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How to Include the Kiddies

I married a lovely couple last week who had an adorable 2 year old daughter together. They wanted to include her in the ceremony and decided the best way was to write combined vows for her, following on from the vows that they had written for each other It was a beautiful touch. So I thought I would share some other ideas on how to include children in the wedding ceremony. However, you are welcome to let your imagination loose as you know your kids best and what is appropriate for them.

- The classic flower girl or ring bearer. For a traditional flavour, you can’t beat beautiful children dressed in their finest (for the moment anyway) walking down the aisle, throwing rose petals or blowing bubbles or even shooting a bubble gun (which I had my nieces use at my wedding) If they are too little to walk down the aisle, perhaps a little push on a bike or a pull on a wagon could do the trick. As for the ring bearer, if you trust the little one, a little box in the pocket is also pretty cute. Just make sure they don’t want to practice any magic tricks on the day!

- If the child is old enough, there are some beautiful readings they could do. Take Edward Monkton’s ‘A Lovely Love Story’, or excerpts from A.A Milne’s Winnie The Pooh or The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams, or even Dr. Seuss’ The Places You’ll Go. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a bit of a laugh, at another wedding I conducted I had, the children read out children’s quotes on love and marriage which always gets a good laugh.

- Some couples like to include the kids in a ceremony of some sort, for example lighting a unity candle together, or sand ceremony which involves pouring coloured sand from individual vessels into a big unified vessel. Others prefer to exchange a gift with the child, like a piece of jewellery.

- Sometimes keeping it simple is the key. Another couple I married held hands with their kids in a circle during the ceremony. Others have their kids participate by handing out wedding programs or musical instruments to the guests.

It’s a special day and involving the kids is a great way for them to feel a part of the ceremony – whether it’s a blended family or a child of the couple. Be creative! Just keep in mind their attentions span and there is a need to keep the little folk engaged or entertained. I would love to of any other ideas of involving children that you might want to share.

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