If you are going to get married and already have kids (either with your fiancé or from your previous relationship), you'd want them to participate in the ceremony. After all, they are part of your family and it is important that they feel included. How to include your children in your wedding? Here are some ideas.
Flower girl/ring bearer. If your kids are young enough, you can stick to a traditional option. A flower girl is a girl who carries a bouquet or scatters flower petals in front of the bride as she walks down the aisle, and a ring bearer is a boy responsible for carrying wedding rings. Keep in mind that making a young ring bearer responsible for keeping your wedding rings safe until the ceremony is not a good idea. Let the best man keep them and give them to the ring bearer right before the ceremony.
Junior bridesmaids/groomsmen. The typical age cutoff for flower girls and ring bearers is 10. If your kids are older, they can join the wedding party and serve as junior bridesmaids and groomsmen. They get to wear fancy clothes just like other bridesmaids and groomsmen and even attend the PG-rated pre-wedding events.
Best man/maid of honor. Teenaged or adult children can serve as a best man or maid of honor, if everyone is okay with it. Just make sure that they realize that these roles involve great responsibility. The best man and maid of honor are involved in all stages of wedding planning. Are your children ready for it? If you want some backup, you can ask your sister or best friend to be your maid of honor, and your daughter will be the maiden of honor. No one said you can't have two maids of honor! You're the bride and it's up to you.
Ask them to walk you down the aisle. The bride is traditionally walked down the aisle by her father. This ceremony is known as giving away the bride, it dates back to the day when women were considered their father's/husbands property. That's why more and more women decide to transform this part of the wedding ceremony into something else. You can ask your kids to walk you down the aisle and give you away to your husband. It can symbolize the creation of a new blended family (if he is their stepfather) or reaffirmation of the family that already exists (if he is their “actual” father).
Include them in the unity ceremony. Unity candle ceremony (or its alternatives such as sand ceremony, water ceremony, flower ceremony, etc.) is a beautiful tradition. It can be even more beautiful and touching if you include your kids in it. It makes total sense because the unity ceremony is about creating a family, and your kids are part of it.
Remember that if you want to include your kids in your wedding, you should ask them first whether they want to have a role in the wedding. If they don't want to participate due to performance anxiety or for another reason, it is completely okay. Don't force them into doing something they don't want to do. Your children still love you even if they prefer to simply be guests rather than members of your wedding party. If you still want to include them somehow, you can mention them in your wedding vows.
- Who Is Who in the Wedding Party, Unity Candle Ceremony Tips, Ceremony Seating Guidelines, How to Put “Adults Only” on Your Wedding Invitations