Wedding Ceremony With Kids
Let's chat about planning a wedding with kids! Kids in a wedding ceremony can be a challenge, but keeping these tips in mind will make things easier! Having kids in your wedding ceremony is always a gamble! Anytime you have a wedding with kids or kids in the wedding ceremony, you never know what they might do! Having your niece or nephew in a little flower girl dress or tuxedo is undeniable cute! But, the stress of knowing they might not make it down the aisle is giving you pause. Read on for planning tips to ease your concerns! But first, grab your FREE copy of our Ceremony Cheat Sheet! A handy guide to planning your ceremony from start to finish, kids included!
1. Limit the number of small children included in your wedding party.
I know it seems adorable to have three flower girls and two ring bearers (all under the age of four) walk down the aisle, but odds are they're not going to make it. The fewer children you have, the less stress you'll experience getting them down the aisle. As a rule of thumb, any children below five should be considered a complete wildcard. Don't worry, though! No matter what they do, guests will always think it's adorable! This even includes throwing a fit in the middle of the aisle! Trust us, we've seen it. We recommend having as few children as possible to ease the stress on you, your wedding coordinator, and their parents.
You're more likely to be successful with fewer children in your wedding pans than having a large group of kids. When you're planning which kids to include in your wedding party, you want to make sure you consider their ages and their personalities. Anybody under the age of four is 50/50 they are going to follow instructions. Even if they're well behaved, they might be overwhelmed with the number of people looking at them when it's time to walk down the aisle. They might freak out or be too shy and turn right back around to where the wedding planner is standing.
2. Consider the child's personality and if they are well suited for the task.
Typically, well-behaved children are probably your best bet. If you have a wild child that you love and adore, but they're usually screaming and running around during your family occasions, they might not make the best ring bearer or flower girl. You should also consider including an older sister or older brother above the age of four, between seven and 10, whose presence will make the younger kids feel more comfortable. Typically, if there is a loved one they know and can walk with them, it will ensure a greater chance they will follow directions.
3. Have the kids in the wedding party arrive as late as possible.
Discuss your photos' timing with your photographer to make special arrangements, specifically time for naps and feeding before they come on-site to the venue. This will help ensure the kids they're in a good mood and more likely to follow instructions. It would also be best if you put on their fancy clothes as late as possible. Often, they're not used to being that dressed up. The shoes might be a little uncomfortable. The tights or the dress might be a bit too tight, and it might make them fussy.
Keeping them in comfy clothes is probably best until the very last moment. We've even seen some parents change their cute little kids into pajamas later during the reception to make sure they're comfortable!
4. Choose an adult to stand close by with the task of gently getting them down the aisle.
Wedding planners typically choose a point person to watch over the kids carefully. If the child has any meltdown or temper tantrum, that point person knows to scoop them up and take them away from the ceremony ASAP! When we're planning the ceremony seating, we make sure that that adult has easy access to the child and the exit. Having that adult standby during the precessional to ensure that the child walks is also key to success. If you have children under four, review the plan with their parents to ensure the point person has permission to scoop them up and escort them down the aisle.
5. You need to have realistic expectations.
If you're hoping your toddler (who can barely walk) will be able to walk down the aisle with you, this could be wishful thinking. If they're having trouble walking in general, doing it with a hundred people staring at them during a hot outdoor event could be impossible. Make sure that you keep your expectations realistic. You can also think of other ways of incorporating them into your event, for example, having an older sibling pull them in a cute little wagon!
6. Don't forget, there's always bribery!
Wedding planners usually recommend bringing a small bag of M&M's or Skittles! Anything that comes in small pieces to tempt the child right before they walk down the aisle. Letting them know if they do a good job, they'll be rewarded with something sweet!
Typically, we try to make sure that children do not have to stand at the front during the ceremony the entire time. They're most likely going to fidget, whine, crawl, and do anything but standstill. So, if they're under the age of four or five, have an adult ready in the front row to scoop them up and sit with them. They can walk down the aisle but then get comfortable with the rest of the audience.
If you've decided to bribe them with candy such as Skittles or M&M's, this is also the perfect time to give them a little tiny piece of candy! You can continue to provide them with treats throughout the entire ceremony in case they start getting fussy!
7. Make sure that the kids feel comfortable.
Start planning and practicing in advance! Go ahead and give them the flower basket a few weeks in advance and tell him what a meaningful job it is! Start having them practice throughout the house. You could also do this with a ring box or a ring bearer pillow during the rehearsal. Make a big deal about them walking down the aisle! Have everybody clap and celebrate if they make it all the way!
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