For Brides

March 12, 2020

Three Tips for Including Children in the Wedding Party

tips for including children in the wedding party, Samantha Ludlow Photography, Syracuse wedding photographer, Finger Lakes Wedding Photographer, Syracuse photographer

The moments leading up to when the bride walks down the aisle are filled with such anticipation. The music starts, parents are seated, bridesmaids begin to enter and walk slowly down the aisle, and then the most adorable sight appears… Coming down the aisle are the flower girls and ring bearers. Some of them bound down the aisle like they’re trying to win a race. Others toddle down on newly-walking legs. One is placing each flower petal down very carefully, while another dumped out the entire basket at the top of the aisle. It’s easily one of the most precious moments of the entire day!

Having children in the wedding party is a great way to include some of your favorite little ones in your big day, but it can also present some challenges. Kids don’t care about wedding day timelines and have strong opinions about nearly everything, which can make including them a bit…complicated. As a mother of two little girls (and an aunt to 10 nieces and nephews ages 4 months to 7 years) I know a thing or two about working with kids! Today I’m sharing three of my favorite tips for including children in the wedding party!

Number One: Build in breaks!

Most children do not have the attention span necessary to participate in every moment of the wedding day. You can make the long day easier for them by building in break times throughout the day. For example, if you have flower girls, ask them to arrive for only the last 30 minutes of the getting ready period. They will arrive just in time to watch the bride get in her dress. (If you have really little ones, they can skip this entire section of the day!) You can also create breaks before and after the ceremony and after photos.

Some great ways to utilize these breaks include:

  • Using the bathroom.
  • Having a snack.
  • Quiet play (see tip number three).
  • Taking a short walk.
  • Taking a short nap if time allows.

Number Two: Find the proper care-giver!

If possible, designate a person who is not in the bridal party to take care of the flower girls and ring bearers. This ensures that someone will be able to keep an eye on them while the adults are taking photos! It also ensures that someone can take the child away if they need to use the bathroom or just take a break.

Number Three: Come prepared!

It’s always helpful to bring a few extra items (in addition to those you would usually carry) on a wedding day! Some of the items I recommend to have on hand are:

  • Snacks. Crackers and other mess-free items work great for keeping kids quiet and giving them something to focus on when waiting.
  • Quiet activities. Sticker books, magnetic drawing boards, books, and small dolls are all great choices. Avoid crayons, markers, or anything else that could get on their clothes! (Be careful with the “Water Wow” coloring kits too, depending on what the child is wearing! Water stains will show up in photos.)
  • Their favorite lovey. If the child has a blankie or stuffed animal that they love, let them bring it along. It might keep them happy during a long ceremony or other periods of waiting.
  • A change of clothes. If you have really little kids who are in diapers or potty training, bring another set of dress clothes just in case. Once you get to the reception, no one will mind if they’re not in their official wedding attire! (Pro Tip: Parent might want to bring a set of PJs to put kids in right before leaving as well!)

Recently our own girls were flower girls in my sister-in-law’s wedding. I’ll never forget watching Abbie (who had just learned to walk earlier that month) stumble down the aisle one step at a time. It was simultaneously the cutest and funniest moment that I’ve ever seen at a wedding! As a mother of two flower girls and bridesmaid, preparation was key to making the day a success for us and the kids! So whether you’re the bride-to-be or the parent of the ring bearer, hopefully these tips for including children in the wedding party will help you be prepared on the wedding day!

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