Children always have a place at your wedding. They tend to bring out joy and warm feelings in everyone. They can be a ring bearer and flower girl or a junior bridesmaid. No matter the role they play, kids are always a great addition to any wedding.
Just as adults are different from each other, so are children. Some may be outgoing and happy to “perform” their role, while others may be nervous and pensive. We are never really quite sure how kids will react in any situation, so the best way to make a child comfortable at your wedding is to practice what is expected of them on the big day. If they know what they’re doing, the likelihood of them performing flawlessly will make both you and the child more at ease.
It’s typical for couples that already have children to include their little ones in their wedding ceremony. Officiants may even recommend giving children significant roles in the ceremony. Some of these roles may include reading, prayer, or a song. One beautiful way to unite a blended family during a ceremony is by having children add sand to the sand ceremony or participate in the unity candle portion to make them feel included. Another great way to honor the little ones in your life is to exchange a ring or piece of jewelry with the child at the same time that you exchange your rings. This will be a symbolic exchange that they will likely hold onto for the rest of their lives. If you wanted to add a nautical twist, you could tie a knot together to display in your home as a way to always remind the child about their part in the ceremony. The possibilities are endless!
Less significant but equally important roles for children include handing out programs before the ceremony, throwing flower petals during the processional, assisting with set up of the ceremony or reception venue or even helping to seat guests. These small roles make children feel included without the pressure to perform!
Keep in mind while planning your ceremony to ensure each child has clear instruction on what to do. Don’t make it too difficult or involved. The less fanfare, the better. You may even want to have a simple reward for them at the end of the aisle as an incentive to keep walking without a tantrum.
Many children are picky when it comes to their clothing and shoes. If they are uncomfortable with what they are asked to wear, they are more likely to have an issue with their clothing when it comes time to get ready. Have the kids try their clothes on before the wedding day to ensure all is good.
When the ceremony is over and it’s time for pictures, encourage your photographer to snap the shots of the littlest participants first, before they start rolling on the ground and becoming disheveled. You’ll want their adorable attire in good shape before the pictures record them forevermore. Immediately following their photoshoot, it may be a good idea to have a pre-appointed person get the kids over to the ceremony, especially if their parents are part of the
At the wedding reception, a kid’s table allows the kids to sit with their own age group and relaxes their expectations for good behavior during dinner. Asking your catering company to create a kid-friendly meal will cut down on food costs and kids are always happy to see some of their favorite foods on their plate. To keep the children occupied and happy during the reception, it may be a good idea to provide them with age-appropriate games and activities. A fun way to incorporate wedding details into the kid’s table is to provide a coloring sheet of a bride and groom or small flowers to create their own bouquet in the same colors as the bride’s bouquet. Of course, you’ll be hard-pressed to find an activity that holds the attention of little ones for an entire evening so some couples choose to provide some sort of childcare at the reception to keep them engaged throughout the evening.
Children are almost always the first ones to hit the dance floor during the reception. You can ask your DJ to play some fun dance music that they may recognize to kick off the night and let your little guests get the party started for you! If the little ones are already out there, they often inspire adults to join in on the fun.
If your venue has space, you may also want to set up a separate children’s area to allow the kids to hang out later into the night so their parents don’t feel obligated in leaving early. In the space, a movie, popcorn, pizza, or some other snacks will keep them occupied. Be sure to have supervision for this room set up ahead of time.
If having the little ones in your life is important to you as a couple, then just having them there is sure to be one of the best gifts of your wedding day! ♥
Top feature photo by Outer Banks Productions