Those Cute Little Faces Can Almost Steal the Show ~ Almost. Kids + Your Wedding.
Children across the country are heading back to school; as a wedding planner I am often asked about children and their role in a couple’s wedding. Whether it be the nieces and nephews of the bride and groom, a dear family friend or even their own child, a bride and groom often have wee ones they want to include into their wedding day.
Many brides first began dreaming of their own wedding when they were a flower girl themselves. While the role of the flower girl and ring bearer are most traditional, they are also most type-cast by age and relationships. While most people would think a flower girl and ring bearer are the “only” ways a child could be included in the wedding, there are some things to consider. This role is often cast by the child of the bride and groom or a niece / nephew. If a couple has other children in their lives they want to include there are several other roles that can be filled for children of other ages and relationships.
Before proceeding with any children in a wedding consider this:
- Does the location of your ceremony permit children in the ceremony (and at what age?)
- Does the reception your envisioning encourage a child friendly environment (or will you make provisions for them?)
- Ask the parent of the child first, then tell the parents you want to ask the child and in person. Just as you would you adult attendants. (unless this is geographically impossible.)
- Consider the parents budget. (If the child is going to be a flower girl / ring bearer or junior bridesmaid / usher) you have some say in attire therefore you as the bride now need to consider the parents budget. In other roles, attire is not directly dictated by you as the couple, but asking anyone to be involved in your wedding can be a budgetary concern to anyone.
If you want to include children in a different capacity than the most common roles, here are a few ideas for you:
- Older children often serve as junior attendants or ushers.
- Children who are a bit older may be a great option as a reader. I’ve had couples actually choose song lyrics or poems as their readings, there’s really no reason a child couldn’t perform this duty. It’s refreshing to have a child, particularly of about age 9 and older do this duty. This role can be someone to whom the couple is very close, but may not fall in the traditional age of a flower girl or ring bearer.
- Infant / toddler children can be included in the ceremony in wagons or carried down the aisle. (Recently a bride’s daughter wore a blue dress and was her mom’s “something blue” – below)
- Children also make perfect attendants for the guestbook, programs and gifts. This role often falls to cousins and friend’s children or even actors. The most creative use of this role was a wedding I planned where the entire wedding was inspired by turn of the century time period and the bride’s programs were customized newspapers. The program attendants were “newsies” shouting “Extra, Extra read all about it, wedding today.” The guests loved the staging and even offered to buy the “3 cent” newspapers. (below)
- Have kids pass out the favors. These can be either at the church (as in the case fans or ribbon wands) or at the reception. Last year one of my clients had Girl Scout cookies and milk as her favor distributed at the end of the night to the guests. The cookies were given out by the Brownie who had sold her all of the cookies. (below)
- Include music as a special way to honor children. Whether it be “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies,” “Sweet Child of Mine,” or “You are my Sunshine” any of these make a magical and innovative way to have youth members come down the aisle at the ceremony.
- Families are honored when you include their children in unexpected ways throughout the evening as well. Not every ceremony (or church) has a proper and appropriate place for the children to be included. One of my favorite inclusions for children for in the reception was by a couple who included their infant son in a unique way. Instead of a bouquet and garter dance, they had all of the children on the floor and the bride and groom each tossed a teddy bear (dressed as a bride and groom) to the children. What a wonderful and special way to include their little guests! Even more special, they had made the teddy bears with their son the week prior at Build-a-bear!
Weddings are about the blending of families and creating a new family. This often means children will be included. Embrace the wonderful ways this can be done and know that this can be engaging, funny, special and unique, just like the children themselves!
Merci Beaucoup to the photographers who so beautifully captured these funny, witty and enthusiastic children over my career ~ each lovingly as if they were their own children! (in order of photos) Turtlepond Photography, Megelaine Images, Scalini Photography (2 photos), Nathaniel Edmunds Photography, Carpenter Photography & Design
I am an Indianapolis event planner, wedding planner, bridal consultant bar mitzvah planner, bat mitvah planner, event designer and wedding designer. Monica Richard, MBC
6915 Bretton Circle, Indianapolis, IN 46268 317-460-3726