Ceremony and Vow Ideas

Kid friendly unity ideas

My finace has 3 young kids and we want to do something with them during the ceremony to unite all of us as a family. We don't want to use candles because of the kids' ages and I don't love the idea of sand. What are some things we could do that would be fun and meaningful for both us and the little ones?

Re: Kid friendly unity ideas

  • AprilH81AprilH81 Columbus, OH
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    jones24ac said:
    My finace has 3 young kids and we want to do something with them during the ceremony to unite all of us as a family. We don't want to use candles because of the kids' ages and I don't love the idea of sand. What are some things we could do that would be fun and meaningful for both us and the little ones?
    Fair warning this isn't a popular idea around here.

    You and FI are the ones making a commitment, your kids are along for the ride.  If you want to give them a gift (privately) to show how you feel that is fine, but the ceremony should be for the adults, not the kids.
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    doeydoMarzipan13PrettyGirlLost
  • Please don't do this!  The wedding ceremony is between you and your FI.  Your children do not say vows to you or to each other.

    Why not?  What if your marriage doesn't work out?  Thank goodness I declined to do this for my mother's marriages!  How would the children's other parents feel about their pledging vows to a "new family"?  How about the grandparents?  This is a big can of worms.  I've been there!

    Keep your vows between the two of you, as is customary at a wedding.  You can have a private celebration with the children at another time.
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    MairePoppyPrettyGirlLost
  • If you want the kids to be a part of the ceremony you should have them be in the bridal party. When my friend got married she had two children from a previous marriage and he had one. Her son was his best man and the two girls were both MOHs.
    MairePoppyPrettyGirlLost
  • 1. I agree with everything PPs have said about it being a bad idea.

    2. Coming from the standpoint of the kids-
         i. In my case, I was not choosing for my father to be marrying another woman; I was perfectly happy (at that age) as thing had been when my parents were married.  Having involved me IN the vows would have really chapped my ass.
        ii. My sister and I were BMs for my Dad's wife (oh yeah, and btw- they divorced too) and that was very thoughtful for her to do.  I felt involved, but at no point was I committing to being a "family" with her, my father, and my sister.  I have my family, thank you.
        iii.  If I WAS asked to do some sort of "family vows"  I would have been upset.  I would want to say no, but at the age I was, I really didn't want to say anything to upset people.  Plus, I would feel that I was betraying my Mother (who was raising me while my Dad was out on the dating scene).

    Even though the marriage didn't work out, I still have fond memories of the wedding AND of my Dad's ex-wife, because of how respectful she was of my relationship with my mother.  I would feel totally different about her if I had to do some BS "family vows".
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    doeydoAprilH81PrettyGirlLost
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall
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    A wedding is for 2 people to be wed. It is not the time to do family blending/bonding rituals.
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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    MairePoppyMarzipan13PrettyGirlLost
  • You'll find including children in a wedding ceremony doesn't go over well on TK. 

    Personally, I think it's perfectly fine. Here are a few suggestions: Consider asking them be flower girls/ring bearers, and/or working them into your vows by promising to love them & blah blah blah. 
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  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
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    ElcaB said:
    You'll find including children in a wedding ceremony doesn't go over well on TK. 

    Personally, I think it's perfectly fine. Here are a few suggestions: Consider asking them be flower girls/ring bearers, and/or working them into your vows by promising to love them & blah blah blah. 
    Don't do the bolded.  If things aren't going well at any time in your marriage, the kids aren't going to want to be reminded of anything you promised them in your vows.
    doeydoMarzipan13
  • We're going to give my fiance's son a choice of ways he could be in the ceremony if he wants (ring bearer, singing a song, and maybe being fed cake from the first cutting), and he can choose not to do it, too. We're also going to do something special to symbolize the three of us becoming a family, but at a later date.

    Our pastor suggested having a "family birthday" celebration on a date that's not the same as your wedding/anniversary. It's private with just us, something special and memorable, and something we could do every year to celebrate, like a birthday. We haven't set it up completely yet, but we're thinking maybe going on an overnight/weekend camping trip, or possibly just a picnic at the beach. We may have cake and probably a special drink (sparkling cider), and we'll have a necklace or bracelet to give him to signify the joining of our families.
    PrettyGirlLost
  • Jen4948 said:
    ElcaB said:
    You'll find including children in a wedding ceremony doesn't go over well on TK. 

    Personally, I think it's perfectly fine. Here are a few suggestions: Consider asking them be flower girls/ring bearers, and/or working them into your vows by promising to love them & blah blah blah. 
    Don't do the bolded.  If things aren't going well at any time in your marriage, the kids aren't going to want to be reminded of anything you promised them in your vows.
    I see where you're going with this, but I disagree. I don't know B, but if it were me and I loved the kiddos, I don't think I'd stop loving them just because my marriage went bad. 
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  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
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    ElcaB said:
    Jen4948 said:
    ElcaB said:
    You'll find including children in a wedding ceremony doesn't go over well on TK. 

    Personally, I think it's perfectly fine. Here are a few suggestions: Consider asking them be flower girls/ring bearers, and/or working them into your vows by promising to love them & blah blah blah. 
    Don't do the bolded.  If things aren't going well at any time in your marriage, the kids aren't going to want to be reminded of anything you promised them in your vows.
    I see where you're going with this, but I disagree. I don't know B, but if it were me and I loved the kiddos, I don't think I'd stop loving them just because my marriage went bad. 
    But making young kids promises during your wedding, and then suddenly it appears that you're not going to be there for them because you're divorcing their dad, is going to stand out in their minds and make them feel confused.  You might not stop loving them, but it's what they perceive-especially if they had to make promises to you in front of lots of people.

