In the past, if couples wanted children to be a part of their special day, most opted for the traditional roles of ring bearer, flower girl, or junior bridesmaid/groomsman. Nowadays, if you’re trying to make little ones, tweens, and teens feel intimately involved in the ceremony and other wedding-related activities, so many more options abound!
Consider these ideas to make the special kids in your life an important part of your wedding —
1. Cake Testing — What kid wouldn’t love to bite into this selection process? The cake is often a centerpiece of the reception, unique to the tastes of the bride and groom, and a point of conversation among the guests. That’s bragging rights if their choice makes the cut.
2. Attire Shopping — Whether it’s joining the bride on her journey to saying “yes” to the dress or tagging along with the groom in his quest for just the right tux, this must-do ritual is likely to be an experience that a young person won’t forget.
3. DIY Decorating — Kids know crafts. Even some teens have fun getting creative. If you’re all about DIY table tops, wedding favors, and seating placards, encourage them to help you out. The cutting and gluing that you might find overwhelming could be a source of joy for them — especially when they can show off their handiwork to family and friends on the big day.
4. Bride’s Bible — It’s a special keepsake for the bride. Something she’ll have for years and possibly even hand down to a daughter or close relative. A young child can be part of a sweet memory by carrying the Bible down the aisle and placing it next to the unity candle or handing it to the officiant. It’s an easy job perfect for preschoolers and up.
5. The Walk — A child of any age given the honor of walking down the aisle with the bride not only makes him or her feel connected to the significance of the occasion, but also brings home the point that this is a union of an entire family and not just two people.
6. Unifying Moments — Another profoundly beautiful way for a blended family to bond with each other during the ceremony is to include children in the symbols of commitment, such as letting them light the Unity candle, pour wedding sand in a vase, or read their own wedding vows.
7. Helpers — Being useful is an excellent opportunity for “big kids” to do their part. You may need a few helpers to:
• Act as ushers and seat people at the ceremony
• Pass out instructions to a venue
• Hold the bride’s bouquet during the ceremony
• Show people where to put cards and gifts
• Direct people to their seats at the reception
8. The Family Dance — If you’ll be doing the traditional first dance with your future spouse and either of you have children from a previous relationship, you may want to add a dance that includes the kids in your new blended family. Another idea: Play a song or two that will appeal specifically to young kids or teens (K-pop anyone?).
9. Wedding Keepsake — Offering a small token gift or souvenir that a child can take away and cherish their role in your wedding will create a lasting memory. It could be a simple charm, badge, or personalized wedding activity and coloring book. That last one is a twofer because not only is it a cute takeaway, but it will keep them busy for a good bit of the night.
10. Mini Social Media Team — Who knows social media better than the young ones? You need them to do what they do all day long anyway — take pics and video on their phones. Bonus if you can get them to set up your wedding website before the ceremony and commit to posting the pics on social media afterward for friends and family.