How to include your children into your ceremony
by Jessie Belle Celebrant
f you know me, you know I love weddings that don’t necessarily fit into the societal cookie-cutter mould. Today, more and more couples are choosing to start a family first and once the fog lifts and they’re finally able to dig themselves out of the endless nappy changes, they begin to plan their wedding. For other couples, kids come as a package deal when they meet their one true love. Either way, if you’re looking for fun ways to include children in your wedding day, I’m here to help!
I am one of those crazy celebrants who loves working with kids (and dogs for that matter!) and I will go out of my way to make sure children and parents alike are as comfortable and as happy as they can be on the day.
In the first edition of the Geelong Wedding Guide Magazine I shared tips and tricks to prepare children for the wedding day so be sure to check that out. In this edition, I want to give you all the inspiration you need to make children feel loved, appreciated and celebrated on the big day.
I have compiled a list of ideas below that have worked well for my couples in the past and will hopefully inspire you on how you can include children on your wedding day:
Walking down the aisle
If there is one sure-fire way to get emotions flowing, it’s seeing children walk down the aisle. Whether they are throwing petals, blowing bubbles, carrying a cute sign, linking arms with a parent or being pulled in a toy cart, your guests will be reaching for the tissues in no time! Once all that cuteness is over, you can decide if your little ones will stand with you for the ceremony, sit in the front row, or you might like to set up a rug for them to sit on. Once you’ve decided, be sure to have a plan that you can share with them so they know where to go once they make it down the aisle.
2. Presenting the rings
Such a simple yet beautiful way to make your kids feel super special during the ceremony. If they are teeny tiny humans, it’s always lovely when a family member such as a grandparent carries them up to help hand over the precious metal. And if you have two children then you may like to consider them presenting one ring each.
3. Keepsake gift
Surprising your children with a special keepsake gift during the ceremony is such a lovely touch and works really well just before you exchange rings. You may like to look at the rings a symbolising the unity of you as a couple, but it can also represent the unity of you as a family. When you present a special gift to your children, it means they have a tangible reminder that they were part of this special day and something they can keep and cherish forever.
4. What is love?
If your kids love the spotlight, there is no better way than to hand over the microphone and let them say what this marriage means to them in their own words. Cute to the max! If you don’t trust your kids with a microphone then you can always ask your children a bunch of questions on love like - what does love feel like? What happens when you fall in love? Use the best bits and put them into a reading. It is so fun!
5. I do, me too
As you make promises to one another during the ceremony by saying “I do” or writing your own vows to each other, consider including promises to your children too. You could even add in something light-hearted and have your celebrant ask your child to promise to eat their broccoli every night and still give you hugs even when they’re all grown up. I’m sure the answer will be hilarious no matter what!
6. You may now kiss
Again, if your little one isn’t one to shy away from the spotlight, they can be invited up to pronounce their parents married or tell them they can kiss (and even cuter if they cover their eyes while you go in for the smooch!). You might like to have them hold up a sign instead if they’re feeling shy.
7. Circle of Love
When it comes time in the ceremony to acknowledge your children, your celebrant could invite your children up to stand with you in a circle and hold hands or wrap your arms around one another. As the celebrant shares some beautiful words, you can have a quiet moment with your children to show them how loved they are. This can work with any family members really, including parents and siblings and it’s pretty special to witness.
8. Unofficial Witness
This idea was born out of a wedding where the couple’s three year old sat on her parent’s lap during the signing of the marriage certificate and she was desperate to sign her name as well. Not ideal on a very official looking document so I quickly whipped out part of my ceremony script so that she could scribble her name over it and she felt very important! Since then, I always carry a family certificate that kids
can sign if they would like to be part of this special moment, and it’s always something cute to frame afterwards.
At the end of the ceremony when it’s time to walk back up the aisle as newlyweds and get those celebration vibes going, why not have your children join you. It’s a celebration of you as a couple and you as a family unit so if it fits with your vibe, then rock it I say!
I am sure your celebrant will have some wonderful ideas on how to include your children in your special day. Know that is ok to just want the ceremony to be about you as a couple and the love you share for one another.
Do what feels right for you, go out there, and have the best day of your life!