When a couple tells me there will be kids involved in their ceremony, I am instantly excited. Admittedly, one of the biggest reasons I get excited is the sheer unpredictability of children. I think we can all agree, kids can be hilarious, and will provide some of the most memorable moments in ceremonies, from the cutest, most precious moments, to absolute meltdowns, whatever happens, it’s all good. From being involved in a lot of weddings, one thing holds true for kids during a wedding:
They are wild cards. And even the most well behaved children will do whatever they want to the day of the ceremony.
And that’s ok!
Here are a few tips for having children in your ceremony, and also a few photos from a Whistle Bear wedding we planned. This couple had the cutest little girl who just wanted to be around mom and dad, and their approach? Just roll with it, it’s all good.
Tip 1: Have realistic expectations
Although your child/friends child may be extremely outgoing and comfortable in casual settings, there’s something to be said about putting them on stage and asking them to be perfectly well behaved and complete a foreign task in front of 100+ strangers (wear a suit and pull this wagon?! Drop flower petals?! No way!!). Experience tells us that kids will do what they want, and the best way to handle it? Just roll with it, and laugh. Sometimes it’s perfection, sometimes not, but, it’s all part of having children in a ceremony, and the pictures will always make it worth it.
Tip 2: Ring Bearer or Flower Girl
If a child is going to be a ring bearer or flower girl, decide in advance if you want them to stay standing at the front, or take a seat in the front row with a family member. Oftentimes, depending on age, children will lose interest in the ceremony (not so shocking) and might start wandering around, or calling/talking to their parent who is standing in the wedding party. It’s understandable – they’re bored and want someone to pay attention to them and play 🙂 It can be cute, but it can also be extremely distracting for you or your guests, or even embarrassing for the parent in the wedding party. Having a plan is always best.
Tip 3: Back Up Plan
If you have a child who is the ring bearer or flower girl, have a back up plan in case they freeze at the beginning of the aisle. It happens not only for children, but adults too! When I’m running a rehearsal, do you know what the most common cause of anxiety is for a bridal party? The processional! Walking out in front of strangers. Even as adults we don’t love it.
If the child freezes, make sure there is a parent/family member close by to pick them up and walk them down the aisle. It happened at our own wedding, and my brother in law picked up his daughter, our flower girl, and carried her to the front. It was so sweet.
Tip 4: Candy
A good back up plan is a parent/grandparent in the front row with the child’s favourite candy. Who doesn’t love candy?! Nothing will get their attention like grandma offering them a big bag of candy if they come over and sit with them. It works every time.
Tip 5: Have fun and laugh
This is the best advice I can give you. Kids will be kids, and they will provide constant entertainment and make for the most adorable photos. Have fun with them and laugh, the kids will remember it, and so will you.
Take a look at a few photos below from a wedding Michelle and I planned and officiated. Little Mila is the sweetest little girl and melted everyone’s hearts with her cute sparkly gold dress, her hightop sneakers and her smile. So much fun!