(Closed) Including your children in your vows?

posted 12 years ago in Encore
Post # 17
2148 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

My Fiance and I don’t plan on saying any special vows for the children…well I am not sure about the Fiance since my daughter is only 12. His kids are 23 and 19 so it would be weird for me to include them as if they were still kids that needed care. I have a great relationship with the 19 year old and plan to have a great relationship with the 25 year old (my Fiance just found out he existed about a month ago) but I don’t plan on calling them out in any special way.

Post # 18
60 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I think, when including kids, it very much has to do with HOW they want to be involved, too.  When my parents got married (ten years ago yesterday!), I walked my mom down the aisle, and my stepsisters, stepbrother, and I formed the wedding party, and my stepbrother held the ring, but other than that (and giving toasts at the reception), that was the extent of our involvement, and the way we wanted it (we ranged in age from 10 to 17 at the time).  It was also a fairly traditional Jewish wedding ceremony, so there wasn’t much room for personalization.

Another idea which may work for older kids (may not be good for you, Elizabeth), is to include them in the signing of a marriage contract or a ketubah.  My parents weren’t very happy with the ketubah (Jewish marriage contract) that their rabbi gave them on the day of their wedding, so for their tenth anniversary, I worked with a friend of mine to design one.  Traditionally, the bride and groom and rabbi sign it – but we had my parents, me, and my stepsiblings sign it, and it was a really sweet thing to do to show that we are a family.

Bellenga, of course!  Feel free to use, steal, borrow, and adapt.  They’re some of my favorite vows.  And thank you so much!

Post # 19
92 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

i am going to have my daughter walk me down the aisle, his be a flower girl, and vows for all of us and a unity candle.  i think…………  

Post # 20
286 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

This is something I want to totally do with the kids.  Problem… I have very very bashful children.  I can imagine them not saying a word or in the case of my son, breaking down all the way to the ground and hiding his face.  Or even some tears from my oldest daughter.  If anyone has ideas on incorporating children in the vow portion of the wedding… specifically something for shy children.  I’d love to hear your ideas. 

Post # 21
189 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

My Fiance had a ring designed just for my daughter with her birthstone in it that he will give her during the ceremony.  Not sure if he’s going to say any vows….I’m going to leave it up to him what he wants to do.  He also ‘proposed’ to her the week after he asked me (she was visiting her dad so she didn’t know we were engaged yet). 




Post # 22
1407 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I am going to offer a different perspective on this, simply for your consideration. I am not at all saying that these expressions of love and commitment to stepchildren are not beautiful or honorable, because they are, and if its right for you, I think including in your ceremony is wonderful.

Having said that – my parents divorced and my father remarried. In the ceremony, they had vows to my brother and I, and my stepmother presented me with a family medallion. I was 13 and it was very important to me. 

However, their marriage didn’t work out and my stepmother was no longer a part of my life, breaking her vow. I learned a sad lesson that promises are sometimes broken, even when you had nothing to do with it.

So from that point of view, I feel that a marriage is a commitment between a couple, not to children. That way, if the marriage doesn’t work out – God forbid – the child understands that the bonds between the husband and wife are breaking, but it has nothing to do with the children.

Just thought I would share my experience, I hope it provides a different perspective that could help some of you.

Post # 23
286 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

@daniellemybelle – I see your point; however, I have a different experience.  Although their marriage failed, my stepfather has remained an important figure in our lives.  He made it a point to remain in our lives and my mother agreed with that.  They both wanted us to know that the bond to the children was forever, even if the marriage failed.  I know in my case, Mister and I have already agreed to never, EVER keep the children away from the other, especially in the event of a divorce, which isn’t an option for us, given this is an encore for both of us.  We look at things a little differently as far as “step” children go.  They are not my “step” children.  They are MY CHILDREN and just like my ex-husband and I have maintained the relationship with the children, the same will happen if anything ever caused me and Mister to get a divorce.  So, I see your point and I know it does happen where the “step” parent disappears off the face of the planet.  But in our case, we’re coming together as one family, NOT just husband and wife.  So, even if the husband and wife part ends, we’ll all remain a family, no matter what.  I’ve seen it done in my own family many many times.  I’m still close with my dad’s ex wife and my siblings (not biological) from that marriage and I call them my brothers not my “step” brothers.   To each its own and I know every situation is different, but for my family and his; children are very important and once you become part of the family you are part of the family for LIFE, even if the marriage ends.  You’re still family.  I’m so sad you had a bad experience. 

Post # 24
30 posts
  • Wedding: June 2011

I really like all the posts here…During the reception we want to do a “family” dance..his children are 6 and 8 and we really want them to be part of the wedding..trying to find a song to dance to…any suggestions?

Post # 25
3952 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

I have seen the sand ceremony for summer or beach weddings, and while usually it’s the couple who pours the sand, mixing two colors of sand together, you can do even more colors and have the kids pour colored sand into the vase!

I love that idea!

Post # 26
2297 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

I have two adult children (ages 28 and 26).  They love NotFroofy, and were happy to be our maid of honor and dude of honor.  However, I would never have included them in the vows.  They have two perfectly good parents, and don’t really have need of more at their ages.

Post # 27
41 posts
  • Wedding: August 2010 - Indian Head Camp, Honesdale Pennsylvania

My sisters (steps and biological) and I were 5,4,4, and 3 when my mom and stepdad got married. We were all flowergirls. I remember being relaly excited about wearing a dress and little white gloves, and getting to stay up late. Other than that, I can’t say I really remember much else. Although, 4 is pretty young I guess.

I suppose my point is that the vows to a young child might mean more for you and your partner and other family members than they do to the child. The child will probably be more excited about other parts of the wedding, things that aren’t as important emotionally to you and your partner. So maybe find some kid-friendly ways to make their day special too.

Post # 28
10 posts
  • Wedding: June 2012

@91011Bride:  One thing I’ve heard about – is that when doing vows to the children, DO NOT make it so they have to respond in any way. It’s strictly to be a one sided promise on the part of the adults.  This is because the wedding is not their choice, and even if they are happy about it, they may not really understand the whole vow thing, and also if your marriage ends up not lasting they may blame themselves even more for not keeping their promise. It’s a lot to put on a kid.  So find vows that don’t require a response which should also help the shy kids. Also keep them close if they are up with you so they can hold mama’s hand if they want to so they can be safe and secure.

Post # 29
3 posts
  • Wedding: January 2013

@eeniebeans:  I am getting married in January and looking for something to say to my 15 year old step son.  This brought tears to my eyes, I love it!

Post # 30
504 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2020 - establishment theatre

not in the vows specifically, my sons age 3 and 4 are walking me down the aisle and my daughter is our flower girl. but they will be apart of the sand ceremony!

Post # 31
8 posts
  • Wedding: March 2011

They were not included in the vows, but after the vows we did a sand ceremony. We’re SO glad that we included it, as it did include my boys, and then they really felt like a part of it. We also got some great photos during – some of my favorites from the day.

I had been planning on walking down the aisle alone, but the night before my 14 year old son asked if he could do the honor (9 year old wasn’t interested – but he wanted to walk in with the guys – Dear Fiance and the best man.)

We also included a special thank you to them in the program for loving and accepting Dear Fiance into our life. 

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