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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Incorporating Children at Weddings

There are many ways to incorporate children in weddings, with something to do for every age group! If you have nieces, nephews, children or even grandchildren, to include them in the festivities is very special and meaningful. My step-granddaughter-to-be was in my wedding, and we were both tickled pink! She was precious!

The roles children can play in your ceremony
We’ve all seen pictures of cute little boys and girls all dressed up, walking down the aisle at a wedding! The little girl, as the flower girl, is delicately throwing rose petals to prepare the way for the bride. And the ring bearer, all gussied up in his little tuxedo, is carefully carrying the bride’s ring (or a replica) on his little pillow. This is a great way to include younger nieces, nephews, children, or grandchildren in your wedding. A word of caution: these children should be old enough to be able to walk down the aisle alone and follow instructions. A crying ring bearer may be cute for a few minutes, but after a while, the crying may ruin the atmosphere of your special day.

What about older children?
If there are older children in your family (around ages 9-14), consider asking them to be a junior bridesmaid or junior groomsmen. They fulfill a similar role as your adult bridesmaids and groomsmen and are dressed similarly (the junior bridesmaids dress should be one that suit a girl of her age...avoid the lower necklines and higher hemlines). Teenagers can play a part as well as ushers and hostesses. Your ushers can escort guests to their seats and roll out the aisle runner for the brides, while hostesses can distribute wedding programs and check in guests at your reception.

Younger children are probably not interested in eating Chicken Marsala or Beef Wellington, so be sure to have a kids menu available. And of course, they will not be served alcohol, so make sure there are beverages for them available.

Mini parties/receptions
Children can get bored with the goings-on of a wedding reception. How about giving them their own party, while the reception is going on? You can hire a sitter, have a special menu for them, and include games, party favors and even their own dessert (cupcakes would be ideal). This also gives parents a break and allows them to enjoy the adult party.

Your Planning Assignment
Carefully consider how you will incorporate your families’ children in this memorable occasion. If a child is too young or doesn’t feel comfortable in a particular role, it’s ok. You can always have special seating for them, or give them a special gift so that they feel a part of the festivities. When hiring a sitter, make sure the person is reputable and trustworthy. Do a search on ‘event sitters’ to find companies that offer this service in your area.

Happy Planning!

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