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Bridal Club Magazine

Children in your Wedding Ceremony

Every couple wants their wedding ceremony to run smoothly, from the dress rehearsal to their vows, but one aspect of the wedding will always remain unpredictable…children!

Many couples have relatives and friends with children who are cute as a button, or maybe even children of their own. Typically these children become flower girls and ring bearers which make a charming addition to any wedding party. However, their adorable ways can turn into antics fast without proper planning. If you are planning on having children in your bridal party, the following are a few tips to make sure that your pint-size guests meet your expectations.

A child loves to be the center of attention but today is not the day. In order to make them feel special take a few moments to show your appreciation. Before the ceremony, take a few pictures with them, tell them how cute they look, and give them a special gift just as you would the rest of your wedding party.

For those ceremonies not taking place in the morning, make sure your flower girl and ring bearer take a nap. No one wants a cranky child. Other pre-ceremony musts are using the restroom (to avoid any "I have to go" dances), a light snack to avoid hunger, a double check of clothing for stains, go over directions, and give praise. Give them confidence and reinsurance so they do not freeze when all eyes are looking at them walking down the aisle.

Prevent children from being uncomfortable by providing a snack before and after the wedding ceremony. Choose snacks that will not make a mess nor stain clothing; crackers, string-cheese, and sugar cookies, and small bottles of water, are a good choice. Package treats in coordinating bags, embellished with ribbons and personalized name tags. Prepare treats for more than just your flower girl and ring bearer; other young children (if invited) will also become antsy sitting through the ceremony. Designate a parent or older child to pass out the treat bags.

Even though the flower girl and ring bearer are part of the bridal party, they may not be the most patient when standing during the vow exchange. Let them sit in the front row during the ceremony. Make sure that their parent or grandparent can motion them to take a seat beside them. Then let them rejoin the party during the processional. Also make sure that the child's parent or another family member is prepared to scoop up the child if a tantrum breaks out. It is not the most ideal situation but knowing that someone is prepared well give you peace of mind.

Another widely accepted tip is to have fake rings attached to the pillow for the ring bearer to carry. Depending on the age of the child, younger children have a tendency to drop and loose things. Give the real rings to the best man and maid of honor.

After the ceremony can be the most important time to give the children notice. This is a time of celebration when all the attention turns to the bride and groom. Children can sometimes become confused on what to do next. Give them a hug, thank them, and let them know that you will see them later if you have decided that children will be allowed at your reception. If so, save them a dance!

Hopefully these tips help you start brainstorming on what to expect and how to be prepared for your younger wedding party guests.

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