If you have children – the under 18 kind – then when you get married, the kids are part of the package. Bringing two families together is at the heart of all marriage ceremonies. When there are children involved, especially if those kids are not of the union of the couple getting married, then there is special significance to the ceremony.
Deciding how to include your children in the wedding ceremony can be fun, and something that you can do together.
Choose a location where the kids will feel comfortable. Naturally, their ages will influence your decision. A backyard wedding offers all the conveniences of home – especially important if the children are very young and might need a nap. Some unusual venues for the ceremony have kid-friendly themes. The local zoo, for instance, or an amusement park, can make the little ones feel extra special. On the other hand, unless they are older teens, a black-tie event on a Saturday night might be too much.
Many couples write their own vows. Including the kids in the process holds special significance. If the kids are old enough, they can write their own vows, too. The professional JPs on findJP.com are experienced and able to give you guidance to find your words.
Consider incorporating a hands-on extra ceremony, beyond the vows, that involves the kids.
- In the Medallion Ceremony, the bride and/or groom commit to the love and care of the children of their new spouse. While saying the “vows” to their new step-children, they pin medallions or ribbons onto the children’s collars or lapels. Since the whole family is being married together, they all hold hands, creating a circle. When making the pronouncement, the JP can announce the couple married and the family as one.
- The Sand Ceremony provides a memory keepsake and is fun, too. Each family member has their own color sand. They pour it into the vessel, making a colorful design. The resulting memento becomes a family treasure.
See the links in the related articles, below, for more ceremony ideas that work with kids. And definitely talk with your professional officiant. They will certainly have plenty of ideas.
- More about the unity and other ceremonies to incorporate on your wedding day
- Blog article about Blending Blended Families
- Another article, Incorporating kids in the ceremony
Loretta Jay is the Managing Member of the Justice of the Peace Association. This is the membership organization for professional marriage officiants. All officiants’ profiles are searchable at findaJP.com, the place where Couples who Click can find their perfect JP.