children and it really doesnt matter what age they are, if they feel that they have something important to say then let them say it.
- Give younger children responsibilities, such as handing out wedding cameras, blowing bubbles, throwing flower petal confetti or distributing favours.
- After the first dance with your new spouse, have a parent and child dance to make them feel special.
It would be a wonderful guesture to include you children in your wedding vows. Here is one suggestion that would be suitable for civil ceremonies (in addition to the statutory vows required to legalise your marriage) and also for humanist ceremonies:
Groom “Today [brides name] I ask you to be my wife. To be loving, tolerant and loyal, supporting me in my life. I ask that you vow to do your best for our relationship, and our lives together. Will you promise this?”
Bride “I will. And I ask you [grooms name], to be my husband. To be devoted and faithful, loving and supporting me and working for the good of our relationship. Will you promise this?”
Groom “I will.”
Celebrant “As [grooms name] and [bride’s name] come together as husband and wife, they create a new family. The children of [grooms name] and [bride’s name] are now going to ask for a promise from their parents.”
Child (see note below) “Will you accept us as part of your family together? Will you love and care for us, guide us and support us?”
Bride and groom together “We will”
Celebrant “Today [bride, groom and children’s names] have made a new family, and together they promise to consider each other, to be loving, respectful and devoted to each other. We ask those present to help them. Will you promise this?”
Respondants (see note below) “We will.”
Since it is not normal procedure for guests to be asked for a response during a civil ceremony, we suggest you explain their role to them before the service or in your Order of Service. Alternatively, nominate close family or friends to make the response on behalf of your guests:
The words said by the child could be split to include up to three children, for example:
Child 1 “Will you accept us as part of your family together?”
Child 2 “Will you love and care for us?”
Child 3 “Will you guide us and support us?”
If you still have any unanswered questions about creating a successful stepfamily, please post your question on our Wedding Forum.