When my parents married, my Dad had three children from his first marriage and my mother had one child from her first marriage. Their wedding marked two distinct and major life changing events: One, they became husband and wife. Two, they formed a blended family. After years of working with engaged couples who already have children, I have learned that it is important to honor both the formation of the marriage and the beginning of a new family during the wedding ceremony. Below, I share some of what I have learned about doing this well.
- The way that you choose to include your children in your wedding ceremony has the potential to help them understand the roll they are going to play in their new family.
- If you plan to ask your son or daughter to be the Best Man or Maid of Honor, tell them why you want them to stand at your side and make a big deal out of it. Traditionally the Best Man and Made of Honor are confidants and advisors to the bride and groom. This may not be an appropriate roll to assign to you child (especially if her or she is young). I suggest redefining the roll to make it work for your family.
- Your wedding vows outline the commitment you are making to your fiancé. They mark the moment the two of you become husband and wife. I suggest allowing the wedding vows to focus on your marriage and finding another way to include your children.
- Many popular wedding rituals, like the lighting of the unity candle and the sand ceremony, can be modified to include your children and are a great way to mark the beginning of your new family. One of our officiants would be happy to discuss this further with you at a free consultation.