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Tips for involving kids

During the recent weeks of kicking off the busy fall wedding season in Tucson, I’ve enjoyed officiating ceremonies with young people involved. (By young I mean eight to 17 years old.) This happens more and more, as families blend with children of various ages. I must admit I’m not a Mom, yet I do aspire to be the coolest Aunt ever! I don’t have a reservoir of kid wisdom. Although, I’ve experienced a few successful ways to involve kids in ceremonies, be it weddings or memorials.

We’ve all seen adorable flower girls, ring bearers or candle lighters. Here are a few ideas beyond the ‘usual’ to consider:

  • Bring kids into the creative process. While planning a ceremony, the logistics may be overwhelming. Stepping back with a more childlike frame of mind to make it fun and really bring kids into the fray, might just help! I welcome this with families. For example, have a processional led by children
    and ask them what kind of happy noises they want to make! (e.g. bells? kazoos? rattles?)
  • Ask if they want to participate. If so, offer meaningful roles. Many times we see more formal roles for kids where they have to stand still and be cute for pictures. Not always easy to achieve! That is slowly changing though, as this article suggests. What if they were more actively participating, say by exchanging family vows or symbolic gifts? Or reading from a family’s favorite children’s book? Wouldn’t that be more fun?
  • Let them review the ceremony script and offer editorial suggestions. No, I’m not kidding. They might offer up surprising advice that helps the ceremony feel more real to them and everyone present. I just had this  happen last week, when two super-fly boys were helpers with the Ring Warming for their Dad’s wedding.

Hopefully, these quick ideas – plus the fun in-depth articles I’ve linked to – offer plenty of fresh ways to bring kids into whatever ceremony you might be planning!

 

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