Having children take part in your ceremony can provide lots of memorable moments. But what's the best way to involve them?
Rarely do you have a wedding without children. Sometimes they're your friends' youngsters, sometimes nieces and nephews, often they're your own. It's best to be fairly relaxed because (depending on their age) they're unlikely to sit still and quietly. And indeed why should they? I'm a big fan of letting them do as they wish, within reason of course, so often when the wedding is outside they run around at the back, or wander around a bit.
This subject came up at my annual development session last week. As Marriage Celebrants, we have to complete several hours of training each year to keep our skills sharp. Involving Children at Weddings was the afternoon topic and I picked up a couple of great new ideas.
Let's start with the obvious ones:
Sign bearer (I've seen "here comes the bride" and "last chance to run!")
Some different ones:
There are some parts of the ceremony where the bride needs to hand over her bouquet to someone. Often it's a bridesmaid but it could be a nice job for a young child.
If you have young children, why not have them standing with you at the front? It's all about family, and so there's no reason they have to sit on a chair with other guests.
As well as signing the Marriage Certificate, we can sign a Family certificate too to signify the new extended family, and ask them to sign their names.
Candle or Sand Ceremony
You can blend sand to blend a family or light candles together.
You can address them directly in your vows, or make some vows especially for them.
Sometimes it's as simple as me giving them a special mention in the ceremony.
The photo above is of a young boy who was the ring bearer for a wedding in Sydney. He was in a remote control car, controlled by an adult, and so he drove the rings up the aisle when it was time to put them on the bride and groom's fingers.
I'm always open to other ideas too, so let's throw some other ideas around when we meet to plan your ceremony!