According to the United States Census Bureau, over 50% of all families are remarried and 1,300 new stepfamilies form every day.
More couples face wedding planning with little ones in tow. Letting your kids help with wedding planning and giving them roles on the big day helps them feel included in this important milestone.
Here are 19 ways to include your kids in your wedding:
1 | Tell the kids before you pop the question.
Involving kids in the proposal will make them feel included from the very beginning. It also gives them an opportunity to ask important questions and to address their concerns.
2 | Let kids help with the menu.
What’s fun for kids is sometimes fun for adults too. How about including mini pigs in a blanket, chicken and waffles with maple syrup, or cheese quesadillas on the wedding menu?
3 | Take kids cake and dessert testing.
Bring the kids along for cake testing, or let them pick out a dessert to add to the reception. How about ice cream sandwiches, chocolate chip cookies, or mini peanut butter cups?
4 | Make a playlist with your kids.
Brainstorm a list of favorite dance songs with your kids. They won’t all make the cut, but when they hear the band or DJ play one of their picks it will make their day.
5 | Build a website with the kids.
Create a website for your wedding weekend complete with places to stay, eat, and things to do. Kids can help brainstorm some of her favorite spots to dine and spend time.
6 | Collaborate on the Guest List.
The problem with getting married when you have kids is if you invite every relative and friend with kids, you could end up with more kids than adults at the wedding. You might consider a kid-free wedding, except for your relatives. Kids can also help list family members and close friends who should be there on the big day.
7 | Design stamps for save the date cards and wedding invitations.
Commission your kids to design some romantic logos. Turn your favorites into stamps for save the dates or wedding invites.
8 | Go shopping together.
Take your kids wedding dress shopping with you. Their honesty will be refreshing, and they won’t hesitate to tell you if you look like a marshmallow or a doily. It will be fun for them to pick out their own outfits for the wedding too.
9 | Mail out invites.
You’re going to need help sealing all those envelopes. Give the kids sponges, set up an assembly line, and walk the invites to the mailbox together when they’re finished.
10 | Stuff gift bags.
Kids can help design the gift bags for out of town guests. You can stuff bags together and drop them off at the hotels.
11 | Pamper yourselves on a spa date.
Include your kids on a spa date complete with manis and pedis the week of the wedding.
12 | Spend the night with your kids the eve before the wedding.
Take some time to spend some quality time with your kids the night before the wedding. Stay in a fancy hotel room and order room service, or go for a moonlit walk and talk.
13 | Give kids a role in the ceremony.
There are all sorts of ways to include your kids in your wedding. Ask them to be in the wedding party as a bridesmaid, groomsman, flower girl or ring bearer. If you have a kid who is comfortable in front of crowds, he or she can read a poem, play an instrument, or sing a song.
14 | Let your kids give you away.
Break with tradition. Let your kids walk you down the aisle.
15 | Include your kids in your vows.
Write your kids into your vows. Make it a surprise. They will feel included during the ceremony too.
16 | Have a unity ceremony with candles.
Include your kids in your ceremony. The couple lights two candles. Then they use those candles to light a candle for each kid in the family.
17 | Give kids cameras.
Let your kids play photographer. Give them disposable or polaroid cameras. Include some of their photos in a scrapbook, wedding album, or thank you notes after the wedding.
18 | Include some of their favorite things in the wedding.
There are many ways to include your kids’ interests in the wedding: a family pet as a ring bearer, using their favorite colors in your color scheme, or having one of their favorite activities available like Legos at the wedding tables. Is your kid into Star Wars? Storm Trooper ushers anyone?
19 | Toast your kids.
Your wedding party, relatives, and guests will be toasting you all night. Prepare a special toast just for your kids. It’s a big milestone for them too.