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Alternative Children’s Roles in Weddings – All About the "Awww" Factor
Traditionally, weddings usually consist of one flower girl and one ring bearer. These children are most often from the bride’s side of the family and are children from about three to ten years old.
But what if you have a large family and many friends with small children? What if you want to include the fiancee’s side of the family as well? Or maybe you don’t want to exclude your friends and family who are more into the “tweens” simply because they are older than the traditional age of flower girl and ring bearer.
Everything about wedding traditions is changing and the roles of wedding guests are no exception. This opens up a new opportunity for everyone to be included, which reduces the chances of disability in the family.
There are plenty of alternative roles for your little ones. You just have to be creative! Think outside the basket or pillow and choose some of these fun and equally adorable ideas. So everyone can contribute.
Give one or two girls small bouquets or individual flowers to take to the altar and give to the mother of the bride and groom.
Have older children be junior bridesmaids or groomsmen instead of flower girls and ring bearers.
Ask some girls to carry your train behind you instead of flowers in front of you.
Girls may carry baskets of flowers to hand out to guests as they reach the altar. This is usually best done with older girls who won’t be as easily distracted or as likely to “turn off”.
Ask the children to pass out programs, birdseed, scrolls, bubbles, or other handouts before or after the ceremony.
Don’t forget the pets! You can definitely include the family dog as a ring bearer or “best dog”. Just make sure, if you are actually going to tie the rings to him/her, that someone is responsible for handling the dog so there are no runaway rings! It’s also best to make sure the dog is friendly and can handle being in large crowds.
If you can’t help but include little toddlers who won’t be able to stand up or walk long enough to get to the aisle on their own, why not ask the older kids to pull them up the aisle in a decorated wagon? This is sure to get a lot of “awwww…”
One hot new trend is for kids to wear a sign as they walk down the aisle in front of you. “Here Comes the Bride” is a favorite. After the ceremony, you can be accompanied by “Just Married”!
If you want to include more than one ring bearer but still like the traditional idea of a pillow ring, why not have one guy wear the bride’s ring and the other the groom’s ring?
Another popular new trend, usually best for outdoor weddings, is having little ones blow bubbles to announce the bride’s entrance. Bell ringing is also popular for indoor weddings.
If you think your little ones like walking down the aisle and just being cute rather than doing a task, there are some great alternatives to at least not be left empty-handed:
- Flower balls
- Bibles or books
- Sun umbrellas
- Artificial bird nests with birds
You don’t even have to have the same number of boys and girls, or the same number of children from both sides of the family. Some wedding parties don’t even require everyone to wear the same dress or outfit. The more children you include, the more difficult it can be to coordinate the parents of those children and the little ones themselves when shopping for products for their wedding day, equipment, etc. And kids grow so fast, you might end up with a bunch of outgrown dresses and tuxedos by the time you get married!
Maybe set a color like all ivory or all white and play around with accessories like bow ties and headdresses. Allowing for some individuality might make it more comfortable for the little ones and more affordable for the parents. Parents will appreciate this gesture.
Florists and ring bearers are mostly just for show. Adult wedding attendants can wear the rings themselves. However, they would lose some serious appeal if they eliminated the roles of their beloved toddlers.
Alternatives are good to include all. And if someone gets “tired” or just tired before their big moment comes, no big deal! You’ll still get your rings and there’ll still be plenty of photo opportunities with either a fussy toddler who refuses to perform (always good to show them off later when they’re older) or a sweetie who fell asleep at the altar or in mommy’s arms before ” I Do’s”.
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