FAMILY: Kids in the wedding

HIS & HERS: BLENDING KIDS INTO YOUR WEDDING CEREMONY

Getting married again is a task in itself. Getting married again with children — regardless of their ages — can be a doozy. Once wedding planning begins, the question comes up pretty quickly as to how to include them in your wedding. It’s right up there with choosing lavender or poppy seed cake, or peach or salmon for your wedding colors. Decisions, decisions!

If you have grownish kids, you’re gonna have to find a way to get them into your wedding, or you’re gonna have some hurt feelings on your hands—unless you’re planning to elope, which is another post!  Now, last week we talked about how the wedding is YOUR wedding and not letting nobody fool with your big day. That’s kinda easy to say when you’re dealing with adults. However, what do you do with kids? Assuming everything is copacetic between your new spouse-to-be and your kids, and vice-versa with you and his kids, then it shouldn’t be too hard to find a place for them. This may mean your bestie of 35 years won’t be in your wedding, but hopefully, she was in your first wedding and will understand this time around!

There are all kinds of ways to integrate and include kids in your wedding that can be really touching. When they are younger it’s easy to make them flower girls or ring bearers (or as in the case of my wedding, ring security). I knew right away when Al and I got married 20 months ago that I wanted both of our adult sons involved in the wedding. My son, KC, walked me down the aisle. Al’s son, Albert the Third, was the best man. (Awww!) As a family we did the whole unity candle lighting thing to my favorite quirky song, Lucky by Kat Edmonson because that’s exactly how I felt on that fantastic day, soo LUCKY! (Happy to report I still feel that way). Later at the reception both sons gave toasts, (awww, again!) then KC and I did a mother/son dance my friends are still buzzing about. Not the  sentimental dance we did to Stevie Wonder’s For Once In My Life. They hardly noticed that. No, they love that KC taught me how to do Silento’s Nae Nae! I must admit, it’s still one of the best memories of the day. But even more memorable — was all the practicing! That was time we spent together I’ll cherish forever.

There are all kinds of ways to integrate and include kids in your wedding that can be really touching.

Aside from the ceremony, don’t forget that you are going to have fifty million things to do in order to get ready for your nuptials. Therefore, don’t be afraid to ask for help, and don’t be afraid to ask your adult kids for help. When it’s time for sticking those cute “Love” stamps on all of those invitation envelopes, invite those kids over and put them to work. If you’re doing a small backyard wedding, save yourself some staffing fees and have the adult kids put up your tent or arrange the chairs. They can do it!

When it’s time to go venue hunting, think about turning the event into a family outing. You may feel like there are a lot of cooks in the kitchen with all those opinions, but think about the big picture … this can be a wonderful time to bond and start creating new family memories and photos for your photo album, online or printed. While you’re at it, if you’re trusting, you can appoint one responsible child as your wedding planner or assistant. You may discover a hidden talent within them that could turn into a career, AND you’ll save money! Win-win for everyone.

Going dress shopping? Invite the girls and boys along. Why not? Guys have good taste, too, and it might be a fun way to bond with your new adult stepson over something so non-traditional. He just may say “NO THANKS!” to the invite to join, but at least you asked.

Think about all those moments from your first wedding when you asked a girlfriend to join. Now is a time to ask one of your kids. They’ll appreciate the special time you’ve given them as you and your spouse work to create a new blended family.

You simply want to start off on the best blended foot that you can. You and your spouse have two families coming together, and whether you’ll all be under one roof or not, maximizing family harmony pre-wedding is key to a successful union.

Need a few more ideas? Here are twelve ideas from The Knot (I LIVED on this website while planning my wedding) and eight more from Martha Stewart Weddings.

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