Though every wedding is the celebration of two families coming together, when one or both partners have children from a previous relationship, the festivities can be even more complex.
As you’re creating a brand new family, it’s important to spend a little time thinking about how you can include the whole family in your celebration. As A Practical Wedding says, “Weddings can be an important juncture for kids of blended families. They make permanent that which may have felt transient”. By making the wedding about all of you, you can start your new life off on the right foot, and ensure your new stepchildren truly feel part of the family.
Bridesmaids, ring bearers and best men
If kids feel truly included in the day, they’re more likely to feel like part of the family. There are lots of roles available in the bridal party for kids of all ages, so there’s no reason for anyone to feel left out. All of the girls can act as bridesmaids no matter what their ages, and you can include them further by having them go with your to buy your dress and by getting ready altogether on the morning of the ceremony. Young boys can act as ring bearers, while older sons can be groomsmen, or even best men.
Make vows to each other’s children
It’s becoming more and more common for couples to say vows to each other’s children during the ceremony. Just before you say your final ‘I dos’, you can take a moment to promise your new stepchildren you’ll love and care for them and work as hard as you can to create a happy blended family. As well as helping kids to feel included in the ceremony, this is a good way to acknowledge to your stepchildren that they’re sharing their parent with you and that you appreciate their acceptance and their love.
Let them make a speech
Giving stepchildren a voice will help them to feel like they’re really part of the wedding party. Though very young children may not want to give a speech, kids from about five upwards should be able to say a few words. Older children may even want to give a full toast to their blended family and welcome their new stepmother or stepfather into their lives.
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