If you’re tying the knot with children, this is a special day for them, too. After all, it’s a celebration for the joining of two families—and not always just two people. Including your kids in your wedding is a great way to show them and everyone else that this truly is a family event. Plus, your kids will likely want to be involved in the festivities outside of simply attending the wedding. The good news is there are plenty of ways to include your kids in your wedding. Whether you want to involve them in the planning, the actual event, or the follow-up celebrations, there’s something for everyone to do.
It doesn’t take much for them to feel—or be—involved. And their tasks don’t have to be big or complicated, either. The most important thing is that they are included in a way that they enjoy. Of course, if your kids are older, you can certainly give them bigger tasks to manage; you’ll know your kids’ abilities the best.
When you start planning the wedding, we recommend chatting with your kids about it. Ask them if they want to be involved and what parts of the wedding interest them the most. From there, you can pick activities that will interest them, so it can truly be a joyful experience for you and for them. Below, we discuss seven ways to include your kids in your wedding, although we know there are so many more!
1. Let them pick out something, like the cake or flowers
No, we don’t mean giving your little one full control over your cake flavors or your centerpieces! Instead, you can pick your two or three favorite flavors, and let the kiddos choose from there. Similarly, you can let your kids choose between the two flowers that would look best in your centerpieces and bouquets. To make the moment extra special, bring your kiddos to the cake tasting or the florist’s shop. That way, they’ll really be involved in the process.
2. Add family-friendly items to your registry
We’re all about those boozy wedding registry items and other grown-up gifts, like that new stand mixer you’ve been eyeing. But as with any marriage, when two households become just one, you should consider everyone as you start building your new life together. In some cases, it may even mean getting rid of some household things that your kids are used to. Include your kids in your wedding and life after with family-friendly registry items. For example, you could include customized family mugs, games for family game night, or a cutting board with everyone’s name on it.
3. Give them a task during the ceremony
The ceremony is the perfect spot for close friends and family to participate in the celebration. It’s common for young family members to scatter flowers down the aisle or walk the rings down the aisle. But that might not be the right option for your kids. To include your kids in your wedding ceremony, start by asking them what they want to do. Let them get creative, so they can truly express their happiness at this milestone. For example, they could read a poem that they wrote, walk you down the aisle, or even help officiate if they’re old enough. Like we mentioned before, the best task they can do for your wedding is a task they want to do.
4. Write them in your vows
Vows are usually written from one betrothed to the other—if the couple doesn’t have kids. But when one or both fiances have kids, it’s important to include them in vows, too. You can re-write the traditional wedding vows to include the kids, or you can custom write your own vows that promise to go to baseball games and read bedtime stories. Once again, it doesn’t have to be major or a whole separate vow to the kids. Just add a few lines in there to acknowledge that this is a family event, and more than two people are embarking on this new stage together.
5. Include them in the unity ceremony
A unity ceremony is a moment during the ceremony where the couple combines two separate items into one. Most commonly, couples combine two jars of differently colored sand—one color for each of them—into a single, larger container. That new jar becomes a centerpiece or decorative item in their home. If you have kids, including them in that ceremony is a lovely way to include them in the wedding as a whole. It shows that this isn’t just two individual people creating a family—it’s more than that!
6. Take those family pictures
Take advantage of your wedding photographer! It’s the perfect way to include your kids in your wedding and remember the moment. Yes, you’ll want photos with your parents, friends, and wedding party. But definitely make some time to get those family shots!
If you have young kids, we recommend taking photos with them first, so they don’t get impatient. Then they can join the guests at the cocktail hour or play outside. (Under the supervision of a babysitter or family member, of course!)
7. Throw a post-wedding party with your new family
We know you probably want to go on a honeymoon with just the two of you. And we don’t blame you! But it would be nice to celebrate with the whole family, as a new family. So we recommend taking off a day or two between the wedding and the honeymoon to celebrate—kids included! You can stay at home or you can take a day trip, but it’s important that your kids have fun, just like you want to have a fun, memorable honeymoon.
A wedding is a celebration of two families becoming one, so be sure to include your kids in your wedding! It will make the day special and memorable for them. Plus, it will be fun to share those planning moments with them, too. Just pick a task or two that they want to do, and give them some parameters, if need be. Your kids don’t need full responsibility for a task—they can simply make some this-or-that decisions. That way, they’re involved but you still have the wedding of your dreams.
How else can you include your kids in your wedding? Share your ideas with us below!