As a Minister and Wedding Officiate, I get loads of questions about Encore Weddings "aka" second marriages. The most common question asked is, how to best include the children in the wedding ceremony in a meaningful way?
After all, when talking about second marriages, I take into careful account the creation and blending of a new family as well.
In the case of second marriages, it isn't only a about the uniting of the wedding couple, but also the uniting and forming of a new second family as well. This is a big and exciting step for everyone involved.
When couples consult me, I suggest our Blended Family Ceremony Options. There are several blended family ceremony options to choose from. Each can be uniquely made your own, depending on the couple's personal preferences, wedding style and of course the ages of the children.
It may be helpful to know that most couples remarrying do have children from a previous marriage, and most of our encore wedding couples are searching for ways to include their children in special ways within their wedding ceremony.
Well not to worry, there are a number of creative and heart warming ways to celebrate your new Blended Family within your wedding ceremony that I'm happy to share with you here.
The first consideration is, are there children that may feel a bit too shy to be included in the actual wedding ceremony? And if so, how do we handle that?
In this case, I offer a few alternative suggestions which still includes the children in a significant and meaningful way and may prove to be more comfortable for them. I often begin by taking into account the ages of the children and their personalities by the input I receive from the wedding couple. But for now here are a few basics on the How To Tips when planning your encore wedding ceremony.
I suggest children between the ages of 3 and 7 will likely be ideal for flower girls or ring bearers. In fact, most of the time, children in this age range very much look forward to this sort of participation with great anticipation.
For the ages ranging from 8 to 14, consider offering them the option of junior ushers or junior bridesmaids. This option involves a bit more responsibility and gives them a greater sense of playing a necessary and important role in your union.
For older teens and young adults, I suggest that they be a part of the wedding party. Many times, the older children will give the bride away, act the best man or the maid of honor.
If by chance your children are still not comfortable with any of the above levels of participation, they may be more receptive and comfortable in assisting with the guest book, handing out wedding programs or simply standing next to you in the receiving line.
Whatever method you choose, it's important to make sure the children feel comfortable with the role they play and that they also feel included in the wedding.
Most importantly, keep your children in the loop throughout the various wedding planning stages. When keeping them involved they come to learn and understand that this wedding is not only about the union of the Mom and a Dad, but also the new family as well, in which they are a very vital part.
In taking special care and consideration in planning your Encore Wedding, the tone and rewards of getting your New Blended Family off on the right foot will be many in the years to come