If you are getting married and have children, you may be wondering how you can include them in your celebration. But how can you incorporate the kids in the wedding day without being cheesy?
You’ve come to the right place!
In this blog post, I’m sharing excellent ways to include kids in your wedding ceremony or reception that will make them feel special, no cheesy or tacky ideas in sight. :)
Little ones will love to be a part of the ceremony and reception, while older kids like preteens or teenagers won’t roll their eyes over it (and won’t accuse you of being totally embarrassing!) 🤪
Balance is key!
Whether you have one child in tow or several kids and stepkids coming together to create your new family unit, it’s essential for them to feel the sense of belonging. By having their own unique role in the wedding, you’re highlighting their fundamental role in your family and they’ll feel important and appreciated.
Here are the non-cheesy ways to include them in the celebration.
Before you figure out how to include them, first find out if they’d want to be a part of it.
Do They Want To Play a Role?
Some kids are shy by nature, while others are more extroverted. Some may be excited about the upcoming nuptials, while others — not so much. The important thing here is to find a nice balance.
Figure out a way to include them in the wedding nuptials by choosing a job or task that makes them feel important without putting them on the spot.
No one wants to be in the spotlight on your wedding day if they don’t want to, so it’s very helpful to go over the idea(s) you have in mind and not springing it on them at the last minute.
Behind The Scenes Jobs
And remember, there are plenty of jobs “behind the scenes” that will make them feel included without putting them in front of an audience. Some of these tasks are in preparation of the wedding, and they’ll see the final result on the big day which is a fun experience. I’m outlining many of these below.
Here are some examples of spotlight and non-spotlight roles your kids can play in your wedding day.
How to Incorporate Kids in Your Wedding
1. The Wedding Party: Jr. Groomsman, Jr. Bridesmaid, Flower Girl, Ring Bearer
This is an obvious one, but it bears mentioning: your kids can be in the wedding party!
Give them a role as bridesmaids (or junior bridesmaids), groomsmen (or junior groomsmen), the ring bearer, or the flower girl, depending on their age.
For a wedding party attendant who is 14 years old or younger, they are best suited as a Jr. in the title. They do not need to stand up with the entire line of wedding party attendants during the service, but they may if you wish. Instead, they can process with the regular bridesmaids or groomsmen down the aisle, and take a seat in the front aisle.
They should, however, be dressed in similar attire to the wedding party.
If you’d like to give them a role that is sweet yet not too much in the spotlight, they can assist as ushers at the ceremony, showing guests to their seats.
In addition to, or instead of the role of usher, they can distribute the ceremony programs to guests when they arrive.
3. “Being In Charge Of”: Guest Book, Photo Booth, etc.
Putting them in charge of something at the wedding is a fun task they may like to participate in, especially the younger kids.
Some examples of things they can help with are:
• distributing ceremony programs to guests as they arrive,
• explaining to guests how to sign the guest book and encouraging them to do so,
• helping with the photo booth props
Being in charge of something super fun — like a glow party that kicks off in the evening — is a great way to make them an important fixture in the events of the day. Likely, they’ll look forward to their time to be in charge of a special part of the day!
A glow-party as a send-off is an excellent role for your kids to be in charge of. They can make sure everyone has a glow stick for the big moment when you have that final dance and send-off. (You can get these in bulk here. They’re a big hit!)
3. Ask them to do a reading, recite a poem, or be a part of the ceremony.
Another easy way to make a child feel a part of the wedding is by asking them to do a reading during the service. This can be a reading during a church service, a special poem, or a short story that is read to guests.
If they are doing so, include their name on the program for that particular reading as a special honor.
If you’re planning a religious ceremony such as a Mass, you can ask your kids to do a reading from the Bible or bring up gifts during communion. A child can be an altar server, or carry the cross during the procession.
4. Helping You Build a Playlist
For pre-teens and teenagers, putting a list together of potential songs may be a great way to get them involved in your wedding. If your child takes an interest in music, ask them to suggest songs they think will work great during the ceremony.
