Nowadays, a marriage not only means adding on person to your immediate family, but also a few children as well. If your family is increasing in size and you’d like to have everyone involved in the ceremony, here are a few stress-free ways to do it:
Let them help plan the wedding. Wedding planning is difficult stuff, and often so many choices will paralyze you from making a decision, so let the kids help! Chances are you’ve gone through about 30 different fonts for wedding invitations, and they are all starting to look the same at this point. So if you’ve narrowed it down to your top three options ask your soon-to-be daughter-in-law which one she prefers, and go with her choice.
As far as more significant planning issues, such as the band or the flowers, take them along one time and hear their opinions. Even if you don’t take their advice on having camouflage wedding favors, they’ll still feel involved in the process.
And if you’re completely clueless, ask for input! Bubbles or racecars may sound silly, but you’d be surprised how far a little bit of whimsy goes on your wedding day.
Give them specific tasks. As we all know, children can have a hard time focusing, so give them a very simple task they can perform. A ring-bearer or a flower girl are easy, fast tasks that let them steal the spotlight for a second. Even playful directions, such as, “Alright Junior, Mom and Dad are going to go get ready, so it’s up to you to keep everyone in line. Don’t let anyone eat any of the cake until we get back!” If they’re older, let them take on more responsibility, like ushering in guests, perhaps.
This also includes tasks before and after the wedding. Helping decorate before the ceremony can give a child a sense of ownership over the big day. Also, giving them a task after the day is over, such as making sure Grandma doesn’t forget her hat is a simple, specific task without a huge amount of pressure or consequence.
Include them in the ceremony. Many weddings not only signify the love between two people, but the joining of two families. A friend of mine had her son at her side during the repeating of the vows, and even gave him the chance to write his own vows to his mother and new step-father. Allowing your children to join in on a candle lighting ceremony or a sand mixing ceremony are just two fantastic ways to let them know that they are all an equal part of the family.