Involving your offspring in your big day.

Remember being a kid, flipping through your parent’s wedding album? Me too. I was obsessed! Transfixed by a slightly younger version of my Mum, who seemed air-brushed and glowing, staring back at me from the photos like some kind of white, magical, mermaid-princess. By her side, hidden beneath a massive moustache, was my Dad, holding her hand, doe-eyed and as chiseled as Prince Eric from the Little Mermaid. A true fairy tale. There was just one thing missing from these photos… ME! Why couldn’t I have been part of their world.

Expectation and tradition are set upon us from the get-go. Remember that rhyme we sang as kids that ended in “first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby in a baby carriage?” Every stage in our life has a time, a place and apparently, a chronological order!

Yet, it still never occurred to me that I might pay the idea forward when I became a proper grown up and include my kids (Who, at age 8, I had named Charity and Damon) in my fairytale wedding. I guess tradition has seeped into my bones over the last 30 years. Love, marriage, baby, carriage. That’s me!

But, recently my best friend from childhood got married. Their 8 year old son, was the groomsman and, their daughter walked my friend down the aisle. It was a family affair. We wept as we saw the pride and happiness that engulfed their little family. She and her partner could have shared this day years prior but, for whatever reason they didn’t, and now she says it was the unexpected novelty that felt completely right.

So, to the Mamas and/or Papas out there planning their weddings with kids in toe, we have culminated some useful tips and hints from a bunch of parents who have gone before you to help make your kid inclusive wedding a roaring success.

Photo by Julie Guglielmetti

Dress tips:

Breast feeding mamma? Get a dress that will undo easily. Otherwise you might find yourself spending 30 minutes at a time in the bathroom on your wedding day getting your dress off and on again for feeding. And don’t forget the breast pads! Leaky milk stains are probably not the look you’re going for.

Hands on parents? If you’re likely to be arching over to pick up toddlers throughout the day, make sure your clothes have room to bend. As parents know, comfort trumps impractical fashion choices every single time. But just in case you didn’t know this, let us remind of that time when Lenny Kravitz bent down and split those fabulous, tight, but highly inappropriate leather pants on stage for the whole world to see. Enough said. You’re a parent. Keep it real.

Photo by  Desira Cameron

Tips for getting ready:

Giving someone else responsibility over your child alleviates any added pressure and also means you’ll be able to rest, relax and enjoy your day from start to finish. We are not suggesting shipping your children off or not being involved. If you want them with you while you’re getting ready and during the wedding, perhaps find someone who isn’t already tied up in the festivities (a good friend or a trusted babysitter) to help you out.

Photo by  Andrii Omelnytskyi


If your kids are old enough to know there’s going to babysitter on your wedding day then you should prepare them for it (especially if you are getting a new sitter.) Have a few trial runs so that the kids are familiar with them. Let the kids know exactly what is going to happen and how the day is going to pan out. Try not to give this task to your parents or friends… they want to be able to enjoy your day too.

Photography tips:

Find a photographer who has the skills, personality and tricks to make the children feel relaxed, laugh and look in the right direction! Photographers who advertise that they are laid back and specialise in candid shots should be a good starting point.

Photo by   Andrii Omelnytskyi   on   Scopio
Photo by  Andrii Omelnytskyi

Ceremony tips:

The unexpected joys in a wedding ceremony are often the unpredictable moments (usually brought on by children or pets. ) So, throw caution to the wind and let them be a part of the ceremony. If it all falls apart, then so be it. They’re kids!

If your little one starts getting restless then let them come to you during the ceremony. If they want to feel important then let them do something that is important; like walk you down the aisle, or say a reading or hold the rings. You can even get the celebrant to prepare a separate little certificate that you can all sign. Involve them and entrust them. You won’t regret it.

Not that we would encourage lollies all of the time (sometimes food... we know), but Chuppa Chups are definitely your friend in times of quiet. If there is ever a time to break the norm and suck on a sweet treat, it’s now. Consider preparing a little basket of lollipops for young children who will (hopefully) spend a good part of the ceremony quietly and happily sucking on a Chuppa Chup.

If you are about to become a step-parent or join forces as a blended family, then consider writing a set of vows to the children too.

Reception tips:

Getting through the ceremony is the hard part. Now it’s time for fun. You could have cake toppers that represent your whole family and depending on their age, your kids may not be there for the whole night, so do some of the memorable things early on that are sure to blow their little minds. They won’t want to miss out on formalities so, cut the cake and get the bridal waltz underway early. You can follow up with some pumping music so that they can enjoy a boogie before they turn into pumpkins and get whisked home by the babysitter.

Most of all, relish in the privilege of your children being a part of something so monumental. xo