Explain how you need a nice dinner music playlist with slower tunes, and find out if they have any suggestions that might work.
And also point out how the dance portion of the evening will require some epic fast songs, and since they’re such an expert they may know exactly what tunes will get your guests moving!
They may also be able to assist in the First Dance song, a fun dance song like whether you should include the Cupid Shuffle or Hustle or Macarena, or simply add some musical ideas you haven’t considered yet.
Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean your guests will be dancing to Kidz Bop Greatest Hits or “Yum Yum Breakfast Burrito” (parents with 5-8 y.o. get it!), unless that’s your jam. Instead, it means you’re showing a real interest in their passion for music, and taking their advice into consideration.
As a bonus, when you ask them for their suggestions, it will highlight how much you value and trust their opinion which makes them feel important. It’s all about having some role in something at the wedding.
Perhaps they know of a band that you also like, and they suggest a song or two to play. Or possibly there’s a song you know they really love and it will work great as dinner music.
Maybe you sit down together and go over some popular dance music for weddings online, asking them to pick out a few they think are the best.
Build the playlist together and then give it to your DJ and include the songs that are agreed upon by you and your partner. They’ll smile at you across the room when their favorite tune comes on, and they’ll feel special having been a part of the selection of it.
Ok, maybe that last part was cheesy, but I say just go with it. :)
5. Assisting in Cake Selection
What kid doesn’t want a say in the WEDDING CAKE?!
Kids all over the world wait patiently at weddings for the cake to be rolled out, sliced up, and eaten. If you give them a job of helping you pick out what kind of cake you should serve, maybe even attend the cake tasting with you, they’ll definitely feel like a part of it!
You can even have them help you pick out a cake topper. You can choose a few you really like, then present the finalists to them for a decision. When they see it displayed on your cake, you can point out, “Hey, doesn’t that cake topper look great! You helped me pick out the perfect one!”
6. Colors + Outfits
Invite them to help you choose between two different color palettes for your wedding colors.
Maybe they’re very artistic and talented with choosing nice color palettes. Moreover, they may have a fun sense of style and can help you pick out a nice bridesmaid dress for the wedding party to wear.
If you show them some of the wedding colors you’re considering and explain how they’re good with that sort of thing, they will likely be happy to assist you in a color combination they think looks best.
It’s also an excellent way to gain inspiration and pick out their attire for the big day.
They don’t have to match the bridesmaids and groomsmen exactly, but having a pop of color to resemble the rest of the party will show inclusion to them and choosing their attire will give them a special role.
7. Party Favors
Wedding favors can be a big task, so if you have kids up to the challenge to help it will work to your advantage — and theirs! You can choose from a list of the best wedding favors and decide what works for you and your partner — and your budget.
Next, pick out a few you like and have them help you choose the favor that will be given to guests at your celebration.
When it arrives, you two can work on the project of assembling them together.
Or if they don’t need any assembly, you can ask what they think the best place to put the favors at the reception will be. Maybe they can even play a role in passing them out to guests as a special helper (younger kiddos especially love doing this).
One really fun type of wedding favor they will like to help with is a candy buffet. It’s simple really: they get to decide what candies to serve and help you fill them up! You can pick out cute candy bags for guests to fill with their favorites and take as to-go favors.
Plus, they’ll know the best candies to put in the jars because kids love candy. :)
As you can see in this list, finding unique ways to include your kids in your wedding isn’t a tough task. It isn’t so much about giving them a big role or job; instead, it’s about finding unique ways that are personalized towards what THEY enjoy that will make them feel special and included.
After all, you’re going to be a big family together and they want to know they’re an important part of it.
By asking them for suggestions, their opinion, or their assistance on particular elements, they’ll definitely feel honored to be a part of the celebration.
And don’t forget: if they help you in some way at your wedding, remember to thank them for their help. :) A gift is always a nice way to show your appreciation, too!
If you have any questions, tips, etc., let me know in the comment box.
I hope this helps you as you navigate this part of your wedding!