Over the years and through the involvement in hundreds of weddings, I’ve begun to see more and more couples that have found true love later in life. And oftentimes, these unions include children from one side of the couple, if not both, making these weddings not just the blending of two people, but of two families into one. In order to honor this concept, I’ve collaborated with lots of couples on how to include their children in their wedding ceremony. Never fear the evolution of your ceremony. It’s your wedding! If it’s important to you to include your children, do it. There are so many ways to accomplish it and make them feel special, too.
Ways to Include Your Children in Your Wedding
Sand Ceremony – Originally used to symbolize the bride and the groom becoming one, this can easily be modified to include the whole family. Each person gets their own vase of colored sand. One by one, everyone pours their color into a main vase or frame to create colorful, flowing layers, leaving the family with something to put on display at home that symbolizes the family as a whole.
We recently had a couple use a really cute wood and glass frame made for sand ceremonies – complete with a tightly closing lid for zero spillage!
Tree “Planting” Ceremony – Similar in concept to the sand ceremony or a unity candle, we had a couple bring a young tree and two small pails of dirt, one from each family’s home. They then each added a little bit of earth from their respective pails to the tree, showing their joint commitment to nurturing their new life together. The plan was to plant this tree at their new home and to watch it grow old together. Allowing the children to come up and similarly contribute a spade-full shows that the entire family will grow together.
Family Blessings & Readings
Another option is to ask the minister or notary to call your children up to stand with you near the end of the ceremony. There, he or she can say a short blessing over your family or you could choose to give small tokens of promise to your children. We’ve had quite a few destination wedding ceremonies where the couple has given matching necklaces or small keepsakes (even little bracelets from Disney or Universal!) to their children to make the day special for them as well.
For those children that wish to speak or be even more involved, we’ve heard everything from tiny notes to beautiful love poems. Last week we had an amazingly touching reading from two children to their parents.
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