Including Children in a Marriage Service
Including children in your wedding falls into two categories: involving your own children in a second marriage union, and involving other people’s children in your wedding (using them as flower girls and pages etc.)
In this article we look at both, as they are equally important. Whilst many first-time weddings tend not to include children, unless they want little flower girls, second-time around weddings are an important space in which to involve the children from both partners:
- Involve children in the planning process – particularly if this is a second marriage where children come with one or both partners, children need to feel involved in celebrating the new union
- Make certificates for the children – these celebrate their attendance and participation (particularly for younger children)
- Write special vows that the children say, or that you say to them – they are also becoming part of the new union and they need to hear promises too
- Mention them often during the ceremony, if they are part of your family then a new family is being created
- Don’t over-involve them though – giving them a major role in the ceremony becomes a burden rather than a delight very quickly, particularly in younger children
- Younger children – flower girls and ring bearers – are usually between the ages of three and seven, old enough to walk down the aisle and behave relatively well through the ceremony. You might want to practise the walk up the aisle a couple of times so that they are comfortable with their roles
- Older children can be bridesmaids or ‘honour attendants’ (young version of best man), they can escort you up the aisle and give you away, and be involved in reading a passage during the ceremony
- Involve your children in a candle lighting ritual – lovely inclusive moment for the whole family.
- Involve them in signing the register – whilst you only officially need two witnesses, actually anyone can make their mark on your license, so involve your children in this too
Happy Wedding Planning!