Every year 300,000 Canadians choose to say “I do,” tying the knot with their loved one. According to the most recent census, 26% of households include children, and for many couples, their children become a very important part of the wedding ceremony. Many couples even choose to give their children a role to play such as ring bearers, or give them some words to say or a poem to read. See our tips below on how to plan your wedding when you have children!
When you have children, there are some lovely ways to get them involved, so that you will always remember that they were a special part of your big day. You will also need to think about how you are going to entertain younger children if you have celebrations that last several hours.
Initial wedding planning
When you are trying to work out the finer details of your wedding, it often helps to consider your children’s routine. Very young children often need to nap during the day and will need regular feeding. If they are attending the wedding, you should consider the best time to have your ceremony. It is worth celebrating a long engagement so that you have plenty of time to work out all of the details. It can also reduce the financial stress of paying for a wedding. If you have older children and teenagers, they may enjoy being involved in the planning process, from choosing wedding cake to deciding on wedding music.
At the wedding ceremony
If you have young children, toddlers or babies, it would be a good idea to arrange for another couple of guests to be in charge of them during your wedding ceremony. You may even want to hire a wedding babysitter so that you can concentrate solely on your marriage vows. Older children will enjoy being part of your big day and may even thrive when given a job to do, such as showing guests to their seats. If you and your partner have children from a previous relationship, it is a good idea to recognize them during the wedding ceremony – by getting married you are bringing everyone together, not just you as a couple. Uniting a family with a wedding is a very special thing.
Bridesmaids and pageboys
If you are thinking of having younger children as bridesmaids and pageboys, then it is important that their outfits are comfortable, in particular the shoes. Small children aren’t used to walking in tight, formal shoes and certainly not anything with a higher heel. Instead you should make sure that they are in soft-soled, comfortable shoes. You can even consider pairing wedding outfits with little baseball shoes. It is not advisable to spend a fortune on bridesmaid or pageboy outfits for young children – they can easily get food or dirt on them. They are also unlikely to wear them again after the wedding, because little people grow very fast!
Clothes for your teenage children
Going shopping for wedding attire with your teenage children is an excellent opportunity for bonding. It can be a wonderful experience looking for a new dress or a suit, giving them the option to inject some of their own personal style. Younger teens often don’t have the opportunity to wear prom-style clothes, or formal outfits – their wedding clothes can help them to feel very grown-up for the day.
The wedding breakfast
It helps to be food savvy when you have children at your wedding. Young ones are generally not going to appreciate canapés followed by a three-course meal. It is worth planning a special menu for children that is quick and easy to eat. Keep it simple and don’t worry about gourmet food – save that for your more-discerning grown-up guests. When it comes to entertaining the younger wedding guests, putting together a special party bag with some gifts such as coloured pens and puzzles is a good idea. If your budget will stretch to it, you can even hire a special entertainer or even a wedding creche.
Many couples choose to have a wedding reception party that continues on into the evening. This is when very young children often get very tired. Fortunately many little ones have the wonderful ability to sleep through a disco. It is a good idea to have some blankets and pillows prepared, so that if they choose to have a nap on the chairs at the side, they are nice and comfortable. Then you can get on and enjoy the dancing!
When you have children, it is wonderful to get them involved in your big day. Your wedding can be a true celebration of love and family.