Children in a Wedding Means No Kidding Around
A wedding is a joyous event that couples want to share with as many people as possible. Couples commonly ask family and friends to take part in the ceremony as ushers, bridesmaids or readers. Before enlisting the help of a child to fill such roles, couples should carefully consider whether a youngster is capable of participating in the wedding ceremony or if he or she may not be up to the task.
Millions of people tuned into the British Royal wedding in April. Among the participants were six young children. The Hon. Margarita Armstrong-Jones, Miss Eliza Lopes, Miss Grace van Cutsem, Lady Louise Windsor, Master Tom Pettifer, and Master William Lowther-Pinkerton were bridesmaids and pages in attendance. The children were as young as three years old and as old as 10. Although the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were confident enough in the kids' maturity to include them, reportedly some measures were taken to keep the tots in line.
For instance, Prince Henry reportedly delighted little Eliza Lopes with a pink 'wiggly worm' so she wouldn't be frightened by the crowds. Said wiggly worm actually made it into the official group bridal photo, being clutched by Miss Lopes.
Couples worrying about all the little details of their own weddings may not want to fret about kiddie meltdowns or the bloopers that can occur when kids act like kids. Each child's personal maturity level should be considered before enlisting their help. There are some other strategies to use as well.
- Young children serving as flower girls or ring bearers should be able to walk down the aisle without coaxing. If they cannot handle this task, then they should not be asked to take part in the wedding.
- Should children prove competent to walk down the aisle unattended, couples can have them then make their way to the seats next to their parents, rather than awkwardly standing with the rest of the bridal party for the ceremony.
- An minimum age requirement for wedding participants might be a good idea. A child age 5 or up may be able to appreciate the importance of the event.
- Consult with the pastor or officiant of the ceremony. The ceremony location may have rules governing children in the ceremony.
- All people who have participated in the ceremony will be invited to the reception. If couples decide to have a kids-free party, then reconsider children in the ceremony.
- Think about another role for a young child that will not disrupt the proceedings. Perhaps he or she can help hand out birdseed or small bottles of bubbles to use when the couple has finished their vows. Or give children disposable cameras and allow them to capture a kids'-eye view of the wedding.
Couples who choose to have children participate in the ceremony have to realize that there is the potential for slip-ups. Keeping an open mind and some patience can make for some memorable moments and a little humor as well.