How To... Include Children in Your Wedding Ceremony
Despite W.C. Fields’s recommendation that people should 'Never work with children or animals' some brides welcome the unpredictability kiddos can bring. Fortunately for those fearless ladies, there are many ways to incorporate the young, including your own children, into your special day.
The little ones
The easiest way to include kids in your wedding is to have a ring bearer and a flower girl. These roles are ideal for elementary or primary school-age children and younger, especially little girls who adore floofy dresses and little boys who enjoy griping about wearing suits. If these traditional options don’t offer enough spots to include all the kiddos you want, consider doubling up or having someone precede you down the aisle with a 'Here Comes the Bride' sign; you could also have someone carry a unity candle to the altar or hold up your train as you walk toward your husband-to-be.
The performance artists
Got a nephew who loves to be the center of attention or a niece who is destined for drama club? Give that kid a way to shine with a reading. Depending on the tone of your wedding, a budding star can read anything from a scripture to a poem, and what attention hound won’t love seeing his or her name printed in the program?
The quiet types
Not every child wants to be front and center, some are shy and others are full of adolescent apathy, making non-ceremony based positions a convenient option. Put some of the tween-age and up kids in your life to work by having them serve cake or punch, attend the guestbook, stack presents, or man the best wishes station. Younger kids can pass out whatever you’ve chosen to give your guests to hurl at you (confetti, birdseed, bubbles, etc.) as you make your escape.
Those closest to your heart
You might want something a little more special when it comes to including children you, your intended, or you and your intended may already have. Slightly older youths make for great best men and maids of honor (though bridal shower and bachelor party responsibilities should go to someone else), sons can walk their mothers down the aisle, and kids of all ages can be included in the unity portion of a ceremony. Even simpler, children can just stand alongside you, bearing witness to the beginning of a new chapter in your lives. Reception options include setting up a special parent/child dance, letting the kids help you cut a family cake, and including them in your big exit.