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Bridal Club Magazine

Weddings and Blended Families - Should We Involve Our Children?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions. Children of remarrying parents are at their most vulnerable regardless of their age, especially when they feel it is something beyond their control. It is not only a big deal for you, it is equally so for them whether they agree with your choice of spouse or not. You don't have to be told that the wedding day is not the only hurdle to get past, it will be integrating the new family for the rest of your lives. Children can make or break that, so it is a good idea to them from the start and make them feel as much a part of this as possible.

  • Give each of your children a significant role in the planning (depending on age of course) and on the actual wedding day.
  • Include them in the vows, one where they can promise to be supportive of you as a couple and the whole family together. The married couple can make a public commitment to their children and vice versa. This is not intended as a manipulative tool. If you have a supportive ex-partner, they can also be a part of this ceremony if they wish. This can assure an anxious child or children that it is not the end of the family they knew, but the start of an extended family that will provide more support and love to them as they grow.
  • During the ring ceremony, some families include a special family medallion or some other similar token - one that symbolises the bonds of family love in the same way that the ring symbolises conjugal love.

Make sure the celebrant publicly recognises your children as a part of the complete wedding. A positive emotional experience will stop them feeling abandoned as they see you start your new life with someone other than their mother or father. 'Family relationships' needs to be the emphasis here.

A positive experience at your wedding can help heal the wounds of the past, and open the gate to loving and rewarding future for all concerned. It's not just about the joining of you and your spouse - it's about the joining of a whole family.

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