Ceremony ideas for a blended family
We are family
Love-filled ideas to involve the children & make your family wedding unforgettable
If you have children or stepchildren, your wedding not only marks a new beginning for you as a married couple – but as a blended family. And, as you make all those key wedding decisions from the colour of the flowers to the flavour of the cake, you’ll need to consider the important question of how you involve your children or stepchildren in the big day.
“In the UK, about 16% of dependent children are living in blended families where a household has stepparents and step-siblings,” says independent celebrant, Sabine Smith of Perfect Day Ceremonies (perfectdayceremonies.co.uk).
There are elements of the wedding and, crucially the ceremony, where you can ensure the day is truly special for everyone. “For a modern blended family, a celebrant can be instrumental to ensure that each member of the family is valued and to enable them to build strong bonds for the future,” says Sabine. “Your wedding ceremony is at the heart of your special day and for me, as a celebrant, I am all for choices and creating memories for you for years to come.”
Giving children a role for the ceremony is key to making it joyful and memorable for them. “It will build a beautiful bond for the future and a great sense of accomplishment,” she says. “When they look back on the day in years to come, they will remember and love the role they played – standing by your side.”
Here, Sabine shares her top tips to ensure every member of the family feels included in your wedding ceremony.
Sands of time
A sand ceremony is a beautiful way to demonstrate the coming together of the individual members of the family to create a new blended family. It not only symbolises the unity of the couple, but also the unity of their children. By joining together, the different coloured sands into a vessel of choice, it symbolises that every member of the family has significance. As each grain of sand is poured, it instantly blends, signifying that you will never be able to separate them again, joining together the members as one blended family. My personal favourite!
Holly Collings Photography
Holly Collings Photography
Plant a tree
What could be more sustainable and in touch with nature than planting a tree together? This is a real favourite for nature-loving couples and their children. Together, you will nurture and care for it, watching the tree grow over the years alongside your family. The tree may be planted at the venue or at your family’s favourite place.
Words of love
Everyone loves hearing words of appreciation and love. Couples can create personal vows and promises for each other and lovingly involve the children who are adapting to being part of a new blended family, along with a personal gift or a piece of bespoke jewellery. I love it when I see a handwritten ‘thank you’ or ‘love you’ note placed into a time capsule or memory box which you make together. Getting this time capsule out on special occasions such as anniversaries or other significant life events is pure joy.
A handfasting ceremony is a perfect way to symbolise the coming together of the different family members to tie the knot on the day. Each member of the family places a different colour ribbon over joined hands during the ceremony. With the help of the celebrant, you will create a lasting visual keepsake and memory to treasure in the future. This is a joy-filled and colourful way to celebrate your special day which will make everyone feel included.
If you and your blended family members are the creative types, why not create a painting together on the day using your favourite colours and textures? Like the sand ceremony, the result will be colourful and create a visual symbol of the blended family you have created.
A fingerprint tree is a symbolic ritual I recently used to show the commitment of the entire family towards the new blended family. Every member of the family placed their name and a print of their thumb onto the family tree to create a memorable keepsake of the day and the ceremony. This can be replicated and sent to close family members as a loving memory of this special moment.
Children love having a special and important job during the wedding ceremony of their parent, such as pageboy or flower girl/boy. Another idea is allowing the children to sign the commitment certificate after the ceremony. However, I believe the most important responsibility for a child of a blended family is being the ring bearer and taking care of the bands which symbolise eternity and remind the couple every day of their love for one another. It will make them feel proud and instil a feeling of being part of this unity and love.
THE AWW FACTOR
Celebrate the creation of your newly made family with these sweet W-day ideas.
A cake’s the tops
A very touching addition to a wedding cake is toppers of children on both sides of the newly made family. Who doesn’t want to see themselves immortalised in fondant? As long as the cake has sufficient circumference, what’s stopping you piling those toppers high to incorporate your entire family unit?
Family flash mob
Flash mobs require big numbers so if your blended family is in the realms of double figures, how about you all perform as a flash mob? Not only will this bring a smile to your guests’ faces, but it’s also sure to make the performers feel pretty special too!
Designs on you
Buttonholes are a brilliant way of uniting a group of various ages and sizes. Traditional buttonholes can be worn by the entire family to bring together all sides of both families. Or a modern take on the buttonhole can be badges – these may work well for younger members of the family and can even be crafted in a bonding session before the big day itself.
Lead the way
Nothing jerks those tears quite like the arrival of mini-mes ahead of the happy couple. A blended children’s’ wedding procession could work wonders ahead of the ceremony or as a welcome to the wedding breakfast.
And talking of mini-mes, dressing little ones to match the bride and groom is another sure-fire way to make the children feel special and involved, as well as showing how united they are and how much they all mean to you. We love the idea of little maids in mini-me versions of the bride’s wedding dress.
words Elizabeth Chester