There’s the age old saying – never work with children or dogs… Well I must be a sucker for punishment because I’m 100% down for either or both!
As a mum of two, I was delighted that our girls were a part of our wedding day. It was something truly special. Therefore, I love giving my couples the opportunity to include the little people they love in their wedding ceremony.
Depending on the children’s age and their personality there are going to be some things that will work and others that won’t. That’s totally fine. Let’s work together to be mindful of their needs when including them in your ceremony.
As a mum, I also know despite the best made plans, regardless of the amount of preparation, kids also have a way of throwing a spanner in the works and that’s okay. I’m happy to set out the ideal scenario with you and if it doesn’t happen we can improvise. Sometimes the imperfect moments make for the best memories for yourselves and your guests!
With intent of setting out that ideal scenario, here are some ideas for making your children a special part of your wedding ceremony.
Traditionally, one party to the marriage will make an entrance, walking the aisle to a song of your choice.
There's an opportunity to include children here as flower kids or page kids
If they’re under 2 I tend to say it’s better for them if they walk with a bridesmaid or someone they know (nanna, grandpa, aunts or uncles). That just means if they’re having trouble walking or they get a bit shy, they have someone who can carry them or hold their hand to brave the big walk.
If they’re preschool age they may feel confident walking by themselves. For a completely heart melting moment you could also consider walking down the aisle with them yourself!
For children who are full of confidence, they might like their own song to play so they can dance down the aisle in a fun way. Or they might like to come in on a motorised car?
Some kids are going to stand by your side, no matter what - especially if they're your children! They will tangle themselves between your legs, beg to be picked up, or want to hold your hand. Don’t fight it or stress, these moments turn into the most gorgeous photos. If they’re getting a bit rowdy we can always take a little minute to recompose or ask someone to take them somewhere to play – all good!
If your children are preschool age plus, you might like to have them stand by your side as part of the wedding party. They can be a maid of honour or best man. In a ceremony that lasts 20 mins they’ll mange okay. And if I notice they’re not, I’ll find an opportunity to invite them to take a seat without it seeming obvious.
If you're not sure, give your children the option and if they want to take it, embrace it. Have a back up person who can help them out with a seat or a cuddle if they need it but otherwise, we’ll just go with their flow.
The welcome section of the ceremony is a chance to acknowledge people who are special to you. Family, friends, the bridal party, guests who travelled from afar and your children!
Depending on the style of your ceremony, this might be an opportunity to actually introduce your children. It can be as simple as naming them or for a more fun twist, their name age a quirky fact.
Here’s what I mean:
“Megan and Ben are so happy to be marrying each other today, especially because their gorgeous children are here with them.
As much as it’s their wedding day, the kids are the real stars of the show! So let’s get them up here to stand by mum and dad.
Introducing Ezra, who’s 3. He’s our ring bearer today, let’s hope he hasn’t forgotten them.
Next we have Adeline who’s 6. She said she’s most excited to spin around her pretty dress.
And finally, Maeve who’s 9. Maeve is not looking forward to keeping Ezra in line, but she’s tried the cake already and she says it’s really yum!”
After the welcome, use the opportunity to take a family vow. A little promise you’re making as parents to create a safe and loving sanctuary for your children.
I like to personalise this based on the values you see as being important to your family or how you envision your family unit.
But as an idea of what it might sound like…
“Eve and Russell acknowledge how lucky they are to have Sienna in their lives.
She is a fun, intelligent little lady who has brought so much love and laughter into their life. Life is always better when they’re together.
Sienna could you come and stand between mum and dad?
From the moment they became your parents mum and dad knew they would love you forever.
Already a rock-solid little family, it’s obvious how much love you have for each other.
From this day onwards, you’ll be a tight family unit in every way.
As a family, will you love each other, care for each other and support each other to the very end?"
5. Roles and responsibilities
Giving children a little role in the ceremony can be a loving acknowledgement. Something they can take on with pride in their step.
If you have two children you want to give honours to, they can each hold a ring. If you have more than two, we can think up other responsibilities they might like to take like holding your vow cards when it comes time to exchange vows or declaring you as husband and wife over the microphone!
They can even be veil holders (circa Meghan and Harry’s wedding!)
Confession, I kind of hate the word ‘wedding rituals’, it sounds like some pagan sacrifice is going to take place which is far from the case. However, as I don’t have any other way to name it, a ritual is a ceremonial inclusion. A way to work in sentiment and meaning usually via the use of symbology.
Okay, that still sounds weird but I promise I write these so they fit into the ceremony seamlessly and we do them in a way that feels very organic. Having children involved always provides deeper context and big beaming smiles from your guests.
Here’s a few we could include.
Personal vows are a beautiful moment to share your promises to each other. Don’t be shy about mentioning your children in these vows or adding your own promise as their parent.
If you’re thinking of adding some of these ideas in your ceremony, have a chat to me about how it might be done. Keep in mind some of these inclusions only apply to the Day of Our Lives ceremony package. So, it might be worth upscaling to get the silver spoon treatment, which also includes a dress rehearsal.
If you’re already locked into the Keep It Simple Sweetheart ceremony package don’t fret, there may be other ceremony elements we can shuffle out to accommodate more meaningful ones.
Also be prepared on the day with snacks and drinks. You might even like to set up a designated kids’ space at the front of the ceremony – a rug with some cushions, colouring or activities and food! Lollipops are great, if you’re anti sugars check these out. Oh, and don’t be afraid to delegate this to the fun aunty or give me your supplies and I’ll make sure it’s all arranged.
I look forward to celebrating your marriage with your entire family.