No, it’s not a few years into your marriage and you aren’t wondering if it is finally time to take that life changing procreation plunge.
You are engaged!
But right now, the decision of whether or not to have kids be a part of your wedding ceremony may feel like just as important a question.
Kids are adorable, photogenic, and downright cute, even when they aren’t behaving themselves. If you have kids you are close to, they make a great addition to your ceremony and often provide just the right kind of comic relief. Take Jessica and Jon, who were married in August. They used 4 super adorable kids in their wedding and it was great.
However, let us regale you with a cautionary kids-in-a-wedding tale. Years ago, my cousin got married in Minnesota, and they had chosen to have a very young flower girl (probably around 2yrs old) and her big brother (maybe 4 or 5 years old) as ring bearer. Everything about the ceremony went beautifully and then it was time for the flower girl to walk down the aisle. Cute as a button that two year old walked down the aisle toward her brother, gracefully dropping clumps of flower petals in the aisle. It was sweet, cute, and lovely. At the front of the church she met her brother and they sat down on the platform in front of everyone where they were expected to wait for the duration of the ceremony.
Let me give you a tip: if you have very young children in your ceremony, let them sit down with their parents after they walk down the aisle. It is hard enough to keep kids behaved during a service when they are sitting right next to you and can be bribed with treats and pencils and toys. It is unrealistic for a two year old to sit still quietly for more than about 2 minutes.
Well, during the ceremony, at one point the flower girl hopped up with her basket and started back down the aisle, picking up all the petals she so nicely dropped. My guess is, that is exactly what they did in the rehearsal! A lady near the front, Mom perhaps, grabbed her hand, shook her head no, and then took her back up to her brother on the platform.
Tip 2: If you ignore tip number one, when kids start mis-behaving, bring them off the platform and sit them next to their parents.
Our little lady started to talk to her brother. Just whispers. Apparently someone had the foresight to stock her little basket with gummi bears in order to keep both kids quiet and happy. But flower girl was not happy about the way her brother was sharing the gummies and had to yell at him, loudly. He was mortified and clapped his hand over her mouth while shouting “BE QUIET”.
I cannot remember anything else about that ceremony except the look of horror on the Bride’s face that the kids were ruining her wedding. Now, it may have been one of the most fun weddings I was ever a guest at, but I am not sure the Bride would agree!
Kids are “unpredictable as weather” (to quote from the Sound of Music). They make a great addition to your ceremony, but you need to be realistic about how involved you want them to be, and have a backup plan in case your little ones shower you with personality. For some, a little comic relief from a little innocent angst may be just what you need. But beware… for better or for worse, having kids will change your life!