There are many personal life situations that traditional wedding planning etiquette does not address. One example of this is how to incorporate children from a previous relationship into the wedding ceremony. The bride, the groom or both may have children from previous relationships, and they may also have one or more children together by the time they marry. The possibilities are endless. Here are a few scenarios to consider if you are facing this dilemma:
A few years ago I worked with a couple who each had a son from a previous marriage. The groom walked in with his son, then came the bridesmaids and groomsmen, and finally the bride and her young son. The groom and his son stepped up to meet them, and the whole family continued to the altar together.
In another instance, the groom had a daughter from a previous marriage, and the bride was expecting. The couple did a candle ceremony that included four candles, one for each member of the family.
The blending of two families is more complex than the actual symbolic acts within a wedding ceremony, but those acts can be an important start. I’ve done a number of ceremonies where the bride and groom called the children to the altar to participate in the creation of family. If children are in your history and you are thinking of including them in your ceremony, I suggest you ask for their ideas for creating a ritual together. You might be pleased and surprised to hear their thoughts.