6 Ways to Include Your Children in Your Wedding

Photo by Equinox Photographer: Tara

It's always a treat to have kids at a wedding - us DJs always love the first people on the dance floor, and when there are kids at a wedding, they are almost always the first! And it's not just guests who bring children - many of our couples are celebrating with a kid - or two, or five! – in tow. For those brides and grooms, their wedding isn’t just about the two of them, it's about a new season of life as a family. We love seeing creative ways that couples choose to acknowledge and involve their kids on their big day, so we've compiled a list of six ways to make your kids a part of your wedding for those of you who are in the planning process.

Have your kids give you away. When getting married later in life, or even for the second time, it doesn’t always seem fitting to have the bride ‘given away’ by her father. In those instances, why not choose to have one of your children escort you down the aisle?

Have a prayer or blessing as a family at the ceremony or vows. Whatever type of ceremony you’re having, there are ways to include the kids in the ceremony. It may be fitting and significant to have the parents include a few lines in the vows that express commitment to their children, or to have vows directed specifically at the kids. Another option is to have a prayer or blessing said over the family as a whole.

Rising stars in the family? Get them to perform. If any of your kids are talented in the performing arts, have them perform at some point during the day. Musical and vocal performances can be a very sweet personal touch at the ceremony, while almost anything goes during a reception – music, dancing… I’ve even seen a bride’s adult son perform a hilarious lip sync to a Backstreet Boys song that had the whole room in stitches.

Include them in the bridal party. Last weekend, I DJed a wedding with a big blended family whose children were all between 10-25 years old. Rather than having any friends in the bridal party, all of the bridesmaids and groomsmen were the couple’s children. I thought it was a great idea – having your children stand with you and be your support team on the big day is a great way to honor them in a day where you are making a commitment both to each other and as a family.

Acknowledge them with a toast or speech. Confident kids might want a chance to step up to the podium to give a speech themselves, while more shy ones may prefer to stay out of the spotlight. Turn the tables by giving a speech or a toast in their honor, and use the opportunity to affirm and celebrate your kids in front of your friends and family, or to welcome your new stepchildren to their new extended family.

Share a first dance with them, even if they are toddlers. Rather than dancing with your parents, dance with your children. It works perfectly if they are teenagers or older, but it can also be pretty precious to include a baby or toddler in the first dance too. One idea is to have a grandparent bring the little one out onto the dance floor halfway through the first dance to be held between the parents as they share their first dance as husband and wife.

If you're looking for music to use, here are some songs that are perfect for relationships between parents and their children, for a father-daughter or mother-son dance, or any other special moment with your kids: 

Taylor Swift - Never Grow Up
Edwin McCain - Walk With You
Tom Petty - Wildflowers
The Beatles - In My Life
Louis Armstrong - What A Wonderful World
Bruce Springsteen - When You Need Me
Ben E. King - Stand By Me 
Rascal Flatts - My Wish 
The Temptations - My Girl 
Nat King Cole - Unforgettable