Authored by: Jim Emerson
August 9, 2010

Having young children participate in your wedding ceremony can be extremely special but it can also be a very stressful and frightening time for the children involved. Consider the following should you choose to include young children in your wedding party:

 · The personality of each child. Are they outgoing or are they more reserved and timid. As a general rule, an outgoing child will probably enjoy their “moment in the spotlight” much more than a shy child. They may enjoy it so much, that they do something totally unexpected –and embarrassing! On the other hand a shy child may find a large crowd of adults to be very intimidating and unnerving and may end up bursting into tears or not want to move at all! Remember, you have little control over what the little ones might do as they walk down the aisle.

· If you have a child that refuses to walk down the aisle – despite your encouragement – never force them. You sure don’t want a child dragged down the aisle kicking and screaming. To help solve the challenge you may consider pairing up a younger child with an older one. Also, consider sitting the child’s mom on the front aisle with a favourite treat – candy and positive persuasion are a sure combination with the kids!

· Touch base with your caterer and ask whether or not they will provide a children’s meal. Most caterers will accommodate such a request.

· Will you need to hire someone to watch over the children? At many weddings today, the only children in attendance are the ones participating in the ceremony and there are no other children for them to play with.

· Weddings can seem very long for children so consider if you will need to have a separate area for them to play or sleep during the reception

· Don’t forget to consider the potential financial burden on the children’s parents of having children in a wedding party.

Whether or not you choose to include children in your wedding party, one thing is certain – children are known to do the unexpected. Chat with the parents to get their feedback and thoughts on how their children will perform as part of the wedding party.

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About the Author: Jim Emerson

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