I love working with families on their wedding day. In this blog I’ve rounded up a few unqiue ways to include your kids in your wedding celebration- from a traditional to something totally personalized. This wedding day is about celebrating your family in it’s most authentic self!
Most of my couples choose to elope because they prefer to keep their wedding day private and intimate. They may feel that a large wedding with extended family, friends, and acquaintances is not for them, and they would rather share this special moment with only their partner and necessary folks. I get it, quite literally. I did this exact thing and I will always champion that choice for us.
Sometimes however there are some very key members of the family that must come along, and I am ALL FOR IT. Not simply that they must come along, but that the wedding day would be entirely incomplete without them- and those are the kids.
In the past several years, I have photographed a range of elopements that include kids. Sometimes the kids are 10 and want to sing and dance with fists full of cheese along the shores of Alaska, and sometimes they are 18 months old and the nap schedule simply cannot be tested too far. Either way, choosing to elope and include your children is a clear YES in my book. Here are some ways that you can include them in your day, if you’re having a hard time coming up with unique ways to make them feel included.
1-Consider including your kids in your wedding party as bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girls, or ring bearers. This will make them feel special and involved in the wedding. Plus the photo opportunities will be impeccable.
2- Unity Ceremony: You can include your kids in a unity ceremony such as a sand ceremony or candle lighting ceremony, where each family member contributes something symbolic. This is also pretty fun and engaging!
3 -Vows: Consider including vows to your children during the ceremony. This can be a special moment to express your love and commitment to them as part of your new family. If they’re a bit older and are comfortable with the task, they too can express some vows to the new partner.
4- Give each child a special wedding favor to take home as a keepsake, such as a personalized toy or a piece of jewelry. This symbolic gesture is a unique way to customize something for the family.
5- Play to their strengths! Kids can play instruments or sing during the ceremony, either alone or as part of a group. If they love to sing, how could they incorporate that into the ceremony? Think along the lines of what brings them joy!
Your elopement should be exactly what you want it to be – and nothing less. Including your kids should not be as a compromise, but rather as part of the anticipation of a new life. It is my strong believe that creating a new life together involves so much love and tenderness from all parties, and it is a wonderful thing indeed to include the kids in the elopement.
If your kids are shy or don’t really feel comfortable saying something during the ceremony- not to worry! There is always the opportuntiy for photos that can be keepsakes the special moment. My job as a photographer is to make all parties feel seen and comfortable, and so even the introverts feel welcome.
Lastly, as someone who grew up with dozens of cousins running around and has a general knack for kids this reality does not intimate me. I love working with families and children of all ages. This should not be an inhibitor to your celebrations – let me show you how!