Ways To include Children In Your Wedding Ceremony

how to include children in your wedding ceremony

Weddings are a celebration of love, bringing families and friends together to witness the union of two people.  However, a wedding can also celebrate the bringing together of two families. You may therefore want to think of ways to include children into your wedding ceremony.

Many couples want their children involved in their ceremony. When children are a part of the equation, the dynamics of the ceremony can be enriched by their presence.  Including children in a wedding ceremony not only symbolises the blending of families but also creates lasting memories for the children involved.

How can you include children into your wedding ceremony?

ways to include children in your wedding ceremony

Write your children in your Ceremony

As a celebrant this is something I often do.  Including a child’s name in a ceremony reassures them that they are a significant part of the family and the also of the occasion. It will make them feel very special and involved in the celebration.

In the case of a blended family, some children may be struggling with the idea of their parent marrying another person, so it can be comforting for them to hear that the day is about ‘all of the family’ and not just the grown-ups.

Walking you down the aisle

Why not have one or more of your children walk you down the aisle?!  This will make your procession extra-meaningful and can include multiple children.  However, practise may be required to ensure they do not either sprint to your celebrant leaving the bride behind them, or they may amble too slowly!

Involve children in a Unity Ceremony

When considering ways to include children in your wedding ceremony, think about incorporating a family unity ceremony to signify the merging of two families. If you are having a unity candle, unity sand or non-traditional unity ceremony, this is the perfect chance to involve your children.  

Unity ceremonies are all about the mixing of two things to become one. Involve children to not just bring the two souls of the bridge and groom together, but to blend the whole family together.   

A unity sand ceremony involves the mixing of coloured or natural sand to symbolise the blending of the bride and grooms lives together.   A sand ceremony where each family member pours different coloured sand into a shared vessel symbolises the coming together of individual lives into one family unit.

children unity candle ceremony - a way to involved children in your wedding ceremony

Involving children in a unity candle lighting can be a good way to include them. Each member of the family has a candle which they use to light a unity  candle. If the children are small the couple can light small candles for each of them and they can light the centre candle with help from the grown ups. If the children are older each child can light their own candle, and then light the centre candle together as a family.

Non traditional unity ceremonies include creative ideas such as producing keepsakes from family handprints (albeit this can get quite messy so best to do these after the ceremony!).

Including children in a Handfasting ceremony

Handfasting is Celtic ritual which is not only a symbolic act of commitment but in days gone by it was also a legal form of marriage in some regions. Couples would come together and declare their love, while their hands were tied with cords or ribbons, hence the name “handfasting.”

This ritual can easily be adapted to include children in the family with children’s hands being tied to their parents.  The ritual can symbolise their decision to be bound together facing life’s challenges and joys hand in hand.

The choice of cords or ribbons can carry meaning – from the colours representing different aspects of life (e.g. red for passion, blue for tranquillity) to the material itself embodying the couple’s shared values. More info on handfasting can be found here: Everything You Need to Know About Handfasting Ceremonies – hitched.co.uk

children hand fasting ceremony

Include them in your vows and promises

During the ceremony, couples exchange heartfelt vows and promises. These words hold immense significance as they articulate the couple’s intentions, dreams, and commitment to each other.

Naming your children in the vows is an easy way to make them feel included and special. It’s also important to remind them that you’re committing to being a family and not just gaining a spouse. It is also a way of blending two families of children together with them all being mentioned in the couple’s vows.

Ring and Flower Bearers

There’s no rule that says your bridal party has to be all adults, so why not let your children be bridesmaids or groomsmen? It is one of the ways to include children in your wedding ceremony. This idea works especially well if your children are usually older than 10.

Children of any age can be attendants in a ceremony, from flower girl or page boy to best men or best women. This can work with just about any age from the time a child is walking albeit be prepared to have an adult on hand to help!

A popular trending role for boys is for them to deliver the rings dressed as security guards.  Endless Instagram opportunities will ensue, and what child doesn’t love dressing up.

For young girls, holding the bouquet can be very exciting and ensures they are involved in the ceremony.

children ring bearers -  a way to involved children in your wedding ceremony

A Ceremonial Family Wedding Certificate

In place of just the happy couple signing a wedding certificate, and alternative is for the couple and their children to sign a Family Wedding Certificate.  This is a great way to involve children in your wedding ceremony and everyone’s name will be on the certificate forever,

For the children, they love feeling important and special on the day and they treasure the memories they collect about that time when they got to ‘sign the document’ with their parents on the big day.

Creating a Time Capsule

This is an idea I have used many times before and a great way to including children in your wedding ceremony.  During the ceremony, each member of the family will place an item in the capsule, something meaningful to them, and alternatively, each family member can write a note about their hopes and dreams for the future, or about what it means to be a member of the family. These can be opened on a date agreed by the family.

boy at wedding holding bride sign -  a way to involved children in your wedding ceremony

Things to Include Children in Before the Wedding Day

Not all children are confident enough to take on a role and have all eyes on them on your special day, yet they want to be involved. Another way to include children in your wedding ceremony is to include them in the wedding prep, rather than on the actual day.

Arts and Crafts – Some children will love to help out with some simple arty tasks such as preparing wedding decorations, making favours or decorating confetti cones.

Cake Tasting – An absolute winner with all children!  Involved children in wedding cake sampling, or choosing a desert for the wedding breakfast.

Include them on your wedding socials – Have you got a Facebook wedding page? Instagram? Wedding website?  Then include your children in this. Let them help choose pictures, favourite family photos etc,

Have them perform at the wedding – Are you children budding performing stars?  Then consider letting them sing, dance, play or recite poetry during your ceremony.  What would be more personal!

Alternatively, you could ask them to showcase their talents for everyone at your reception. Allowing your child a moment in the spotlight will will mean a lot to them.

If you want help with any more ideas on how to include children in your wedding, don’t hesitate to get in contact with me! Still not sure about a celebrant and what I can do to help you on your special day? Then have a look at another of my blogs for inspiration. 7 Things a Civil Celebrant Brings to a Wedding (annabowencelebrant.co.uk)

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