Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Four Big Ideas for Your Smallest Attendants

To have or not to have them … that is the question when it comes to whether or not you and your groom will include children in your wedding. Oh no, I’m not talking about the Big Debate on whether to invite them or not. I’m talking about whether you’ll ask those petite princesses to scatter your aisle with fluttering flowers or whether your sooo-cute-you-could-eat-him-up nephew should really be trusted with two golden bands.

For some women it is an easy call. They’ve always dreamed of being a blushing bride surrounded by miniature princesses … for others, it is not so easy.

Here are a few things to consider if you thinking of including children in your ceremony.

- “No kids-no way.” That’s what I said when I tied the knot in 2007. I’ve been to hundreds of weddings and I know there is nothing like a blue-eyed, blond-haired flower girl toddling down the aisle before the bride to steal her thunder. It was my wedding and I wanted the attention. There I said it!

- It is also important to note that no matter how well-mannered a child may be, standing at the altar for any length of time is a challenge.

If you’d like to include children in your wedding but aren’t sure how, here are four ideas that might help.

1. I worked a wedding once that epitomized innocence and romance. The bride had six or seven similarly-sized tots dressed in fluffy white dresses, with their hair professionally pulled up with matching red headbands. The magazine-quality photos were flawless and those babes helped set a youthful tone to her extravagant wedding. It was perfection. But what really made this wedding unique-was the quantity and likeness of the girls … fewer children or any variance in their size or age, would have had less impact.

2. Although I said “no kids-no way,” I actually reneged a bit. I adore my then seven-year-old nephew and couldn’t imagine leaving him out of our Big Day, but seven is a tad old to be a ring bearer. Instead, I let him stand with the groomsmen and-along with my grandfather-deliver the Catholic gifts to the priest. He felt important and since the priest allowed the wedding attendants to sit during the Mass, he held up throughout the ceremony.

3. If you have children you’d like to honor with a place in your wedding but aren’t sure they fit within the traditional age limits, then ask them to be your wedding helpers. Depending on their ages, they can help you plan the children’s tables, entertainment or even the children's menu. Older children can help you with DIY items and younger children can "play" with you at a pre-wedding "just for the kids" party.

4. If that’s not enough and you’d like them publicly recognized on your Big Day, then invent a place for them. If you have female tweens you’d like to include, add them to your wedding party and dress them in a slightly different style or color than your adult bridesmaids. Or you can honor children by having them formally walk down the aisle with their parents or a groomsmen, much like you do with your grandparents and parents. Be creative and have fun.

Do you plan to include children in your wedding party? What role will they play?

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