How to Make Children Feel Like They Are a Part of Your Marriage
With the rapid increase in the number of remarriages over the past few decades, the percentage of children who now belong to “blended” families has also risen. Each year, it seems that more and more children become witnesses to the birth of their own step families, an experience that can be fraught with worry and even dread.
Just watching the wedding happen around them can often serve to distance and divide children from their new stepparents, rather than helping to draw the two closer together. Including children in the celebration though, can cement the foundation upon which good future relationships may be built.
Many brides and grooms however, may be oblivious to their options when it comes to ways to incorporate their children into the wedding. Read on to find five touching recommendations that will truly make your children feel like they are a part of your marriage.
1. Ask them to be attendants.
One of the most charming ways to include children in your wedding is to ask them to be attendants. Making them members of the wedding party can afford them a pivotal role in the proceedings, and assign them a distinguished title too. Young daughters, aged four to seven, can be drafted as flower girls, while young sons are ready-made ring bearers. Older children may assume the roles of junior attendants, or even that of the maid of honor or best man.
2. Celebrate with a special ceremony.
Including a special ceremony in your wedding is also a wonderful avenue to incorporating children. Having them participate in the lighting of candles or the pouring of sand can help to solidify the concept of the new family formation, and gives children a good visual representation of their unique roles. Articles associated with the ceremony can later stand as happy symbols in the children’s home, ones that will remind them of the valuable and vital part they play in the marriage.
3. Encourage them to be escorts.
Another approach to including children in the wedding is to invite them to partner with the bride for the processional. Sadly, for many second marriages, the bride ends up walking down the aisle alone, or simply standing at the altar. A less lonely, and more lovely, option would be to have her children or future stepchildren escort her, and symbolically “giver her away” to the groom. The image is incredibly sweet, and one that will likely linger with both the bride and her escort forever.
4. Make family marriage vows.
The essence of any wedding is the exchanging of vows. To make children feel more important, incorporate them into the wedding by sharing special pledges with them as well. Promises to care for them and provide for their needs are completely appropriate, and may be mildly reassuring too. Naturally, there would never be any references to replacing a deceased or divorced parent, nor would any replies be required unless the children volunteer.
5. Present them with rings, medallions or other mementos.
The giving and receiving of rings is one of the most significant parts of a wedding, so why not present children with them as well? A simple, child-sized band can be a beautiful token, one that can be treasured for years to come. Similarly, a family medallion, inscribed with the child’s name and the wedding date, would be a special memento too. No matter what the gift actually is, the act of giving it will still be meaningful, both for you and for your children.