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Including Future Step-Children in Your Wedding

When you get married, you don't just marry one person, you marry their entire family. This is doubly true if your future spouse has children from a previous relationship. It is vitally important to the success and happiness of the new marriage that all of the kids feel like they are a special part of the new blended family. Get things off to a great start by finding ways to include your future step-children in your wedding.

One thing that can really make a big difference is for the future step-parent to be the one to reach out to their fiance or fiancee's children. Naturally the kids hope to get some special attention from their own parent, but when the gesture is made by the soon-to-be-step-mom or dad, it will be particularly meaningful. For instance, let's say that you were a bride about to marry a man with a young daughter. Imagine how wonderful the little girl would feel if the bride went to her personally and asked if she would be her flower girl. Then take her shopping for girls jewelry, a beautiful party dress, and fancy shoes. It will be the first in what will hopefully be many special memories.

Another thing which can be done to include future step-children in the wedding is to make them a part of their vows. It would be so touching for the groom to write into his vows that he will always take care of his wife's son as if he were his own, or for the bride to say how blessed she feels to gaining a child as well as a husband. Just be sensitive about how the vows are worded, as you would not want the child to misconstrue what you are saying. Some kids might worry that a new step-parent will try to take the place of their "real" mother or father, and obviously you wouldn't want to mistakenly add fuel to that fire.

If the children are old enough, they can participate in family vows. Invite the children to stand up at the altar alongside the bride and groom, while a special pledge is made directly from their future step-parent to them. It is somewhat unlikely that the child will want to speak vows in return (too scary in front of all those people!), so do not pressure them to do so. Their presence at the altar will speak volumes about their place in the new blended family.

The bride and groom show their unity by exchanging rings or lighting a unity candle during the ceremony, and this is something which can easily be adapted to include your children. A sand pouring ceremony would be a very easy ritual to do with children, and the great part is that it will work with as many participants as happen to be in the family. Each person holds a small jar of a different colored sand, and they all pour them simultaneously into a larger vessel to show the blending of their separate lives into one family. It is beautifully symbolism and something that most kids will also find really fun to be a part of.

You can also show your commitment to your future step-child with a piece of jewelry, especially if the child happens to be a girl. Give your soon-to-be step-daughter a beautiful piece of girls jewelry inscribed with a personal message. It is a beautiful way of letting her know that she is important to you, as well as to her own natural parents. The bride and groom will frequently choose to make the presentation of the girls jewelry a part of the wedding ceremony, much like the ring exchange. With all of these lovely ways to include your future step-children in your wedding, they are sure to feel like they are an important part of the newly formed family.