Wedding Vows & Ceremony Discussions

My daughter in the ceremony

I want to incorporate my 4 year old daughter into the ceremony somehow, not just as the flower girl. My fiance is not her biological father, but he is her daddy. She understands it as mommy and daddy are getting married. We want her to be a big part of it. Has anyone ever been to a ceremony where this happened? We were thinking about giving her a neckace when we do our rings, or something like that. Ideas?

Re: My daughter in the ceremony

  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_ceremony-ideas_daughter-ceremony?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:10Discussion:adb9c144-f058-4033-8278-0fc4a9a801a7Post:ca1616df-ae50-4210-929b-ef7723c71e2a">My daughter in the ceremony</a>:
    [QUOTE]I want to incorporate my 4 year old daughter into the ceremony somehow, not just as the flower girl. My fiance is not her biological father, but he is her daddy. She understands it as mommy and daddy are getting married. We want her to be a big part of it. Has anyone ever been to a ceremony where this happened? We were thinking about giving her a neckace when we do our rings, or something like that. Ideas?
    Posted by lilmamaten[/QUOTE]

    IMO, flower girl is perfect.  I'm not a fan of children in wedding ceremonies.  A wedding ceremony is to solemnize the relationship of two consenting adults.  It's about making a husband and wife (or a wife/ wife or husband/husband).

    A 4 year old child is not capable of understanding or entering into vows so that's inappropriate.  It's lovely that she considers your FI her daddy.  The time to do a "family" type ceremony is when he formally adopts her, because that's about the family.

    I get that you love your daughter.  I have three children and two children-in-law.  I love them all beyond measure.   And I think having your DD as your FG is wonderful.  Take a zillion pictures of the two of you before the wedding.  Take a zillion more of your FI and her before the wedding.  Then take a bazillion after the ceremony. 

    Have a family dance at the reception.  If you want to give her a necklace, give it to her at the RD rather than during the ceremony.  Save the wedding ceremony for the two adults who are pledging their lives to each other!

    GL, and congratulations
    "Trix, it's what they/our parents wanted. Why so judgemental? And why is your wedding date over a year and a half ago? And why do you not have a groom's name? And why have you posted over 12,000 posts? And why do you always say mean things to brides?" palegirl146
  • bethsmilesbethsmiles Denver, CO member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    I agree with trix 100%


  • ive seen it done where children are included. i just went to a wedding on the 13th where the bride's sons gave her away (her dad was too old/ill to walk) and they did a unity sand kind of thing in the ceremony. the bride, groom and 2 boys. it was very sweet. they each had a different color of sand.

    i saw on 4 weddings where the groom's daughter got a necklace....not during the ring ceremony but they made a seperate part, for it they made a speech about being 'one'. and they gave her the necklace.

    i do think your ring ceremony needs to be seperate, if you do want to include her in the ceremony make it another part. the rings is about YOU guys as a couple.

    i say its your wedding, and you do want to include her then do it. she could always wear a not so traditonal 'flower girl' dress and walk down the aisle with flowers or something.
  • I also saw that on four weddings. It was really sweet. While the ceremony is about the couple that is getting married, in my opinion, if its two people coming together and there are kids, its also about that. You don't just marry the mother/father, you marry the child as well, you're all becoming one. Four may be young, but a keepsake from the ceremony may hold sentimental value later on in life, they may appreciate later on that they were part of that day.
  • I am going to have the not popular opinion here. I have a daughter that is going to be 2.5 when we get married. For us it isn't just that we are binding ourselves we are binding our family. I totally know what you mean about not just wanting her to be the flowergirl. My daughter is going to wear white while my flower girl isn't and she is going to stand up with us. Something special that we are going to do is write her into our vows. When we exchange rings we are going to give her a gold band on a chain that she can alwasy have a wear. She was just as much a part in the two us being together forever as anything else, so I would hate to not have her be something special.
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  • I see nothing wrong with including daugher in more than FG (as long as she's OK with it, though at 4, I don't see how she wouldn't be). I like the idea of doing something separate from the ring ceremony, like the first thing you do as a married couple is give your daughter a gift (give her a necklace after the pronouncement, before you walk down the aisle). I don't really know how, just throwing ideas out.
  • my FI is my daughters father. We had only known each other a short time when i found out that  I was pregnant our relationship is so strong and our love has grown through our child. We alwasy say that she chose us :) Your right she isn't going to remember being part of our vows, but if it's important to us to make her special isn't my choice to do so? And I am not just making her a part of it. We are giving her something that she will have for the rest of your life. Everyone can have their own opinion. Just because there is a child doesn't mean that there is a step parent situation involved, my FI and I would probably still being partying and not caring about anything in the world, without my daughter in the picture. She is our angel, and I think my wedding wouldn't be as special to either my FI and I if she wasn't a big part of it.

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  • Thank you, everyone, for your opinions.

    We have already decided that including her in our actual ceremony is the right choice for us. We are very open with her and I believe children understand much more than we allow ourselves to think they do. My daughter and I, as well as my daughter and my fiance, have had MANY conversations about what a wedding means, the words that are said, and why we are doing it. She absolutely has a say in the matter. We are also writing most of our ceremony and each word is chosen very carefully. I didn't realize everyone would be so condescending about our choice, but I do not feel the need to defend our decision. I do understand that it isn't right for every family.  

