The best way to embrace your newly blended family on your special day is to incorporate everyone into the wedding ceremony. Many couples find ways to engage their children in the rehearsal and the ceremony.
What is a blended family?
A blended family is often called a stepfamily or a co-family. It is a family composed of the couple and their respective children from the current and previous relationships.
What is the difference between a blended family and a stepfamily?
A blended family is also known as a stepfamily. It is formed when two people come together and bring a child or children from previous relationships. When a blended family is created, your children might be of the same age group or have significant age differences, and you might also have a child together. (Webmd.com)
Blended family wedding ceremony ideas
Many blended ceremonies today are casual and non-denominational. Officiants are familiar with blended wedding rituals and are comfortable incorporating unique ideas into the ceremonial program. Here are a few that I have used when drafting the wedding script. The symbolism of the melting of many into one makes any option perfect for demonstrating the commitment of all family members.
- Be creative with the invitations. There are numerous ways to encompass children, depending on their age. For example, a couple with older children may phrase the invitation that the children are ‘requesting the honor of your presence….”
- Lolly/Candy Blending Unity Ritual. Yes, I said candy blending, and this is perfect for blended families of all ages. Each person has a container of their favorite sweets. A single large container will house the blended candy. Layering the candy is also a metaphor for how the blended family members bring their unique flavor and strength to the group.
When the family member is asked to come forward to combine their lolly into the ‘us’ or ‘family’ jar, it’s symbolic of the compromises that need to be made, but also how life is all the more sweet and exciting when families come together and share what they have with each other. (unbridely.com)
- The Sand Blending Ceremony follows the path of candy blending but can be messier than you think, especially at outdoor weddings (windy days!). It is becoming overused, hence the candy blending option.
- Unity Candles, depending on the age of the children and the venue, can be very moving. Again, dimming the lights accents the coming together of the candles. It can be very emotional.
- Musical families play or sing a song together. The blending of voices in and of itself speaks of the coming together into one.
- Walking down the aisle. The couple can be escorted into the venue by their children. When both families meet before the officiant, their hands unite in solidarity. The officiant can ask the familiar questions about who gives this person away and who speaks for this person. It is empowering to the children, no matter the age.
Wedding vows for blended families
Wedding vows are personal and unique to every couple. As a wedding vow writer, I spend days and weeks, if necessary, working with the couple to capture their commitment and love for each other. When adding children and blending the families, depending on the age of the children, extra care must be taken to respect the missing parent, whether deceased or divorced.
It is an emotional time for everyone, so let’s try some ways to be inclusive and have everyone participate in the ceremony.
Wedding vows to a stepchild are not necessary but can add a deeper meaning to the ceremony. Addressing the children directly is very emotional and powerful. Vows for stepchildren can be professed before or after the couple’s vows, usually after.
Stage fright or shyness speaking in front of people can occur at any age, and under 10 is the age they are most susceptible. Determine a plan of action before one or more children choose not to participate at the last minute. Trust me; deciding this well before the wedding day is essential.
People Magazine did a story about a bride making a vow to her new stepson,
“Henry, I know I wasn’t there the day you came into the world,” she said. “I wasn’t there for your first steps or your first words, but I promise I will be there for many more of your firsts.” “I promise to love you as if you were my own, and lastly, I promise I will be the best wife for your dad, and I promise to be the best stepmom I can be for you,” she added. Afterward, Henry immediately rushed to hug her.
Stepmom and stepdad vow to engage the children no matter their age. Recognizing the children and welcoming them as a package deal with the person you love removes the mystery about who you are and how you will fit into their family. They do see it as their family. Vows for stepchildren to participate.
Would you like help with writing the wedding vows for your blended family?
I can help. I have been writing wedding vows since 2017 and have enjoyed every minute. Meeting the couple and their children is exciting, and taking the pressure off by working with them on their vows is what it is all about. Please feel free to contact me for a free consultation. I look forward to hearing from you.
Resources Webmd.com, unbridely.com