Yesterday I reviewed an email of Handwritten Vows that included the Brides 11 year old son in the ceremony.
Wedding ceremonies that blend children into the marriage give couples an opportunity to make their children feel special and loved too so I (of course) loved that Gretta had taken the time to think of her son and his role at their wedding.
At a recent Destination Wedding in California, the junior bridesmaids had hair and nail appointments “with the big girls.” They also wore beautiful dresses and carried bouquets.
All of this “fluffing” made the younger girls feel special as well as important as they carried out their duties as flower girls and bridesmaids. Groomsmen or Junior Groomsmen love to feel special too.
At my wedding years ago, my grandnieces, Maryssa and Makenna loved having their hair and nails done and choosing their dresses. The twins have been in hundreds of weddings since they were two years old and also served as junior bridesmaids at my sons wedding years later.
Finding a pretty dress for your daughter, niece, granddaughter or other little girl is easy and affordable. After all, nothing makes a little girl feel as special as a frilly dress. Little girls love frilly dresses.
Including your children in a sand ceremony, unity candle ceremony or other family inclusion is a great way to make them feel special and have a role in your wedding ceremony.
I always suggest bringing children to a rehearsal so they know where to walk and stand at the actual wedding. It seems minor but believe me, if they haven’t been in a wedding before- practice makes perfect!
Children are unpredictable at weddings as it is but, giving them a little instruction will help make them more comfortable.
It’s not unusual for me to jump in when I’m officiating and/or coordinating or both when children get nervous.
In California, the flower girls forgot to toss petals approaching the altar so I led the way following the procession to toss them with the girls leaving the ceremony.
Weddings are a really long day for kids so don’t forget to add kid friendly games or tables to their area to keep them entertained.
Chalk boards, board games, hopscotch and other activities will keep them entertained. From balloons to craft projects and puzzles, the options are endless for child friendly entertainment.
Leave wide enough gaps between your tables for kids to roam freely or others to gather and mingle.
Friends and families love to “table hop” and pose for photos so leaving a 2-3 foot gap between tables opens up each table and keeps the reception party with plenty of room to get up and mingle or visit from their table.
Don’t forget handicap access if you have guests that need special accommodations. Grassy or sandy areas make maneuvering a wheelchair or walker more difficult and you may need to add a handicap table for ease and convenience to guests.
Always ask your venue about wheel chair friendly ramps or elevators to prevent problems on your wedding day.
Do you have hearing impaired guests or family? Vision impaired? Make notes when planning your guest list to go over with your coordinator or the venue.
Wedding day photos can often be stressful for not only children but also adults. Be sure to have a few snacks and/or finger foods available to keep your hunger at bay while posing for photos.
It’s not unusual for newlyweds to be starving by the time they finally sit down to eat at their reception and being hungry makes it harder on both the husband and wife so don’t forget you’ve got a long day ahead of you. Eat something.
Many of the parents choose to change children’s clothing after the wedding ceremony if they were in the wedding.
Be sure to check with photographers before doing this as it will help save you the trouble of changing their clothes more than once.
Everyone has a camera or phone at a wedding so if children don’t want to smile, just roll with it. Kids get tired and cranky like anyone else. You will have some great kid photos and a few not so great but, that’s life.
Forcing someone to take a photo they don’t want to won’t get a genuine smile.
By the time your wedding and reception are over, you will be exhausted. If you have children, be sure to make arrangements for them to spend the night with family or friends ahead of time. They will be tired from a full day of event activities too.
I love handwritten vows and creative input and encourage clients to take the time to make a ceremony their own and as special as they are.
For more tips on incorporating children into your ceremony, please visit this link— Involving Children In Wedding Ceremonies.
Rev Wendy Wortham