How do I include children or fiancé’s children in a Celebrant led wedding?

by Steve Pritchard-Jones

One of the main questions I get asked is for ideas regarding how to involve children or fiancé’s children in a wedding ceremony. In these modern times, many couples have children, either from a previous relationship or their current relationship.

Here are some of the most popular questions I get asked.

How do I include my children in a celebrant led wedding?

In short, the options are limitless.

If the ceremony is celebrating the blending of a family through marriage, it can be very healing for children to feel accepted as an essential part of the new family unit.

Here’s my top ideas how to include your children on your special day:

  • Involve children in the special ritual such as Handfasting, Sand ceremony, Unity candle ceremony etc visit www.pjtopnote.co.uk to read my blog about different rituals that can be incorporated in your ceremony. .
  • Give the child a gift after you after you have exchanged rings or after you have exchanged your vows.
  • Include a family wedding certificate that the children sign.
  • Invite children create a time capsule with you.
  • Involve the children in the wedding planning – ask for their ideas.
  • Include children’s names in the script and in the prayers/stories etc. This will show that your commitment is now only to your marriage, but to your children and family.
  • Encourage children to write their own vows or for them to say “I do” alongside you?
  • Invite the children to stand next to you and hold a bouquet or even hand over the rings during the ceremony
  • Flower Lei Ceremony – this is where relative or friend drapes a flower lei around the shoulders of the couple and this can be extended to include children. Placed in a figure 8, for infinity, and a number that is often associated with good luck and prosperity in many cultures. This act of draping the leis over each member of the family represents the family’s unity.

Other important points

How to include children of different ages in your wedding ceremony?

A young child

Children of any age can be attendants in a ceremony, from flower girl or page boy to best men or best women. A young child could escort your parents down the aisle.

For younger children, generally, the task of holding the rings or the bouquet is enough for them to feel a sense of purpose in the ceremony. For some children, it is enough just to be mentioned in the ceremony, so that may be a comfortable option.

A teenager  

As we are all aware, some teenagers may feel awkward in certain roles, so it’s very important to take into consideration their feelings and to consider their comfort level when assuming they’d love to be a bride’s maid or usher.

They may feel more comfortable taking photos on their phone or put them in charge of special aspects such as a Ring Warming, or handing out the confetti for photos after the ceremony. 

A stepchild

There can be a lot of emotional weight for a child when their parent marries someone new. This emotional weight can be difficult to understand, and they may find themselves overwhelmed with questions and uncertainty. There’s a strong possibility that a stepchild could possibly be thinking, ‘will I be welcomed into my new family?’ ‘Will I still be my parent’s priority?’ ‘Will my mum/dad still love me the same?

It’s vital you involve the stepchild in the ceremony as much as possible. They could walk their new stepmum or stepdad down the aisle, or you could add a promise into your vows to care for them as a loving parent, always. 

These are just some ideas, though the possibilities are endless. A wedding is such a significant event and it is meant to be shared with the most important people in our lives, and that includes the children in the marriage. Naming and involving each child in some way in the wedding ceremony is a lovely way to strengthen their place in the family.

Steve Pritchard-Jones

Steve Pritchard-Jones

I am an independent civil celebrant conducting weddings, celebration of life/funerals, commitment, civil partnership, renewal of vows, adoption welcoming, naming, pet funerals, internment or scatter of ashes, memorials service, and even divorce ceremonies in Shropshire, West Midlands, Mid and North Wales, Derbyshire, Staffordshire & throughout the UK.

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