Child's Wedding Vows

For a complete blending of your new family, include a child's wedding vow in your ceremony.

child bride and groom
In modern society, blended families are more and more common. Although you may not be the Brady Bunch, you and your fiance wish to create a happy new family with children born prior to your marriage, whatever the circumstances may be.

As couples with children are forming a union between more than two people, the exchange of wedding vows is commonly amended to include a child's wedding vow for each of the children in the ceremony.

Significant Roles

How to do this is a personal decision that must be made specific to your circumstance and the ages and personalities of the children involved. When choosing the level of your child's involvement in your ceremony, you should consider first what they would be comfortable with and respect their feelings. Though some children would relish a starring role in the show, others require more time to adjust to the massive shift in family dynamics and should not be pushed into an active role in the ceremony.

With more than one child involved, you can count on the fact that they will each feel differently about the ceremony and what is expected of them, so in order to honor the individual roles of everyone involved, the vow ceremony you come up with should be decided unanimously. This will take some time and a good deal of trial and error, but will be worth it in the end when everyone feels that their role is significant and they each play a special role in the family dynamic as reflected in the ceremony. Remember that each child's wedding vow should blend into the greater whole of the ceremony and be symbolic of the love and commitment that you all share as a family.

Including Child in the Wedding Vows

Depending on their age, personality and ability level, there are several ways in which your child can be an active part in your exchange of vows. Your child may compose a poem or words that he or she wishes to say, or they may wish to read a quote about togetherness and love from a favorite story, such as Charlotte's Web or Winnie The Pooh. The child and step-parent might brainstorm and compose their vows to each other together, as a way to bond and make the ceremony seem more like something special they are doing together.

When the couple is exchanging traditional vows, a third vow is often included for the step-parent along the lines of "Do you, ___ take ___ to care for, encourage and love as your own, for so long as you may live?" To which the step-parent replies in the affirmative, and the child answers with his or her own special vow.

A Token of Family Unity

During the exchange of rings between the couple some choose for the child to be presented with a family medallion or other article of significance. After rings are exchanged with the words "With this ring, I thee wed", the step-parent places the family medallion around the neck of the child with words such as "With this medallion, I take thee into my care to love as my own." This can also be a bracelet, pin, or some other ornament which may be a family heirloom or something new that the child picks out special for the occasion.

It is also common in ceremonies including children for the children to place their hands on top of the joined hands of the couple during the exchange of vows. This indicates both a blessing of the union and inclusion as an equal.

However you decide to include your children in your exchange of vows, the goal is to make them understand that they are a crucial part of the equation, and the bond of love being celebrated in your ceremony has a special place just for them.

Written by: Marial Smith