Kids In The Wedding Party….Will They Be In Yours?
By Gretchen Maurer
Web site: www.weddinghair.com
Some brides want it all; kids, dogs, butterflies, doves, you
name it. So if your heart is set on having your little niece and your
cousin's son walk down the aisle then I say go for it! But do it with
planning! Some brides think they want the kids in the wedding, but the bride
may find she is better off having cardboard cutouts as stand- IN's then to
have to deal with the real thing. On the other hand some of you are leaning
to the side of a "no kids" wedding. For those of you sitting on the fence,
let me help you choose a side.
When to have
kids in the wedding party:
1. You love children! You love their spontaneity and if they
do something silly you think it will just add more charm and laughs to your
day. (You'll make a great Mom too!)
2. You are getting married early in the day. Kids are better
when it is not too late in the day. This way Mom and Dad will not have to
leave early to get their cranky angels off to bed. Or plan on hiring someone
to whisk the kids away for the night.
3. The children are local and can sleep in their own bed the
night before. I had a bride who was having a male friend's daughter in the
wedding. However, the child's parents were divorced so the mother was not in
attendance to the wedding. The little girl couldn't hang out with Daddy and
the grooms' men, so the bride had her sleep at her house the night before.
The bride arrived late and stress to the salon the next morning because SHE
had to give the child a morning bath! Not Good!
4. They are your own children. By all means they should be a
part of this special event. By being included and involved they will feel
more secure about their significance and place in your new life.
5. You don't care how her hair looks. Requesting a specific
hairstyle for the flower girl can get tricky. Not every child's hair will
hold a curl, nor will they sit long enough to get it done. I had three
little sisters that were all in the wedding. Once the mother got everyone
through the door and into the brides non-child proof small apartment
everyone was stressed! The bride wanted them all to have French braids and
the youngest child was three years old. She kept pushing my hand out of the
way and as I would braid a section of hair she would rip it out. Oh well!
6. You know they are "good" children. Some kids are born to
be in weddings. Lois Pearce, President of Beautiful Occasions in Hamden,
adds, " One of the key things to think about when considering these children
is their maturity level. Does the child behave well (within reason) around
adults? Are they able to understand directions? Just because they are cute
is not the criteria for them to upstage the bride on her wedding day."
Whether they love the attention or they are easy going and compliant you and
their parents need to feel confident they will do their job well. Hey,
considered them for hire. ( Just kidding )
When not to
have kids in the wedding party:
1. You really don't want kids in attendance and that's
perfectly fine. Just because there are children the perfect age in your
extended family that fit the role, don't feel obligated to add them to the
wedding party. Let the parents know up front that you have chosen not to add
children to the wedding party. If you have someone pressuring you to add
their children to the line up then leave this article in a conspicuous place
for them to read.
2. You want your day to go perfectly as planned. This is fine
also. You spent enough time and money planning every last detail and you
would not appreciate uncalculated antics. One ring bearer's pillow had a
music box inside. It didn't take long for him to find the wind up key in the
back and then begin tossing it up in the air during the vows.
3. You are getting married in the evening. Not a good idea to
add kids to this mixture. They may not get a proper nap and others in
attendance may resent the kids being around drinking adults.
4. The kids have to travel into town. If the stay is at a
familiar and welcome home then there is a better chance for a restful night.
But a strange bed and changes to their routine is more than some children
can handle. Check with the parents first.
5. When there is just too many to choose from and someone
might get offended. I'm sure you have seen it. Two flower girls, two ring
bearers, and the groom's man stuck with the twelve-year-old junior
bridesmaid. If you really don't want them, skip the kids all together.
6. When you really don't know the parents well. The kids
should mean more to the bride and groom than just cute props. Don't ask a
friend of a friend's child to be in the wedding or even a long distant
relative just because he or she is cute and the right age. It takes a lot of
preparation, patience, prodding, and expense on the parents part to make the
day go relatively smoothly.
Kids are kids and they are unpredictable. If you can accept
this and go with the flow then have them in your wedding, but remember not
every kid is suited for the job.
· There is the flower girl that thinks she is too old for the
job but she is still too young to be a junior bridesmaid. (Age 4-6 for
flower girls, 10-13 for Junior bridesmaids)
· The hormonal junior bridesmaid who hates the dress and hair
while scowling through every picture.
· The ring bearer who would rather drop kick the pillow than
carry "that thing" covered with lace.
· The flower girl who is crying because she really thought
she was getting married too!
· The "active" flower girl who thinks it is the two yard dash
and the $200 dress is just a white blur!
· The ring bearer who thinks it is his job to clean up after
the flower girl as she drops the petals and he picks them up after her.
· The ring bearer who tears down the aisle and rips through
the LOUD paper of the new toy that bribed him down the aisle in the first
· Keep the kids at another location for dressing and
preparation. One home I was at the ring bearer was giving horsy rides to the
flower girl; grandpa had to step in the tears followed. At another, the
little flower girl just thought it was the greatest thing to go up and down
the stairs repeatedly so she could hold up her dress. Another little one
swiped bobby pins and hid in the corner and "did" her own hair.
· Make sure videos and snacks are available and kid friendly.
· Dress them at the last possible minute.
· For real little ones have a large bib to put on.
· Scuff up the new shoes on the bottom with sandpaper and let
the kids break them in ahead of time
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