    When my fiance gave me my engagement ring, he also got a ring for my daughter. She has outgrown it already! We have decided to stick to the original plan of putting it on a chain and doing a necklace ceremony with her after we exchange rings.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_ceremony-ideas_daughter-ceremony?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:10Discussion:adb9c144-f058-4033-8278-0fc4a9a801a7Post:c103d340-8b6a-4cea-96e3-801a5bebe777">Re: My daughter in the ceremony</a>:
    [QUOTE]my <strong>FI is my daughters father</strong>. We had only known each other a short time when i found out that  I was pregnant our relationship is so strong and our love has grown through our child. We alwasy say that she chose us :) Your right she isn't going to remember being part of our vows, but if it's important to us to make her special isn't my choice to do so? And I am not just making her a part of it. We are giving her something that she will have for the rest of your life. Everyone can have their own opinion. Just because there is a child doesn't mean that there is a step parent situation involved, my FI and I would probably still being partying and not caring about anything in the world, without my daughter in the picture. She is our angel, and I think my wedding wouldn't be as special to either my FI and I if she wasn't a big part of it.
    Posted by meganiobe[/QUOTE]

    If your FI is your DD's father, then you became a family the moment that precious angel was born.  The fact that you weren't married yet makes no difference at all.  You became a mommy and daddy when she entered the world.

    The wedding is about you becoming a husband and wife.  As I said, you're already a family, so I just don't feel that a "family ceremony" is needed.  Do you really mean to imply that you haven't been a family and won't be until you and your DD's father are married?
    "Trix, it's what they/our parents wanted. Why so judgemental? And why is your wedding date over a year and a half ago? And why do you not have a groom's name? And why have you posted over 12,000 posts? And why do you always say mean things to brides?" palegirl146
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_ceremony-ideas_daughter-ceremony?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:10Discussion:adb9c144-f058-4033-8278-0fc4a9a801a7Post:de620071-ee9e-4af0-bf94-3d3a35bab805">Re: My daughter in the ceremony</a>:
    [QUOTE]Thank you, everyone, for your opinions. We have already decided that including her in our actual ceremony is the right choice for us. We are very open with her and I believe children understand much more than we allow ourselves to think they do. My daughter and I, as well as my daughter and my fiance, have had MANY conversations about what a wedding means, the words that are said, and why we are doing it. She absolutely has a say in the matter. We are also writing most of our ceremony and each word is chosen very carefully. I didn't realize everyone would be so condescending about our choice, but I do not feel the need to defend our decision. I do understand that it isn't right for every family.   When my fiance gave me my engagement ring, he also got a ring for my daughter. She has outgrown it already! We have decided to stick to the original plan of putting it on a chain and doing a necklace ceremony with her after we exchange rings.
    Posted by lilmamaten[/QUOTE]

    I wasn't being condescending at all.  I was being realistic.  I have taught 4 year olds for 23 years.  I think I have a pretty good handle on what 4 year olds do and don't understand.

    And while it's lovely that you've talked with her about your wedding (although I think giving her a ring when you got yours is a little creepy), and while it's lovely that she's excited about it, the fact is that she's not going to remember the actual wedding.  She'll have pictures of her, she'll hear the stories about it, but the reality is that 4 year olds just don't remember.

    The kids I teach, i have for 2 full years, from age 3 to age 5.  And it is far more common than not that when I see them, only a couple of years later, they do not remember me at all.  And I'm fine with that.

    I'm betting that if you're honest with yourself, you can't remember things that happened to you when you were 4.  You'll think you do, because you've heard your family talk about your 4 year old life, but it's not really YOUR remembrance.

    Anyway:  your kid, your wedding.  Just know that if people here are telling you what we're telling you, many of your guests will be thinking it as well.  They just won't say it out loud.  We will.  Good luck.
    "Trix, it's what they/our parents wanted. Why so judgemental? And why is your wedding date over a year and a half ago? And why do you not have a groom's name? And why have you posted over 12,000 posts? And why do you always say mean things to brides?" palegirl146
  • Good for you. It is good to do what is important to you. You will have the memories of your wedding forever, you have to make it right to you. I am happy for you.
  • I had a different response typed out, but decided to delete it and say something else entirely.

    I'm sorry I asked. More specifically, I apologize for not being clear. I was actually looking for a creative way to include my daughter that I might not have thought of. That's all. I wasn't looking for a debate. I wasn't hoping to open the flood-gates of opinions. I thought maybe someone out in KnotLand had a good idea regarding the matter. I thought those who didn't wouldn't pay attention to the post. I was wrong. No harm done. 

    Trix,
    Since you seem to be the most vocal and have the most die-hard opinion I would like to address you directly. Mostly because I want you to know that, as you are a teacher, I really do appreciate your perspective. My wedding is very small. My guests are close family and very close friends. Everyone knows we are including my daughter. No one batted an eye, everyone said something to the affect of "of course you are!" In my circle I guess it's not as strange. I do appreciate being "realistic" and I guess, if anything, I am happier to hear all the negative responses from a stranger. However, there was no need to be so disdainful in your tone. You may disagree that you were. We'll have to agree to disagree. I sincerley hope your wedding was or will be perfect and no one will have anything negative to say. Good luck to you as well!  

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