Top tips for having kids in your wedding
Weddings are always special days, and are often occasions for getting the whole family together. Sometimes, that can mean inviting the little ones along too, and lots of brides choose to include the youngest relatives as part of the bridal party.
Having kids as part of your wedding ceremony means cute memories and fun photos guaranteed – but can also mean a bit more stress. From sticky fingers rubbing over bridesmaids’ dresses to rings getting misplaced, having children in the wedding party has the potential to cause a few headaches. But, with the proper planning and preparation, the whole thing can go off without a hitch (so to speak).
We spoke to some wedding experts to create our list of a few top tips for having children as part of your wedding, from the cutest flower girls to the most adorable ring bearers. Thinking of getting the kids, nephews, nieces and cousins involved? Read on to find out how…
Practice makes perfect
It might sound obvious, but make sure you put in specific time to run through the events ahead of time with your flower girls, mini bridesmaids, little groomsmen or ring bearers. You’ll probably be taking some time to rehearse walking down the aisle in your bridal shoes anyway, so invite any little ceremony guests along too to prepare for the big day.
Luxury wedding planner Samantha Bottomley suggests that brides or grooms should “take some time the day before or the morning of the ceremony to walk through the children’s entrance with them. Explain what their task is, and show them any props they will have.”
Tia Mula, Founder of liveandwed.com agrees, and reminds couples… “don’t forget to make the rehearsal fun! Rehearse ahead of time, so they know what to do on your wedding day.”
It’s a numbers game
Though sometimes it’s difficult, try to include more than one child involved in the ceremony, and preferably pair them up. For example, have two flower girls to walk down the aisle together, or have twin ushers to greet people in unison. Gina Castillo-Alvarez from Team Bride notes that children tend to be more willing and easy to participate if they feel they’re in a group.
For pairs of bridesmaids or flower girls, getting them into the group mentality can help them feel comfortable and supported – try getting them matching handbags or accessories so they know they’re part of Team Bride!
Location, location, location
As much as you need to consider whether your actual wedding venue is child-friendly, you might want to think about the actual logistics of your ceremony too. For example, Samantha says “if you have a long aisle, where possible station the children halfway down so they have less distance to cover on their own.”
Then think about the seating plan for guests during the ceremony, to try and limit any children getting overwhelmed or surrounded by unfamiliar faces. Gina says that she likes to ask the parents of any little ones in the ceremony to position themselves at the end of the row by the aisles, so the kids can spot them and feel more confident.
Have a backup plan
And no, we don’t mean for your marriage! Have a backup plan or plan of action in case any kids in your ceremony get too nervous, forget their tasks or don’t feel up to the big walk down the aisle.
A top tip from Tia is to suggest walking down the aisle with a parent if little ones do get too nervous to go it alone. “Or, having an adult or senior flower girl or ring bearer can be a fun alternative!”. If you are going for a grown-up flower girl, check out our range of wedding guest dresses or bridesmaid dresses for outfit inspiration.
Be prepared for anything!
You know what they say – never work with animals or children. If you are one of the brave couples who chooses to have their darling little ones (or relatives, friends’ kids, etc) as part of their big day, you need to learn to expect the unexpected.
“I personally love when couples have children for flower girls and ring bearers,” says Gina. “But any couples must be aware that children can be a bit unpredictable and that it might not be as Instagram or Pinterest perfect as they imagine.”
Of course, that’s not to say you won’t get some true feed-worthy shots of your flower girls spreading petals, or your ring bearer grinning in his suit. But be prepared for any tears or tantrums that might possibly liven up proceedings! The unpredictability of having kids in your wedding is all part of the magic of the day, so enjoy it all!
And, if all else fails, it doesn’t hurt to have a little bribe of sweets or toys to try to coax an hour or two of quiet while you say “I do”…