How to Include Your Children in Your Wedding
As more couples marry or remarry with kids, we've seen some creative ways to include little ones in the big occasion. Here are our favorites.
A Family Affair
For most of us, it was a happy shock when, after nine years and six children together, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt tied the knot in France. But one thing didn't surprise us—the fact that their kids played a major role in the celebration, whether it was acting as flower girls and ring bearers like in the case of the younger kids, or accompanying their mother down the aisle, as their two eldest sons did. As more couples either wait until after having children to marry, or remarry with kids from previous relationships, we're seeing more and more real weddings in which parents make an effort to include little ones in the big occasion. Here, some of our favorite ways to involve your children in your wedding.
Let Them Help Pick Out The Ring
Steve had his daughter, Layna, help him design the engagement ring he gave his fiancée, Erica. Layna, who shared co-maid-of-honor duties with Erica's sister, not only managed to keep the ring a secret, she also provided the bride with her "something blue"—a blue heart pin and a safety pin with blue charms dangling from it, both of which were pinned inside Erica's wedding gown.
Include Them in the Ceremony
At Laura and Evan's Napa wedding, her son and daughter stood by their sides as they exchanged vows. If your kids are old enough to stand through an entire ceremony, ask them to take over traditional best man and maid-of-honor duties, such as handing over the rings or holding the bride's bouquet.
Have Them "Give You Away"
If you're remarrying and your children are adults, it can be an opportunity to have several generations play a big role. At Sandy's surprise wedding, her son Dallas walked her down the aisle following her grandson and granddaughter, who served as ring bearer and flower girl.
Invite Them to Join the First Dance
Halfway through Michael and Abigail's first dance, his son and daughter cut in and joined the fun. Doing this at your reception not only includes the kids in the celebration—it also creates an adorable photo op.
Have a Second Father-Daughter Dance
If the groom has a daughter who is old enough to have a favorite musician, let her pick out a song for a special dance with the man of the hour. After Kate Bosworth danced with her father to "Stand by Me" at her wedding, her new husband, Michael Polish hit the floor with his daughter, Jasper, to Justin Timberlake's "Mirrors."
Providing art supplies for younger kids at your reception will keep them entertained and result in cherished family mementos. At Abigail's wedding, her now-official daughter, Eve, drew a picture of the couple that hangs framed in the family's hallway.
Invite Other Kids
Erin and Jason knew their son and daughter would be a huge part of their day, so the couple made an effort to incorporate other young family members—a total of seven—into their wedding as flower girls and ring bearers. Having a group of children at your nuptials will provide lots of energy and fun throughout the day, not to mention companions who will keep your kids entertained and happy, and make them feel as if it's their party, too.