We’ve all heard the old rhyme, “First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby…”. Well, we all know that this isn’t always the order of things. Sometimes, the kids come first (or second). Some people can’t imagine having children before they’re married. How could they possibly have their dream wedding/marriage if things don’t go the exact way they’ve imagined it since they first watched Cinderella? For those who have already had the children, it’s usually not quite the scandal you’d imagine. After all, you get to share one of the happiest days of your life with your favorite little person or people in the world.
You and your fiancé have either had children or you're bringing children with you into your new marriage. Either way, it’s important to find a way to include them in what will be one of the biggest days in their life as well, whether they know it or not.
Babies. Oh, babies. Adorable, pudgy, clumsy, delicious smelling babies. Ok, sorry back to the point. Babies are, surprisingly the EASIEST of all children to include in your wedding ceremony. If you and your fiancé have a baby that you’d like to include in the ceremony, this can be handled with very little fuss. The easiest solution is to have someone carry them down the aisle, preferably someone who they know well like a sibling, aunt, uncle or grandparent. If you have someone who you’d like to include in your wedding, but who will sit through the ceremony, this is the easiest option. Your guest will still have the honor of a duty in your ceremony, and your child will have someone to take care of them.
However, if you have a great-natured (read: chill) baby, it’s not absurd to consider having a bridesmaid hold them through your short ceremony. Either way, it’s best to bestow this honor upon someone who will remain on the edge of the party. Save an outside seat so if the babe starts to wail, they can somewhat quietly sneak out to soothe them. If you choose to have the baby stand with a bridesmaid or groomsmen, choose the person on the furthest end of your party.
Also, it’s an opportunity to get creative with how they come down the aisle! One of the cutest entrances I’ve seen was a little tyke, pulled down the aisle in his red flyer wagon. The couple had the opportunity to get the kid used to the idea, so he was perfectly at ease and didn’t make the slightest fuss. Think about something that makes your little one happy, and go with it.
Toddlers and Children
“My child listens so well!”, said no parent of a toddler, ever. Let’s get something clear, I have a toddler. A beautiful, smart, fantastic toddler. He’s my world. He’s also a mini-maniac. Deciding to include your toddler in your ceremony will undoubtedly result in adorable pictures of them in their frilly dresses and bow-ties. It will also result in a bit more stress. You can do it, though, and you won’t regret it.
Toddlers and small children are an obvious choice for ring-bearers and flower girls. They can practice carrying their pillows and baskets and can even be bribed with suckers if they need a little motivation to walk to their spots. You can even have a couple pairs of each or several to include everyone. The number of ring bearers and flower girls don’t need to be balanced as they won’t be standing during the ceremony. The great thing about this is that after they’ve walked down the aisle, they can plop down next to Grandma and Grandpa so they aren’t fidgeting and distracting the guests. There are a few more ways to include them you may not have considered:
- Caught in an age too old to carry the rings or sprinkle petals? Consider making your son a mini-best man or your daughter a little maid-of-honor. They can stand with you until the ceremony begins (or longer if it’s a short ceremony) and won’t feel like they’re “little kids”.
- Include them in your vows. You really are all marrying each other, so your vows should include your promises to them as well. Hearing your loving words about them will make them feel included and special.
- Ask them to say a little something. Granted your kids are old enough to repeat something back or even write a small something, let them have the mic for a quick moment. It could be as simple as introducing you as “Mr. & Mrs.” for the first time or wishing you congratulations.
Older children are right up there with babies if we’re talking how easy it is to include them. An older child is an easy choice for a groomsman or bridesmaid, and probably the best way to go. If you decide to go another route, a son or daughter could walk you down the aisle, serve as an usher for a grandparent or perform the music for your first dance. If you have an adult child you could even consider asking them to officiate your ceremony.
Most importantly, never lose sight of the fact that this wedding is about all of you. Regardless of how you got to your big day, you are all in it together, and your celebration will be all the better for it.