Including Kids in the Wedding Party

Tips for Including Children

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Choosing to include kids in the wedding party is an easy decision for some and a difficult one for others. The opinions on whether to have children in the wedding party (or for that matter attend the ceremony or reception) vary. Some argue that a wedding at its simplest level is about family and the circle of life - thus including children is a given. Others want their wedding to go perfectly and don't want to risk anything to the unpredictable nature of children. If you're undecided on whether to include kids in your wedding party here are some points to consider:

When to include kids in your wedding party:

  • You love kids!
  • Your wedding is early in the day (before it's time for the child's nap)
  • They're your own children - what better way to start your new life and family than by including your own children?
  • You're easy going and accepting of the fact that the child may act out, cry or steal the attention
      • The child you have in mind is well behaved in public and can follow directions
      • The child lives nearby - the child will be better able to cope with the excitement of a wedding when they're already in familiar surroundings

      When not to include kids in your wedding party:

      • You want your entire wedding (ceremony and reception) to be an adults only affair
      • You want your wedding to go perfectly
      • Your wedding is during the evening and well past a child's bed time
      • There are too many little ones to choose from - it may be more diplomatic to forego kids altogether rather than hurt anyone's feelings by leaving somebody out
      • You think having kids in your wedding would be "cute" - they're not props so having kids in the wedding requires preparation and patience
      • The child lives far way - having to cope with a new place and routine may be too stressful for a young child

      If you decide to include children in your wedding there are several roles available: flower girl, ring bearer and train bearer. The ring bearer makes his trip down the aisle following the maid of honor and before the flower girl. He carries a small cushion on which the wedding rings are displayed (usually fake rings to prevent losing the real ones). The flower girl comes next and precedes the bride, scattering flower petals before her (if the church allows). The train bearer walks just behind the bride carrying the train of her wedding dress.

      During the ceremony the children can either stand with the wedding party or sit with their parents. During the recessional, the flower girl, ring bearer and train bearer immediately follow the bride and groom. As these children are officially a part of the wedding party they are included in the wedding photographs, but they don't participate in the receiving line.

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