Hi @scbride2015: First and foremost, as you are NEW to WBee… let me say a BIG Welcome to “the Hive”
CONGRATULATIONS on your recent Engagement !!
I too am an Encore Bride (and a bit older Bee)
I am also a bit of an “Etiquette Snob… lol” here on WBee… in so much as I know a lot of both the Traditional & Modern Rules.
You won’t be the first Bride that has an attachement to those Children or Youth that she mentors.
So your idea isn’t “off base” at all… and something that others have also found ways to accommodate be their a Teacher, Coach, Sunday School Leader or Volunteer (Brownie Owl etc)
Inviting the kids to the Wedding (with a Chaperone Parent) is perfectly acceptable… just make sure that their Invitations (hand written so they are personal / casual ** and not fancy / formal) convey that it is to come and watch
(Unless you wanted them to partake in the service … Band & Choir. But I didn’t get that from your post)
Typically Couples that do something like this, make arrangements with the Ceremony Venue (Church Hall for example) to have Refreshments after the Ceremony and the couple spends a wee bit of time mingling with the kids, before heading off to the Reception Venue… or off for Wedding Formal Pics (if there is a “Wedding Gap” in the series of events)
Their other Guests having gone on to the Reception Venue (“Reception to Follow at Lakeside Golf & Country Club”).
It does get tricky if there is No Wedding Gap in your plans… and there is always the possibility of your Regular Guests stopping in to the Church Hall to mingle as well… but you can plan for that (just have more Punch on hand).
At any rate, other than making the rounds of the room, posing for a few pics, you have no real obligation to the kids to stay on a long time (and no matter whether you have a Gap or not you do have “Other Guests” that are awaiting your arrival). So you say your obligatory Hellos and Good-byes and are totally ok to go. The kids and their parents can stay on or leave when you do.
Hope this helps,
** TIPS – These kids are important to you… BUT they are not your primary Guests. So you need to be conscious that you never make your other Guests feel SNUBBED in any way. So altho you’ll probably want to sit the kids where they can see & hear well… don’t make them front & centre. Maybe have them seated in a section to the side, or if your Church has it the Balcony, etc.
And when you write out the Invites… make the wording really casual… altho you cannot technically write “NO Gifts” you do want to make none of the Kids or Their Parents feel obligated in any way… so make the invites very casual “Would love to have you & your Parent there if you can make it to see us get married”… “Refreshments / Punch will be served informally in the Church Hall afterwards… where Mr SCGroom and I will stop by to see you all, and be available for photos”
You might want to even enlist “a friend” (someone who also knows the kids) to act as the Host / Coordinator for this event… the kids / parents could RSVP to them, and have them as a contact person if they have Questions. This would also mean that as this person isn’t you but your Representative… they could get the message out that this is informal and personal, and that NO Gift is required etc.
Hope this helps,
PS… The whole thing sounds wonderful. I LOVE it when people who work with kids take them into consideration… kids can learn alot when they have strong role models… and there is nothing wrong with them having the opportunity to see someone they look upto get married and make a lifelong commitment to one another. So good on you.