In a Humanist Marriage Ceremony, we often explain that, not only is a Wedding Day the day to celebrate two people coming together in Marriage, but also a day to recognise the fact that two families are coming together and acknowledge the love and support of friends too.
Some couples may want to involve children as part of their ceremony; this can be their own children, or a family member or close friends’ children. But, since kids can be unpredictable, you’ll want to make sure they are playing an appropriate part for their age, and that you’ve done everything you can to make them comfortable, and remember, if on the day they get ‘stage fright’ that’s okay.
The most common, perhaps, is asking them to be Flower Girls, Paige Boys, Ring bearers or Junior Bridesmaid/Groomsmen. There are many different ways a Humanist Marriage Ceremony can incorporate this wish, depending on the age of the child.
The bride could be escorted down the aisle in place of a father of the bride. I have found that this works well with older and grown up children.
You can have a form of Wedding Band Warming, when we explain that even though the rings have been expertly looked after so far, we need to make sure that they are looking their very best before our bride and groom exchange them. This is an ideal time for a child to come forward and give them a wee polish with a cloth.
Some couples have even chosen to involve their children, especially where the children are from previous relationships, in their personal vows of commitment. The Bride and Groom make a promise by accepting responsibility of providing a safe and healthy home not just for each other, or just their own children, but now also for their partner’s children. Some couples have even decided to have ‘Kids’s Vows’ where the children make a formal commitment to the new family.
And finally, you could choose a poem for them to read, or if they are so inclined, they could even compose a special poem for the occasion.
This one is my personal favourite as it’s about a wedding day from a child’s point of view;
How your children see your day – Sandra Cook
Today you’re getting married; some say you’re getting wed
There’s crowds of people in our house, and strangers in my bed!
We had to get up early, take breakfast all together
Allowed to have the TV on to listen to the weather
Shower time was hectic, should have seen the queue
Girls were taking twice as long and air was turning blue
Hair was being straightened, perfume being sprayed
Nails were being painted, the boys of course delayed
Lots of make-up lots of shoes, sparkles in the hair
Pretty cards and parcels, flowers everywhere
Everyone had new clothes, Dad even wore a suit
Mum is looking stunning, and I look kinda cute
Posh car turned up at the door, took my Mum away
Left me with the other kids but told I couldn’t play
Lots of photos lots of fuss, what’s it all about?
Parties are for having fun, there’s no need to shout!
Mummy looks real pretty, Daddy’s not too bad
Someone here is crying but doesn’t look real sad
Lots of people laughing, sometimes very loud
Then it goes all quiet, lady talking to the crowd
Daddy holds Mum closely, putting on a ring
Says some words and makes a speech and makes them cry again
Mummy takes another ring and puts it on his finger
Says some words and makes a speech and then we hear a singer
Someone says a poem, lots of people clap
Waking up the funny man who’s taking a quick nap
Now we are all standing, watching them both kiss
They look so very happy, think they call it bliss!
Time to do some writing in a great big book
And with all those cameras, which way shall we look?
Is it nearly over, can I go and play?
Lets come back tomorrow, we can do it all again
We are happy to accommodate requests to include children in the ceremony, just get in touch and we can talk your ideas over. If you’re looking for any other ideas or help with your ceremony then have a look at some of our other blogs.