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How can I incorporate 18 nieces and nephews in wedding ceremony?

Hi all,
I have 5 friends in the actual wedding party as MOH and BMs.  Being the youngest of 8 kids I do have 18 nieces and nephews that I would love to include somehow in the wedding ceremony which will be a Catholic mass.  Does anyone have any creative ideas for how I can incorporate them?  Is it weird to have 2 ring bearers and several flower girls?  What is the age limit on both?  I know in a Catholic mass you can have several people involved with taking up the gifts but besides readings which will be my sister and people from the groom's side, I am at a loss for any other roles that exist.  Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you,
Anne
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Re: How can I incorporate 18 nieces and nephews in wedding ceremony?

  • megk8ozmegk8oz member
    2500 Comments
    edited September 2010
    Being a guest is an honor in itself. I would just let them all be guests and make sure you take lots of pictures with them that day.

    While there's nothing wrong with having more than one RB or FG, and your heart is in the right place trying to include them ... 18 is just way too many kids to have in the WP. I'm pretty sure everybody involved can understand that.

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  • Honestly, I would just have their parents dress them up cute and sit them in the first couple of pews with family. Maaaaybe have them all process in as a group when the families process in. But wrangling that many kids for actual jobs is going to be a disaster.
  • I think I would just take a nice picture with all of the kiddos and call it a day. I agree with everyone else. Having that many children involved in the wedding may be a disaster. It's just too many, especially since kids can be unpredictable.
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  • In a Catholic wedding, there's no official age limit on who can do what (although IDK if kids who haven't yet made First Communion can bring up the gifts, but I don't see why they couldn't since they don't necessarily have to receive). But it can vary by parish/priest, and some parishes DO impose an age limit, so ask your priest.

    But, really, with 18 kids I think it's going to turn your wedding into a circus, (however well-intentioned it is, and however lucky you are to have so many children that you love). I'd just make them all guests, and take a nice photo at some point in the day. You don't have to include absolutely everyone you love, and 18 is just an insane number of children. Plus then you'd have to worry about attire, titles, coordinating 18 children to walk down the aisle or fulfill a duty, etc. Sounds like a nightmare to me.

    If you really insist on including them in the ceremony, the oldest kids can be readers or altar servers, you can have at least 2 bring up Communion, and the rest could just wear nice outfits and process down the aisle in the processional. I wouldn't even call them Ring Bearers and Flower Girls, personally, or give them baskets/pillows - if you have a program I'd just call them "Child Attendants" or something. And I'd just ask them to walk down in a group and then sit with their parents or whoever will be watching them.

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  • Wrangling 18 kids is NO easy task, especially if they're all assigned roles in the wedding.

    I agree with the PPs in that it's going to turn your wedding into a circus, plus IMHO-having 18 kids serve as FGs & RBs is WAY excessive. It's great that you want to include them, but it's more hassle than it's worth.


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  • That sounds like a NIGHTMARE.  Were I in your shoes, I'd plan a pre-wedding pizza party just for the nieces and nephews so you can spend some quality time.  I'm sure that will make them feel much more special than having to wear itchy formal clothes, remember what they're supposed to be doing, and be on their best behavior.
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  • I understand why you want to include them.  It was really important to my FI and I that we include our nieces and nephews too.  But 18 kids...that's larger than the biggest WPs I've seen.  I say either get a train so long that it would put Princess Diana's to shame and have them carry it down the aisle behind you as pages, or don't have any kids at all in your WP and just make sure to get a really great picture with them.  I know they're important to you, but I really think you need to draw the line somewhere.
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  • Junior brides and grooms. All the girls in little wedding dresses and all the boys in little tuxedos.


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  • I have 17 first cousins.  We only asked 4 to be in the wedding.  With that many people, everyone understands that not everyone can be involved--I've been in two of the family weddings but a guest to another 3, you get the idea.  To be completely blunt, I think you'd be insane to try to include them all in the wedding.  Just take lots of photos and make sure you talk to/dance with them.  We did that and it worked out really well.  
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  • Lol the last thing it is is a nightmare! If you are close with them and it is important for them to be involved in your wedding someway that is sweet. I am having one ring bearer and six flower girls. I have about 50 first cousins and I simply couldn't choose between all of the little girls for a flower girl. I think that depending on their ages, it is cute to have more than one ring bearer and more than one flower girl. They were ECSTATIC when I asked each of them to be a flower girl. When my aunt got married, she had all of her nieces and nephews do a little reading. I am not exactly sure what your ceremony will be like but you could have them recite a poem. Even if you wnat to have them do something in the reception I think they would love it!

