Friday, November 12, 2010

A Family Affair

Whether you and your soon-to-be spouse have kids from previous relationships or together, there's a few things you can do to involve them in the wedding process.  I'm no expert, but I've worked with some great couples over the past couple years and here's a few things that I've picked up:

-Get the kids as involved as they want to be.  If they don't want to hear about the wedding plans, respect their wishes, and if they want to be involved, invite them to come to a cake tasting, gown fitting, etc.  Older kids can help with colour selection and making decorations.

-Welcome surprises.  At a wedding a couple of years ago, the 13-year-old daughter of the bride asked if she could make an impromptu speech.  It was a beautiful speech inviting her new step-dad into her life and left the room in tears.

-Involve them in the ceremony.  Junior bridesmaids & groomsmen are a great way to include kids.  Consider asking the marriage commissioner about writing the kids into the vows so they can say "I do" to the new person in their lives too.  Kids can also do readings or sing during the ceremony.

-Involve them in the reception.  Remember to make time to dance with the kids, or have a "family dance". If they're young, ask a relative that they really like or their babysitter to come and keep them company while you're mingling and dancing.

-Family time.  Go for that romantic honeymoon with your spouse, then come home and take the kids on a get-away too.  After supporting you in your new marriage, they deserve a bit of family fun time.  A couple of days at the Lake might be just what everyone needs.

Remember that all kids will react to the news in a different way, and although you're the parent and definitely entitled to your special day, their lives are changing too.  Make it exciting and low-pressure for them, and welcome their ideas.  Any other ideas out there of how to include kids in the wedding?

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