Blending happiness...re-post from 1/2012
BLENDED FAMILIES. Left 2011 with a bang to start off 2012. I would like to thank Mandy and Chris for letting me be their Officiant for their wedding. As a blended family, it was so moving to have the children of both the bride and grooms families to be apart of the wedding. For Mandy and Chris, I wrote a completely custom, religious ceremony that included, a pledge for the children of the family unit, vows from the parents to the children and a pray for the family as they joined in a circle holding hands. It was beautiful and heartfelt.
As a wedding is a serious commitment unto itself, the joining of children from different families makes that commitment very important to all concerned. If any of the children are older, well, we all have heard of pros and cons to the reactions of such unions. I suggest you don't force them to be apart of the ceremony if they are not interested or supportive of the new union. Yet, when all parties are committed, pass the Kleenex as it can be a real moving moment.
There are many ways to ensure that all the children of the couple feel cherished and included. Some parents write special, yet simple vows for the children that can be exchanged during the ceremony. Some give a gift like a necklace to the child(ren) during the ceremony like an exchange of rings between the couple. Some couples get engraved gold bands or bracelets and present then to the children. Gestures such as these will allow to child(ren) to feel included into the new family situation and remain in their hearts and minds for years to come.
There are additional ways to make children feel included. If making them apart of the "wedding party" is not an option, they can be given a special decorated seat to sit in during the ceremony. They could have special matching clothing, or a corsage or boutonniere to wear.
Regardless, to how or what you do to make the children of a new union feel special, make sure that they know they are loved from all the adults involved. Lastly, if there is an ex still in the picture and you all are supportive or at least civil, get that person to speak with the child(ren) and let them know that they support their involvement in the ceremony. No need to put quilt on a child for something that should be joyous.
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I am a woman, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a mother, an Integrative