Whether you’ve got a young baby together or you share grown-up children between you, there are lots of ways to make children of all ages feel included in your humanist wedding ceremony.
Here are some ideas below:
1. The Ceremony Wording
There are plenty of opportunities to give a special shout-out to all your important people, including your children - you can reflect on their importance in your life as a couple too.
“When Jane and Chris first got together, Jane said that she came as a package with her two boys, Ollie and Sam. Although Chris found it daunting at first to try and win over two teenage boys, he says it’s been a privilege to watch them grow up into kind young men (and have someone to play on the Xbox with!)”.
You could also include a commitment to your children/stepchildren in your vows to each other:
“I promise to be an equal parent to Ottilie and work with you as a team to raise her”.
If your children are a little older, you could ask them to give a reading for you (if you have more than one child, they could do this together – for example, by alternating lines or verses).
They could read a poem, or you could ask them to say a few words about you both.
Similarly, if your child is a talented singer or is learning to play an instrument, you could also ask them to perform a musical item as part of the ceremony.
3. Certificate Signing
As humanist wedding ceremonies are not legally binding in England & Wales, there is no age restriction for any witnesses you might choose. So, if your child is old enough to sign their name, why not ask them to be your witness and sign your certificate with you?
You could then frame the certificate as a reminder of your day and of the commitments you have made to each other and as a family.
4. Sand Blending Ceremony
Why not have a sand blending ceremony to seal your vows and demonstrate your commitment as a newly formed family?
Each parent and child would have their own colour sand in a smaller container (something like a shot glass or a miniature milk bottle would work well), and would then take it in turns to pour their sand into a larger container (such as a jar, vase or even a decanter).
All the different layers of sand combined together symbolise the individuals of the family joining together as one new unit. You’ll then be able to keep your sand container as a permanent decoration for your home together.
5. A Naming Ceremony
If you hadn’t had the chance to hold a naming ceremony for your child after they were first born, why not hold a naming ceremony for them as part of your wedding to welcome them into the family? There’s no upper age limit for naming ceremonies, with older children welcome too.
If you have any more questions about including your children in your humanist wedding, then please get in touch!