How to include your child in your wedding ceremony
When you have children in your life, by all means, include them in your wedding ceremony if you wish! Whether you want to include your own children, nieces or nephews, or the sons or daughters of close friends, it may help to know some of the roles they can fulfill.
For instance, a niece or nephew who is approaching those teen years and is a bit too old to be a flower girl or ring bearer can participate as a junior attendant, usher, or even reader. Even non-traditional roles are allowed. Kids at this age could serve as greeters and pass out programs or pass around the guestbook for everyone to sign.
Because younger children can be unpredictable, there are several pointers you may want to keep in mind to help you pull off your ceremony without a hitch. Making children comfortable is key, which means you may decide to invite them to bridal luncheons or showers, but it is not required. At the end of the day, if your child attendants don’t do everything you expect, know that at the very least, your ceremony will be memorable and have an added element of “cute.”
When deciding which children you’d like to include, make sure the task at hand is something they can handle, but more importantly, that they will enjoy.
The ring bearer typically precedes the bride down the aisle carrying a pillow or decorative box with the wedding rings. This makes for an adorable addition to the procession. If you’re worried about your rings coming unfastened from the pillow, by all means, you can use decoys and give the actual rings to the best man or maid of honor.
The flower girl may walk down the aisle immediately before the bride, dropping real or fake petals in her path. In some ceremonies, the flower girl can follow the bride, dropping a beautiful cascade of flowers behind the bride. Typically the flower girl can stand with the bridesmaids during vows, or may sit in a special spot reserved for her up front. One alternative to a flower girl is a bouquet holder. She can hold the bride’s flowers instead of the maid of honor’s for a delicate and innocent touch.
If you have a long train, perhaps you can incorporate a page boy who will follow you down the aisle, carrying your train. If your dress doesn’t call for this, page boys can carry candles. If their age isn’t quite complementary to an open flame, don’t worry; carrying a single flower is also an option!
The most popular option for junior attendants is junior bridesmaids and groomsmen. They do most of what the the bridesmaids or groomsmen do and are a great way to include the pre-teens or teenagers in your life.
If you don’t envision a junior bridesmaid or groomsmen, you may include youth in another manner. Perhaps your nephew could serve as usher, or maybe your best friend’s teenager is a talented singer who would like to perform during the ceremony. There are many options; it’s just up to your preference and the individual’s strengths and comfortability.
Tips for a Sniffle-Free Ceremony
Selecting a girl or boy,age four to eight with an outgoing personality may mean he or she will be even more apt to listen and behave. Generally, parents of the flower girl, ring bearer, or page boy will pay for their wedding attire, but the specifics are something you can discuss together. Typically, children of close friends and family members are chosen, but if you have someone else in mind, say the child of a close coworker, by all means, talk to his or her parents and you may have an adorable addition to your ceremony!
General Etiquette and Tips for Including Children and Teenagers in Your Ceremony
Many brides and grooms choose for junior attendants to wear attire identical to their bridal party, others may opt for junior attendants to wear something similar to the group, but slightly set apart, say a cream-colored dress as opposed to the bridesmaids’ plum hue. It’s really your call.
Because junior attendants, ushers, and readers typically range in age from nine to their teens, you may want to give them more responsibilities during your ceremony. For instance, if your wedding is in a church and your eleven-year-old niece is an experienced acolyte, perhaps she would like to light the candles during the ceremony’s prelude. When selecting your attendant gifts, don’t forget to include these special participants!
It is completely optional to include children and youth in your wedding. While flower girls, page boys, and ring bearers are often traditional part of wedding parties, they are by no means required. It all depends on what you envision, and if there are any special young ones that you’d like to share in your big day.
Lisa is a special needs teacher and a hugger. She always makes time for everyone and lightens up everybody’s lives with her presence. When she is not chasing her students around the yard, she finds time to write about what she truly loves, and you guessed it, its people and relationships.