Children in Wedding Ceremonies

I am getting so many requests now to officiate and my calendar is filling up. So often there are children involved, and to me, this is an exciting opportunity.

A wedding ceremony is never just about the couple. It is also a joining of families and communities. Even with an elopement, there are now in-laws, where there were none before. If either or both the Bride and Groom have children, it is vital to include them in this most important occasion.

The groom putting a necklace on his bride's daughter. Isn't this fantastic!

The groom putting a necklace on his bride's daughter. Isn't this fantastic!

The age of a child will determine, of course, how much they can participate, but children of any age, from very young, to adult children, need to be recognized as part of the new family. They may be involved in the preparations for the wedding and even enjoy consulting with you on such things as the color scheme, theme, food and other decisions. But they can, and I believe should, be recognized in your ceremony in numerous ways. Here are some suggestions –

  • Of course the role of flower girl, ring bearer, or Junior Bridesmaid or Groomsmen are well established, but children can have the additional honor of escorting (or being escorted by) grandparents, or a most special role – they can walk their parents down the aisle.
  • The unity candle is one of the most popular rituals in today’s weddings, and a family candle is a wonderful way to symbolize everyone joining together. Have the children light their own candles, the bride and groom light their candles, and then everyone lights the larger unity candle together.
A family sand ceremony - perfect for any age.

A family sand ceremony - perfect for any age.

  • Sand ceremonies are becoming popular. They are especially good for outdoor ceremonies where candles may not be as practical. There is an additional benefit of a keepsake of the mixed sands, which can be displayed in your home. Have the children pour it layers of sand, alternating with the couple.
  • For small children, I often call them forward and speak directly to them, in language they can understand, and talk about their importance and the love the couple shares with them.
  • Consider vows to your children – offer them you verbal support and ask them, like-wise, to give their support to the marriage and any new step-siblings (to which they get to answer with an “I do.”)
Vows to the child.

Vows to the child.

There are many more ideas, but these are some of my favorites and this is a great start to get you thinking about how important it is to honor the children in a marriage ceremony!

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