If you are blending families with your new marriage, it can be important to include some type of blended family ceremony – if it is appropriate and will not cause any backlash with an ex-spouse and your future relationships.
Over the years I have seen some good ways to include step-children and some not so good ways to include step-children into your wedding ceremony.
A “blended family ceremony” is simply a little something extra to recognize and include step-children. It can be anything form asking them to come stand next to you both or to actually “exchanging vows” with them. However you may choose to include yours, I will help you do that.
Here are some good practical ways to do this…
- have me acknowledge the children in the ceremony
- I can mention them by name
- I can state their value to the family
- involve your children in the sand ceremony
- give a piece of jewelry to your step-children
- a necklace
- a ring
- a watch
- give your step-child a family heirloom
- like jewelry that belonged to their deceased parent
- say a few words to your step-children
- mention that you will take care of their mother/father
- mention that you will take care of them
- read a message to your step-children
- ask your children to come stand next to you for the ceremony
Here are some pastoral things to consider about this…
- keep the wedding ceremony about the marriage, not all-about the blended family
- children’s greatest emotional need is security, not attention, and they want your marriage to be good
- avoid asking the children to use the word “promise” if you want them to say some type of “vows” too, because ultimately if anything goes bad with your marriage they will certainly assume responsibility
- do not assume that including a blended family ceremony will “help” a step-parent relationship
- do not use a blended family ceremony as a means to “claim” your new spouse’s authority over your children
- always talk to your step-children about the blended family ceremony before wedding, making certain they are comfortable and capable of it or what’s being done through it
Want to Talk More…
Please contact me if you’d like to talk more about your plans or to simply bounce your ideas around. I can tell you how that may have gone with other ceremonies I’ve officiated or share some ways to make that work for you both and your wedding ceremony.