How to Incorporate Your Children Into Your Wedding
11 Aug 2020 •5 min read
“First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby in the baby carriage.” We’ve all sung the rhyme, or at least heard it, in elementary school playgrounds or at backyard birthday parties. But it’s time to recognize that life doesn’t always go in that order. Sometimes there’s a second marriage after that baby arrives. Or sometimes the baby comes before the “I dos” have been said. There is absolutely nothing wrong with any order that you choose (or any order that chooses you!) when it comes to navigating the world of starting your own family — although we do highly recommend marrying someone that you love. But you could say we're a little biased towards marriage. ;)
For those of you who maybe find yourself slightly out of sync with what the nursery rhyme implies, fear not! It’s National Son and Daughter Day, and we couldn’t think of anything better to do than share some ideas of how to bring your special people into your special day. Some of these ideas may be more age-appropriate than others, but we are confident that you can find a way to healthily and happily celebrate your entire family on the day of your new partnership.
Communicate, communicate, communicate
If you’ve been paying attention to other lists of Loverly advice, you might have noticed that we often start with this one. That’s just because we think it’s so dang important! Especially during wedding planning, where (rightfully so) it’s a lot of “you, you, you,” make sure that you’re taking the time to really sit down with your kiddos and see how they’re feeling — about the upcoming marriage and what role they might want to play in it.
Each family situation is incredibly unique, so we can’t give a one-size-fits-all approach here. It’s really important that you create space for your kids to be heard, even if they couldn’t be happier about the wedding. This will allow you to sort out what parts of wedding planning or the wedding ceremony they might want to be more hands-on in and what parts they might want to simply sit back and enjoy the day.
Figure out what roles are best
As part of that conversation (or ideally, series of conversations), you should also ask your kids about whether they want an official role at the wedding. Some kids may love the idea of being a bridesmaid or groomsman or get excited about serving as a flower girl/pal, but others might not want to be in the spotlight or might feel uncomfortable about the idea of serving in an official “adult” capacity.
Express your desires of how you hope they can help you on your big day and why you would want them to be active in the role you’re thinking, but respect the fact that they might want to sit this one out. An added level of responsibility can be incredibly exciting to a child and might be the perfect way to get them involved, but it’s not for everyone. If their preferred role for the day is simply “enthusiastic audience member,” give it to them with joy!
Time to get creative!
Regardless of how front and center your child (or children) decide(s) to be on the actual big day, they can definitely help out with some of the planning beforehand! If you’re choosing to do any DIY projects, arts and crafts are a great way to engage your kids with a fun project before the wedding. The possibilities of wedding DIY are truly endless so maybe you can even pick one out together that they feel particularly interested in.
If arts and crafts isn't their thing (but honestly who doesn’t love some arts and crafts), think about other creative ways to showcase your little ones on your day. Maybe at the bar, you can name a signature drink after them for a cute mocktail moment or allow them to have some say over the flowers for the centerpieces. Weddings are a wonderful platform for adding cute and custom nods to your children, even if they don’t want to walk you down the aisle.
Schedule in time for the entire family
If there’s one thing that we hear from nearlyweds over and over again, it’s that the actual wedding day is a total blur from start to finish. While you might promise yourself that you’ll find time to take full family photos or do a dance with your kids, there’s nothing wrong with scheduling in family events as part of the wedding festivities.
Maybe you choose to do a multi-generational father-daughter, mother-son, or parent-child dance or want to do a first look moment just with your kids. Dream it, say it, and then schedule it! It will just make sure that the pieces that you feel strongly about actually happen and that all of the people involved in making your wedding day possible are all on the same page.
The reception can also be a lower-pressure environment for your children to get more heavily involved, as it really is just a big party. Maybe your kids want to give a speech or read a poem that they’ve written, maybe they want to join the band for a song or do a dance by themselves. It can be sweet, it can be silly, or it can just be fun, what’s most important is that it’s you and your whole family enjoying better together.