This isn’t just your wedding, it’s theirs too. If you have children, whether they’re yours together or they belong to just one of you, then you need to make sure that they’re entering into this marriage with you at the wedding.
Many brides and grooms have children of varying ages when they decide to get married. Sometimes they come from a previous relationship. Sometimes the two of you have already had a child together. Regardless of where they come from, they’re here and they’re a crucial part of your family.
Make sure to include them in the wedding. The uniting of parents is a critical moment in their lives and it’ll fundamentally change them. It’ll change how they live on a day-to-day basis and it’ll change how they’re raised. They’re as much a part of this as you two and they need to be included.
Here are a few suggestions on how to do it:
Wedding party: Younger children can play the roles of ring bearer or flower girl. Older children can be members of the main parties themselves as a junior bridesmaid, bridesmaid, maid of honor, or their male counterparts. You’re choosing the most important people in your life to stand next to you on your wedding day. Will your child(ren) be among them?
Ceremony role: There are other ceremony roles that they can do instead of or in addition to being in the party. Elementary school children and up can participate as a reader or singer. Older teenagers or grown children could be your officiant if they’re not afraid of the spotlight that comes with speaking in public. Have them show off all of those talents!
Unity ceremony: A unity ceremony exists as a symbolic way of joining two people together. If you have children, you’re joining more than two people. Give each child their own color of sand, their own candle, etc.
Gift: You’re probably exchanging gifts before the wedding and you’re almost definitely exchanging rings at the ceremony. Give them their own gift or even their own ring (like in the photo above).
Dance: There are options to include a dance to celebrate your children during the reception. You could include them in your first dance, either from the start or have them join in part of the way through. You could schedule them their own parent dance, probably around the same time as the first dance. If you have multiple children, you could have each dance with a parent and have two parent dances going at the same time.
Regardless of which, if any, of these options you choose, make sure that you choose something. This is just as important to your children as it is to you and they need to be included.