    This is just something that should not be done at a wedding.  In private you can make all the promises you want, but don't do this to kids or make them do it in front of others.
  • I'm going to echo the other posters - please don't do anything during the ceremony with the kids.  It is a nice thought, but places a lot of unnecessary pressure on them and could be very uncomfortable for their mother/grandparents/etc.

    I think including them in traditional roles - flower girl, ring bearer, bridesmaids, etc is great - they can (and should!) be in pictures as well.  

    To do something special for them - write them a note about how excited you are to be in their lives, how much you appreciate them.  Or give them a gift - a necklace or earrings for girls, a watch or something similar for a boy.  
    PrettyGirlLost
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
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    vt&dt said:
    I'm going to echo the other posters - please don't do anything during the ceremony with the kids.  It is a nice thought, but places a lot of unnecessary pressure on them and could be very uncomfortable for their mother/grandparents/etc.

    I think including them in traditional roles - flower girl, ring bearer, bridesmaids, etc is great - they can (and should!) be in pictures as well.  

    To do something special for them - write them a note about how excited you are to be in their lives, how much you appreciate them.  Or give them a gift - a necklace or earrings for girls, a watch or something similar for a boy.  
    Don't do this during the wedding ceremony.  It is not the time to play Santa Claus and give gifts to your kids.  Read any notes and give any gifts in private, and recognize that kids may see them as bribes.
    s-aries8990PrettyGirlLost
  • jones24ac said:
    My finace has 3 young kids and we want to do something with them during the ceremony to unite all of us as a family. We don't want to use candles because of the kids' ages and I don't love the idea of sand. What are some things we could do that would be fun and meaningful for both us and the little ones?
    How old are these kids?

    1) I think that including very vague family wording in vows is acceptable (but don't mention "your kids" or "i promise to love lucy, jake and emma" etc)

    2) I agree - give them a special gift before the wedding. Again, knowing their ages would help. Can you take them out to a fun place for dinner or make them a nice meal and spend some good quality time with them?

    3) Can you nclude them on a mini-moon right after the wedding and delay/postpone your honey moon a few weeks to a few months? It will make them feel special.
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    PrettyGirlLost
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
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    CMGragain said:
    Jen4948 said: I see where you're going with this, but I disagree. I don't know B, but if it were me and I loved the kiddos, I don't think I'd stop loving them just because my marriage went bad.

    Tell that to my ex-stepfathers!  I haven't talked to them in over 30 years.  Yeah, they were going to be my new father, and love me forever!  That sure taught me about lying men.  It still hurts.
    Don't do this to your children!
    This is exactly why there shouldn't be any "family unity" things in the ceremony.
    PrettyGirlLost
  • Jen4948 said:
    vt&dt said:
    I'm going to echo the other posters - please don't do anything during the ceremony with the kids.  It is a nice thought, but places a lot of unnecessary pressure on them and could be very uncomfortable for their mother/grandparents/etc.

    I think including them in traditional roles - flower girl, ring bearer, bridesmaids, etc is great - they can (and should!) be in pictures as well.  

    To do something special for them - write them a note about how excited you are to be in their lives, how much you appreciate them.  Or give them a gift - a necklace or earrings for girls, a watch or something similar for a boy.  
    Don't do this during the wedding ceremony.  It is not the time to play Santa Claus and give gifts to your kids.  Read any notes and give any gifts in private, and recognize that kids may see them as bribes.
    @Jen4948 I totally didn't mean during the ceremony.  That's just as bad (if not worse) than the unity thing.

    I meant that shortly before or after the wedding, OP & her FI could do something special for the kids like a gift or writing a letter, etc.  My aunt and uncle got married when her kids were about 8 and 10, he got them a gift and wrote a note saying how he was excited to be "in their family" (didn't say "dad" at all though) and they still have the gifts he gave them.  When my cousin got married, she either wore or had on her bouquet the necklace her mom's husband got her at their wedding and it was really sweet.  I had a student whose mom got remarried when they were in 2nd or 3rd grade, and she was a flower girl, and then after the wedding, her parents took her on a day-trip to Chicago to spend some QT together and celebrate with just them.

    OP, including kids in traditional roles during the ceremony (if they want to be included) is your best bet.  Any other gestures you want to do should be done in private shortly before or after.  
    PrettyGirlLost
  • How about this.  Be a good wife to their dad and a good step mom to them every day?
    Marzipan13PrettyGirlLost
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
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    How about this.  Be a good wife to their dad and a good step mom to them every day?
    If you're talking about the marriage and what happens after the wedding, great.

    If this is a promise you're suggesting the couple makes, the second part is not great.
  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair
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    AprilH81 said:
    jones24ac said:
    My finace has 3 young kids and we want to do something with them during the ceremony to unite all of us as a family. We don't want to use candles because of the kids' ages and I don't love the idea of sand. What are some things we could do that would be fun and meaningful for both us and the little ones?
    Fair warning this isn't a popular idea around here.

    You and FI are the ones making a commitment, your kids are along for the ride.  If you want to give them a gift (privately) to show how you feel that is fine, but the ceremony should be for the adults, not the kids.
    This.  While I understand why people may want to do something like this, to me it really misses the mark of what a wedding ceremony means.

    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


    Viczaesar
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