Monday, July 26, 2010

Children In The Wedding Party

So, you’re thinking of having your 4 year old niece as the flower girl and your fiancé’s 5 year old twin nephews as ring bearers. After watching the children run around and rolling on the ground while they’re playing you’re having second thoughts. At the same time you don’t want to offend anyone in the family by not allowing the children walk down the aisle on your special day.

With a tiny bit of preparation it could work perfectly.

First off I highly recommend a rehearsal the day before the wedding. Children (and adults) feel much more secure knowing exactly where they are walking from, where they are walking to, where they will stand, how they will exit, and where they’ll go after they process out.

Second, have someone, who is not in the wedding party, assigned to the children. Sometimes when the child is very young the excitement can be overwhelming and they need to leave the room to be taken to a safe comfortable place where they can be calmed down. This seldom happens but it’s always nice to be prepared just in case.

Third, I favor the little ones sitting down after they walk in rather than standing up with the rest of the wedding party. However, at one wedding I performed, the 2 year old flower girl was the daughter of the Matron of Honor and the little one wanted to stand by her mother. Fine! The little girl simply got up from her chair, walked over to her mother and stood there, happy as could be. It was a nice added touch. It’s was better to let her stay then to try and convince her to take her seat.

Fourth, be prepared to go along with whatever the child or children would like to do (unless they’re screaming their heads off). Children are always cute no matter what they do (with the one screaming exception). At a recent wedding that I officiated at, the flower girl and the ring bearer started to walk in together as planned. But when the 4 year old boy saw the 6 year old flower girl dropping petals on the ground he stopped to pick them up and proceeded down the aisle after her, picking up each and every petal! When he finally reached the end of the aisle, he ran to his dad declaring, “Dad, I saved all the petals!!” Cute!

Fifth and most importantly, they are stepping outside of their box. Praise them and tell them what a great job they are doing and how important they are to the ceremony. They will never forget your sincere gratitude.

What is my guidance on having children in the wedding party? Go ahead. Be prepared. Give them directions. And let them be their beautiful, innocent selves.

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