Blended families are not uncommon—more than 50 percent of U.S. families are remarried or recoupled, and we’ve seen many weddings involving couples who had at least one child coming into the new marriage with them. If you are blending a family, your wedding day is a big day for your kids, too—they are becoming part of a newly united family the minute you say “I Do.”
Letting the kids help plan the wedding will make them excited to be a part of things, and involving them in special ways shows that you care about their happiness within their new family. We’ve seen many families successfully incorporate their children into many different aspects of their wedding, and it makes for beautiful ceremonies and receptions.
Let them announce your engagement or marriage
When you announce your engagement or wedding, have the kids announce it for you. Think save-the-dates that say, “Guess what? Our parents are getting married!” On the invitations or programs include a message like, “We invite you to celebrate the marriage of our parents…”
Include them in the planning process
Involve the kids in the fun pieces of the wedding planning process. They can join for food trials and cake tastings. Let them put the stamps on the invitations and enlist their help for DIY decorations. This is a great way for blended families to bond before the actual wedding day.
Invite them to be part of the wedding party
There isn’t a rule that says your bridal party has to be all adults. Break away from traditional roles in the wedding party—do what feels right to you, which is most likely including your children. This idea works especially well if your children are older than 10, which is the typical age cutoff for a flower girl or ring bearer. If they’re younger, have them serve as junior bridesmaids and groomsmen. This means they can even participate in other wedding traditions like the bridal shower and dressing like your bridesmaids and groomsmen.
Gift them with something special
Many brides and grooms exchange thoughtful notes or gifts on the day of the wedding. Give something special to your kids, too. Whatever it is, it’s a special time for you to express your love for them and your excitement about combining families. Plus, it will be something they cherish forever.
Ask them to walk you down the aisle
The person or people who walk you down the aisle don’t have to be your parents or grandparents. Make it special by having your child walk you down the aisle. This is a huge and incredibly meaningful duty—they will be the ones “giving you away” and officially initiating the ceremony that ultimately blends your family.
Incorporate them into vows
Your marriage is truly about you and your partner, but if either of you is bringing children into the marriage, vowing to love them, too, is important. Consider incorporating them into your vows, or writing vows specifically for them, reassuring them of your love. It’s important to mention in the ceremony that not only is a marriage being formed, but also a family.
Share a ceremonial act
On your wedding day, you really are making one big family, or reaffirming the family that already exists, and you want to recognize that in a special way that involves every member of the family. Many blended families use a unity sand ritual to symbolize the coming together of their family unit andto show that they have become one and are no longer separated. Other families light a “unity candle” to symbolize the same idea.
Celebrate their talents and display their contributions
Showing off how proud both of you are of your new family helps the kids feel like they’re a part of a unit. They could read a special passage from a book, or read a poem that has meaning for you and your future spouse. Or, if they have a special talent, like playing an instrument or singing, ask them to perform at the ceremony and/or the reception.
Let them give a toast
Don’t force anybody to perform publicly if they hate it — but if your kids want to give a toast and celebrate their new family, let them! If they want to share their feelings through words or music, encourage that participation.
Have a grand family entrance and/or a special dance.
For the grand entrance, enter as a new family, not just as a new couple—it’s a fun and sweet moment to share. Ask the DJ or emcee to announce your entire family: “Please welcome the new family!”
Get an official family photo
This is your moment to get your first picture as an official family unit—ask your photographer to take a few! If you get engagement pictures taken, include them in those, too.
If you’re looking for advice on planning a blended family, we can help you. Get in touch with us today, by email or phone at 877-545-1002.