Kids. They’re adorable, sometimes a little sticky, and frequently unpredictable. When it comes to your wedding, you may face the question of how to include them or keep them occupied if you are allowing them to come at all.
Yes, there are adults-only weddings. It’s a slippery slope, especially if you have a lot of young parents on your guest list, but it certainly can be done. For the sake of this post, though, let’s say you are allowing kids. If you’re just looking for ways to make it more kid-friendly, check out our ideas here. If you’re trying to figure out how to include them in your special day, you’re in the right place.
The first questions we always ask are whose kids are they, how old are they, and how important is it to you to include them. If they are your children, then of course you’d want them involved! Some couples include an extended unity sand ceremony to allow their children to pour their own sand in the mix. There are many creative ways to bring them into the event. Traditionally, they can also be a flower girl, ring bearer, or junior bridesmaid/groomsmen.
If they are not your children, but they are family, practically family, or just important to you to include, their age will be a big factor in the role they play.
Beyond cute, but definitely too young to make an appearance down the aisle and having a mother carry her hopefully-napping, but maybe-crying baby down is often more trouble than it’s worth. Feeling deadset on the idea? Perhaps a nicely decorated carriage!
Children under two are a risk. They will definitely need an escort and you never know when the midday meltdown will hit. Having mom, dad, or a sibling walk with them or carry them down the aisle is your safest route. For ages two to four, it might depend on the kid. To avoid the wandering toddler, consider this: Can someone pull them in a cute wagon? Or will a parent have to dangle a pack of fruit snacks at the end of the aisle to lure them down? We’ve seen that one too many times.
Ages Five to Nine
This is a great age range for a ring bearer or flower girl. They can walk on their own, handle a task such a carrying a sign or dropping flower petals, and they are aware enough to be excited about participating. WARNING: Don’t actually give your ring bearer the rings. That’s a recipe for disaster.
At this age, you may want to offer a junior bridesmaid or groomsmen role. We see it more often with young girls who are thrilled by the idea of getting their hair and makeup done alongside the older bridesmaids and getting to walk down the aisle. They can also be introduced to the reception as members of the wedding party.
However you plan to involve kids in your day, get ready to be flexible. Everyone pictures the adorable, smiling toddler dropping handfuls of petals in their path, but we know it doesn’t always work out that way. What we know for sure is that a crying infant or a runaway three-year-old have never been more than minor hiccups in a ceremony that usually turn into a good laugh later on.