Blended families are becoming increasingly common. One thing that can make the transition smoother is to make the wedding ceremony a family affair, rather than just focus on the bride and groom. These meaningful ceremony ideas will help to get your blended family off to a great start.
The children from previous relationships should be included in the wedding ceremony as much as they are comfortable. In other words, if the kids really feel uncertain about the new marriage, don’t force them to take a public role. But if they are willing, it is a great idea to find special roles in the ceremony for the children. It can go a long way towards showing them that they are not being forgotten and are an important part of the new family unit which is being formed.
One lovely way to include children in the wedding ceremony is to invite them to be in the bridal party. Young girls can be flower girls or junior bridesmaids and young men can be ring bearers or junior groomsmen. Give the little girls a special piece of girl’s jewelry to wear walking down the aisle in their fancy dresses. Teenage children can be considered for the role of maid of honor or best man, if desired. The bride may also consider having her children escort her down the aisle, but they should avoid symbolically “giving her away” to the groom, since they will definitely want to keep their mom!
Another way to honor a new blended family is to have a special portion of the wedding ceremony dedicated to the bride and groom’s children. Invite the children up to the altar and speak a few words about the coming together of the new family. Some couples even include family vows as well as individual ones. A very sweet thing to do is for the bride and groom to recite vows to the children of the other, offering their pledges to them as their stepparents.
Jewelry is often a significant part of a rite of passage or special occasion, and this can be a great idea for blended families. Daughters of the bride and groom can be given beautiful pieces of girl’s jewelry during the ceremony. The symbolism is much like the ring exchange which binds the bride and groom. A silver locket with pictures of all of the new family members would be a lovely gift idea. There also exists girl’s jewelry with unity theme designs. A silver bracelet with a thoughtful inscription would be a beautiful gift idea from stepparent to child.
Plenty of wedding rituals can be adapted for blended families. It would be a simple matter to include a child in the pouring of sand into a vessel to symbolize unity or to have the child add his or her own candle to the flame that lights the unity candle. When the children from previous relationships are included in the wedding ceremony, it really helps to make them feel secure in the new family that is being created on that day.