It’s not unusual to be at a wedding where the couple already has children. If this is your situation, I have found that using this opportunity to invite your children into that wedding ceremony gracefully, tactfully and beautifully enhances the depth and inclusivity of the day. Just like honouring parents, grandparents and even those who are no longer alive, respecting the role that children play in a marriage deepens the ceremony. This inclusivity warms the heart of everyone present and sends the message to the children that they are important.
The children will be nervous, and they will be excited. It’s like an awesome birthday party with everyone involved – only they don’t know what their role is. They want to know “what will happen to me” when my parent gets married. Remember that a wedding is a rite of passage. There is a status change, from single to couple. For the children they may have a new stepparent and they may have new siblings. This change can be both exiting and frightening. One way to address their anxiety is to give them a job to do – get them involved. We’ve done that instinctively in the past, with charming ring bearers and flower children. Mother’s in a second marriage often ask their son’s to “give them away” which creates a great sense of inclusion and acknowledgement of the status change.
When you collaborate with Modern Celebrant, our unique reflective process will expand the opportunity for inclusion and fun! We may write about the values and dreams of your new family that includes the children; with a more lengthy ceremony, the words of the children can be used. They feel valued when their words are spoken aloud to the community of friends and family at the marriage. You may want to consider that this can be a brilliant opportunity to put the children’s vows into the ceremony. Or the stepparent can ask permission to marry the child’s parent. Of course this will depend upon the age of the children involved, and how they feel, but it is a powerful way to address the change in status. For an even larger ceremony, this can be expanded to a ceremony within a ceremony. The traditional vows for the couple followed by a family ceremony for the children and parents.
Each couple is unique and Modern Celebrant designs a wedding ceremony that reflects who you are. We love kids!
— by Celebrant Lisa Hartley