Including Children In Your Wedding
Weddings are about family. Two people are committing to each other and sharing this special moment with their family and friends. If you have children or close relatives, this is the time that everyone officially comes together to form one big family.
Including children in your wedding can emphasize that family feel and make your wedding day extra special. When planned carefully, children can be a charming and central part of the day and the preparations in the lead up to the wedding.
When thinking about including children in your wedding, you may immediately think of flower girls and page boys or ring bearers but there are lots of other ways that you can feature your little ones in your wedding celebrations.
Plan the children’s roles.
The difference between successful participation by children and mayhem is planning the roles you will give children well in advance. Think about the children and to what tasks their personalities and ages would be suited.
Also consider who is accompanying the children: your own children and close relatives will likely be with you throughout all the preparation, ceremony and reception, whereas children of friends and more distant relatives may only be available when their guardian is attending.
Give children a role in the ceremony.
Younger children are suited to small roles that only require their concentration for a short period of time. Flower girls and ring bearers are two classic examples but you can think outside of the box, too. Perhaps a child could help greet guests as they arrive at the venue where the ceremony is due to be held, or they could hand out token gifts as the guests leave the ceremony venue to attend the reception.
Older children might not want to be given roles that younger children usually have. For older girls and boys, why not make them bridesmaids and groomsmen? Unlike smaller children who may not be able to appreciate dressing up, the older children will love being included with the grown-ups – with girls wearing a matching bridesmaids dress and boys wearing a matching tuxedo.
Include children in your preparations.
The lead up to the wedding can be stressful but be sure to include some fun – for the children and also for yourself! While young children are unlikely to be able to join in with the hen or stag parties, you can plan some other events in the lead up that children could join in with. For example, you could have a girls’ pamper night where the bridesmaids and children can all enjoy beauty treatments, get their nails or hair done and experiment with make-up. Or you could hold a guys’ movie or games night, that both adults and children could enjoy.
Assign them a fun task.
If you have a lot of children attending your wedding, you may struggle to be able to give everyone a role or you might feel that some children will find it difficult to do the roles you have available. In this case, you can think of some fun tasks that children could do that would also be worthwhile or a nice touch for your wedding.
For example, a child who likes crafts could be given the responsibility of preparing goodie bags or helping with name cards. Or a child who like photography or technology could be given the task of photographing and recording ‘behind the scenes’ of the wedding day. You might even get some great material that your wedding photographer or videographer wasn’t able to. If you’re worried about entrusting them with a camera, you could also buy some disposable cameras so it doesn’t matter too much if they get lost or damaged.
Include fun for the children in your plans.
After the preparation and the ceremony, it’s vital to remember to include some fun for the children at the wedding reception. This is especially important for helping the parents and guardians to be able to relax, too! You could think about having a children’s play area, a games corner or a fun activity (e.g. face painting). If your budget allows, you could even have a separate children’s buffet full of fun food and treats for them to enjoy.
When planning to include children as part of your wedding, you must also be careful not to put too much pressure on either the child or their parent or guardian. Be sure that everyone is happy with the plan before you settle on any fixed ideas.
Your wedding is an incredibly special day for you but can also be a memorable and enjoyable day for all attending. Offering children a role in your wedding can be a great experience for them and is a special moment that their parents or guardians can also capture on camera and treasure, especially if their little ones are dressed in beautiful bridesmaid dresses or smart tuxedos.