"For younger children, usually the
simple task of holding the rings or bouquet is enough to accomplish a
sense of participation. For teenagers, the role may be as simple as
standing up with the couple, playing the CD or tape of wedding music, or
even just taking pictures of the ceremony.
"If the bride's children, sometimes
the children will walk forward with the bride. When asked "who brings
this woman to this man?" they answer "We do" or "We do for the family.”
"Generally, children will not share
your sense of excitement about the wedding. Rather, to them it seems
more a party occasion. Usually, giving children major roles in the
ceremony quickly becomes chores."
"It is generally best to give a
child only one active role and also to be mentioned in the ceremony,
rather than to actively involve a child at many different points
throughout the ceremony.
"Child in wedding gift for children, child ring, necklace, child and
children. With teenagers, some care should be taken not to give them
roles they may feel silly doing."
"Care should be given in asking a teenager to give the bride away or
state agreement with the marriage - as the child may not really feel
fully comfortable with the marriage, yet does not want to say so."
"Typically, couples give children a gift right after they exchange
their own rings and vows - usually a necklace or ring - along with a hug
and an "I love you."
"We are a family now, a whole, Of which you are a part, And you are
just as much my child, As any in my heart. I do not love you
differently, Nor would I give up less, Of all that life has given me, To
bring you happiness.
There is no limit to my love, No boundary you might cross, No price
you might be asked to pay, No need to fear its loss. We are now one, the
four of us, Windows of one home. As long as I have life and breath,
You'll never be alone."
“If children are coming into the marriage,
there are many different ways to involve the children in the wedding
I believe it is very important that if children are coming into the
marriage that they be recognized or participate in some aspect of the
wedding ceremony itself. Children often can not express fears or doubts
Mentioning the Children
"I think it is much more important that children hear their names
mentioned in the ceremony, than it is that they play any major part of
" Mentioning their name during the wedding assures that they are an
important part of the occasion and have special status which guests and
other family members attending do not. Children need to feel important
to their parents."
"If children are coming into the marriage, it is appropriate to
mention in the ceremony that not only is a marriage being formed, but
also a family - and then name each child. If a prayer is in the
ceremony, each child's name will be stated in the prayer."
When Children Feel Left Out
"Most couples are careful to take time to talk to the children about
the marriage before the wedding day and involve children in some aspect
of the ceremony. Where children tend to be left out is immediately after
The bride and groom walk away and are crowded by "big
people" - with the children left out of the immediate post ceremony
"When children tend to feel most left out is immediately after the
"Children tend to see the world as revolving around themselves - and
the wedding ceremony as also their day."
"They feel very left out if all the adults celebrate and they are
ignored at the end. They also do not know what to do after the ceremony
"The couple should
take a moment to hug their children, thank them for helping in the
ceremony, then telling them they are free to play. This recognition is
Non Ceremony Roles
"With many weddings, a good way to involve children (except very
young) is to give each their own one-time use camera and have them take
pictures they think are important.
It will be interesting to see what pictures they take and the photos
could be theirs later when developed."
Vows For Children
"Occasionally, a couple will have the children asked, "Do you accept
this family and the marriage?" Care should be taken in this decision, as
sometimes the child is not completely comfortable with the marriage."