When it comes to attending weddings there are always specific things people look at and look for. How beautiful is the wedding gown? Check on bridesmaids’ dresses and chosen ceremony colors. And, most of all, how adorable are the children.
There is something special about a group of young ladies dressed to the nines holding the bride’s vail as she walks with her father down the aisle. A young lady and young man, which were supposed to be holding hands, walking awkwardly with the rings and dropping flower petals.
Incorporating children into the wedding ceremony may be somewhat of a headache at times, but there is no doubt they are a crowd pleaser. Whether is a niece or nephew or children from previous relationships, there are truly meaningful ways to include them.
Here are some ideas on roles children can take:
Junior Bridesmaid/Groomsman — Maybe you have older children, or teenage family members you are close to. This is a perfect role for them. Just don’t let them get too involved in the bachelor and bachelorette party.
Reader — This is a great honor for older children, especially those who have become strong readers. Let them read a passage about marriage or a bible verse.
Escorting the bride — This is a fan favorite. Get those little girls and young gentleman on the aisle. No one says the bride’s son can’t be the one to escort her down. Children keeping the vail from dragging on the ground is also a useful and important job.
Flower Girl/Ring Bearer — This is a great role for younger children. The flower girl and ring bearer are a longstanding tradition in weddings and with practice, the children do it well. Just remember to be patient. Even the bravest of children can suddenly become shy.
Bouquet holder — If one of your young children is a little shy and might struggle with the idea of all the smiles and “how cutes” coming down the aisle, a good position is the bouquet holder during the ceremony. While great for a younger child, just remember, a lengthy ceremony could also mean fidgeting and the possibility of looking around and losing track of the job at hand.
Once assignments are given, the hard work begins. While the photos and memories created on that special day will make you laugh, getting there and what actually happens on the day may be a source of some stress.
Children may not be willing to do everything you plan, arrange and practice. That’s where the best advice is to just go with it and follow some of these tips:
Delegate — With smaller children make sure to get someone to help and keep close watch on the young ones. This person’s role is vital in keeping them calm, comfortable and prepared to do what’s got to be done.
Practice and practice again — It’s important that a room full of people watching them isn’t a shock on the big day. This means practicing walking up and down the aisle. Put people in the seats to give them a taste of what it will be like.
Rewards — If the young children respond to the idea of a reward don’t be afraid to offer a to ensure they do well.
Be sensitive — If this is a case where it is a child whose parent is getting married, be understanding and sensitive. At any age, they may be going through some emotions. They also want to be included. Just be patient as they go through the process.
In the end, the pictures and memories will be worth the time and patience that goes into including the children of family and close friends into your big day.