Marriage is not only about the union of two people; many times, it's about the blending of two families, as well. For children and stepchildren, attending and having a part in their parents' wedding can be an incredibly special and exciting time. For others, they may be a bit nervous or hesitant to join in the fun. Here are some ways to ensure your wedding is special for both you, your love, and your shared children, too.
Before the big day, it's a great idea to have a family meeting, special dinner, or outing that will provide quality time to celebrate becoming an "official" family. The wedding day itself can be a blur and a bit overwhelming for kids. By enjoying a special time together pre-wedding, the kids will have time to ask any questions they may have, you can discuss and ease any concerns or worries, and you can use the time to get super excited as a family. Use this time to also read the children letters, make promises or pacts, and share with them exactly how you feel.
Honor Them Publicly
As long as the children are not super shy, there are many unique ways you can honor them on the big day. Whether you opt to make them junior bridesmaids or groomsmen, share a special dance, or allow them to wear a special outfit, formally including the children in your wedding day is a great way to symbolize your commitment to them, as well as to your partner.
Consider having them join you for a special "family vows" or unity session either before or after you exchange wedding vows with your partner. As you exchange rings, perhaps you'd like to gift them with engraved necklaces or bracelets to symbolize the union of your new family. Another sweet option would be to ask the children if you could have the honor of them walking you down the aisle (cue happy tears).
Provide a "Fun" Kids' Table
It's easy for children to get lost in a sea of adults who are dancing, drinking, and dining the night through. A bit of forward-thinking and planning can ensure that your children and stepchildren also have a great time of their own. Providing coloring books or other non-messy activities and photo props at the kids' table, asking the DJ to play a few of their favorite songs, and serving them a few of their favorite foods or desserts are easy ways to make sure they're enjoying the evening.
Depending on their ages, the wedding location, and the situation, you can even consider allowing them to have a best friend tag along for the evening. That way, they have a special person by their side to share the evening with and won't feel "alone" or that they stand out.
Make Them a Part of the Process
By offering to bring your children or stepchildren to one of your dress fittings, involving them in (fun) DIY tasks, having them participate in a cake tasting, or simply asking their opinions on other decisions, they'll feel involved in the process. By incorporating them and asking for their thoughts on even the smallest of details, they will feel that they are a part of the bigger picture and not just along for the ride. For many kids, these wedding ideas can make a world of difference.