Including children in a wedding is a great way to unite families and have an enjoyable day. Weddings are happy occasions and inviting children to participate is a nice means for family and friends to all celebrate a special time together which will, at day’s end, become a treasured memory.
In days of yesteryear many prospective brides and grooms did not include children in the wedding. Invitations were mailed out addressed to the adult guests and rarely included “and family”; some even stipulated “no children” were allowed to attend. The only exception for children and weddings at these weddings were perhaps for the ring bearer or flower girl, but other than that children were generally excluded from participating in the festivities.
Many of today’s brides and grooms often take on a different perspective and welcome children to not only attend the weddings, but even participate and take on roles in the planning, ceremony and reception arrangements.
Here are a few great ways to include children at weddings:
Whoever is throwing the bridal shower can engage the creativity of children to help. Most children love parties and would be delighted to help the grown-ups plan the event. Children can help with items such as decorations, favors and even assist in the set up and preparation of food.
If the children involved in the wedding are your own, you can let them help choose food, decorations, or color schemes for the ceremony and reception. Your daughter would probably be enchanted to go help pick out the wedding gown, and your son can go with the groom and do the guy thing trying on tuxes and getting all spiffed up for the big day. There are many different ways children can help out in preparation for your wedding.
Children can also play an important role in the wedding ceremony. Younger children can serve as ring bearer or flower girl. Older children can serve as an usher or even give out wedding programs to your guests. Most kids are proud to get all dressed up and play a visible part in a wedding. If you give them this opportunity, it is a great way to include children on the big day
An important factor of successfully including children in weddings is how you plan the reception. For everyone, adults and kids alike, to have a good time, you want to make the party inclusive of fun things for the kids. If the kids aren’t having fun, chances are the adults won’t be enjoying themselves either.
Planning a reception to include children involves kid-friendly foods (how many kids really want to eat some of those fancy dishes caterers cook up?), so you want to make sure the menu contains at least one or two options of foods kids prefer to eat. Buffets are easier, but sit-down meals may not be too appealing for the younger set, so asking the caterers to have a kid-friendly option or two can make a big difference.
Another consideration is music. Kids love to dance, and perhaps you may want to ask your DJ or band to play some kid-friendly songs or dances sporadically through the reception. Kids will dance to most anything, but their faces light up at some of the traditional “fun” wedding songs.
The last consideration for successfully including children in the wedding is to try and plan an early wedding and reception. This way the kids are more alert and at their best, especially if they are participating in the ceremony. Ceremonies that take place later in the day are likely to find younger children tired and by the time the reception rolls around, they’ll be exhausted and cranky. If you plan the day for an earlier time, both the children and their parents will have a much happier time.
Letting kids take a role in a wedding makes it a fun family affair. More guests will likely respond favorably because they may have babysitter issues and this allows them to attend your wedding with no worries. Finding ways to include children at weddings can make the day enjoyable for all.
Image credit: CC0 Image by amyannbrockmeyer / Pixabay
Leigh has been writing on the web since 2007. She has a high interest in business, tech, higher education, and Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia travel, but loves to write about a variety of topics. In addition to writing on Writedge, she also runs a blog about the Washington DC Metro Area and a photography blog Photos by Leigh Goessl.