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  • lalap69lalap69 member
    1000 Comments
    edited September 2010
    Ziti & Stage -

    A girl on my month board is, no kidding, having both a flower girl and a "miniature bride" in her WP because "they have too many kids."  LINK.

    Of course, everyone on that board thinks it's adorable.  And this is why I love the main boards.
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  • Answer:  you sure can't do it easily.  That's why I wouldn't "incorporate" any of them into the ceremony.  Invite them as guests.  Take a photo of you and your new DH with all 18 of them. 

    Then let them enjoy the party as kids will.

    But do you really want to be worrying about EIGHTEEN children just before you walk down the aisle?

    Heck, I don't think that even the Duggars had all 18 of their kids in the WP at their vow renewal, did they?  =)

    I'm seeing a train wreck if you try to "include" them as more than a guest.
    "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
  • I'm loving everyone's replies that are a consistent "HELL NO DON"T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT".  Thanks guys, your feedback is very much appreciated.  I do agree that in a wedding party that it would be too much.  I guess that the best thing is not to have a FG or RB b/c I don't think I could choose.  Their ages do range from 3 to 26 so half are in high school or older :)  I think the photo with them as a group and individually will be great.
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  • How many are under the age of 12? Because that's the age when the novelty starts to wear off for the kid and they don't really want to be there anyway. They just want to get to the reception and eat and play with their cousins. If you don't have many nieces and nephews under 12, use them for the wedding and have any others pass out programs, baby-sit younger kids, etc. They just want something to do that involves moving, because Catholic ceremonies are boring and long for children (and some adults, too). 

    I have 10 cousins 13 and younger. I have 2 FGs, 1 honorary FG (she'll only be eight months old when we get married, but I wanted her name in the program for when she gets older), 2 RB, 3 ushers, one program passer-outer (his words), and one 12 year old "bouncer" (he's hoping to catch wedding crashers). They just want some attention on a day where they otherwise wouldn't get any, because it will all go to you.

    That being said, maybe give them a short simple job, and be done with it. Their attention span is that of a gnat, so they won't care about the job for long. Also, if your church has a cry room or basement, maybe let one of the older ones keep an eye on the youngest kids so the adults can enjoy the wedding without having to corral children. 
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  • RebeccaB88RebeccaB88 Figment of Your Imagination member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    My first thought when I read this was 'you can't'. 

    Seriously, no matter how cute, it's expensive, and will look like Romper Room on steroids.  Gotta draw the line somewhere.

  • Ages start at 3 (two of them) and then pretty much are every year or other year up to 26 so it's the full scale.  I see your point and it's a good one.  It would be hard to make that cut off of which age I would have involved and which I wouldn't. I was originally thinking, 3 could be altar servers, 2 could hand out programs at the church, 4 flower girls walking up together holding hands, 2 ring bearers, 2 could share the petitions, and 4 could sing with the cantor  in the and organist (they love to sing and do so in plays all the time).   But I should probably just keep it simple and leave them all out of it :)
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  • Hey :) I saw the post and thought I should give my idea.
    I'm a nanny, I'm close to 7 of my young cousins, and I have 3 nieces and nephews. We're having a "flower group" to where after all the parents and grandparents are sitting then we'll have the kids come in one by one with a rose and they'll give the roses to each parent and grandparents and also to influencial people in our lives. :) that way they're all included.
  • My family is about the same size and I think it's been done before that all cousins (about 15 or so) were able to do something.  There were a few jr. bridesmaids, ring bearer, flower girl, passing out programs, gift table, candle lighters... and on and on.  

    A lot of people will tell you not to do it, but I don't personally see the harm.  If you're close to your family and you want to include them, I'm sure you can find jobs for them. 

     We also have a few younger girl cousins passing out the getaway stuff, so that can take a few of them.  If you have any that are older (like 14+ maybe) they could do a reading.  


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