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Wedding Ceremony Ideas
My fiance and I have 2 kids each from our previous marriages, and we would like our wedding ceremony to reflect that not only are we choosing each other, we are choosing each other's kids as well. We would welcome ideas for creating a wedding that is as inclusive as possible. The kids are 15 (boy), 12, 11, and 8 (girls). Some of the ideas that have occurred to us so far are: including them in the planning, giving them a role in the ceremony, getting each child a special piece of jewelry as a keepsake, milking the whole dress-up/pampering aspect of the wedding for the girls... We don't know yet whether there will be room in the budget for a honeymoon, but if so we're leaning towards a family trip.
But surely some of you in the BPN community have been in similar situations. Any ideas about how to make the day joyful and inclusive for kids in this age group? FWIW, we're looking at 25-40 attendees, nothing terribly formal, and an April date. Gettin' hitched
In your case this would make for quite a crowd at the altar, so I'd suggest having the kids sit in the front row, together, if possible, and have them stand at the altar only for the section of the ceremony involving them, give them rings, group hug, then have 'em sit down and get on with the vows. They can help to write the section of the vows that involve them, if they want. And if any are interested in helping with the flowers or whatever, fine.
We bought my son a new blazer and slacks, shirt and tie for the occasion. Pricey, but he also wore them to his middle school graduation and a few other occasions before he outgrew them.
If you would like to know how our vows worked, I'd be glad to send you a copy. Dianna
1. All the kids had baskets of flowers and handed a flower to guests as they arrived (this avoided choosing one kid to be the flower girl).
2. All the kids (co-ed) got up from their aisle seats and formed a chain down the aisle from oldest to youngest to pass us our rings. (this avoided picking a ring bearer). The oldest's mom handed him the rings just before he stood up, they formed a line and handed the rings down the aisle until the youngest handed them to us. (one of the kids had to pee in during our garden ceremony and my sister directed him to a discrete bush-- he almost missed joining the ring chain, ran in with his zipper down and belt undone, but I said ''yeah! you made it!'' and it only made the event more delightful!)
3. We had an all kid table for dinner with their own menu of ''favorites''
4. Since kids don't sit at dinner as long as adults do, we hired an art teacher to come with a bag of fun supplies (and parents contributed things like hat boxes, shoe boxes, ribbons, cake decorations etc.). The kids went in their own side room where each created a ''wedding cake'' (with glue, paint, etc) Before we cut the real cake, they paraded their ''cakes'' thru the dinning room to much fanfare and applause.
Another community touch is that we had all the guests take a vow to support our marriage-- after we each said our ''I do'', the facilitator asked everyone to stand and asked ''Do you vow to support Mary and Doug in their commitment to each other?'' and all our friends and family shouted ''We do!'' Since your kids are becoming one family, might be a nice touch for them to have a ''We do!'' moment. mary
Have each child do a reading at the ceremony. If you are religious, you can use passages which reflect this, and if you are not religious, there are others, such as a passage from The Velveteen Rabbit or poetry.
Light a unity candle together, or have the kids all light a unity candle together. In some ceremonies, the unity candle is lit by a representative of the bride's family and the groom's family (often the mother of the bride and mother of the groom) to signify the joining of families. Each person has an individual candle, and both candles are held to the wick of the Unity candle to light it together. Either use 4 candles (1 per kid) or use 2 candles with 2 kids holding onto each candle (if you're worried about the 8yo holding a candle by herself) L
Hi there, I am getting married this summer and throughout this whole planning process i am feeling pretty disconnected from the ritual/rite of passage aspect to it. We are designing our own cerimony and i would love to here expiriences and ideas around incorporating some rituals that have have deeper significance than the typical wedding. We are also looking for ways that our children can particapate and feel included in the wedding. One more thing, i would like ideas for some (light, no sacrifices or anything...) rituals i can have for myself before the main event. I am not having brides maids and i wont be having a day of primping, but i would like to have some women friends and my sister particapate in something meaningfull to mark the transition in my life. Thanks cris
For others on the list who might also be interested, in addition to one-on-one coaching Lily also leads dream circles and other workshops. She also leads groups to places such as Chaco Canyon and Joshua Tree. I just highly recommend her. margo
The mothers of both the bride and groom each light a candle to represent their families (love for their child, values they have passed on, etc.) Each mother uses this to light a candle for her child. During the ceremony, the bride and groom use their candles to light a single (usually larger) candle together, then extinguish their own. The symbolism, of course, is about joining two families and creating a new one. To me it's also about accepting the primacy of your couple/family needs over your individual needs.
Although this is not an original ritual for your wedding, it is certainly meaningful, and beautiful in its simplicity. It could easily be adapted to include your children. We still light the candle from our wedding on our aniversary as a reminder of the spiritual nature of our relationship.
Best wishes! Loralee
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