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Including Nieces and Nephews in Your Wedding

If you have a lot of young relations running around, you might be wondering how best to include the little ones in your wedding. Children of all ages can have a role in a wedding, and their spirit always adds something special to the festivities. These are some ideas on how to include your nieces and nephews in your wedding.

Your nieces and nephews can have a place in your wedding ceremony no matter what their age. The most common role for young children is ring bearer or flower girl. Do not feel as though you have to choose between your nieces and nephews if you have a large family. While too many bridesmaids can end up being a bit silly looking, a large group of children in your bridal party will inspire many smiles and “awwwws”. Some brides who have a very large group of young relations to include in their wedding will decide to have only a maid of honor and best man for the groom, forgoing the rest of the bridesmaids in favor of having a wedding party comprised of all of their nieces and nephews.

The most common role for young children is ring bearer or flower girl. This tends to work the best for children who are between the ages of three and eight years old. The flower girl (or girls) can either carry a small bouquet of flowers or a basket of petals to toss (if permitted by your venue). They are usually dressed in sweet little dresses with patent leather shoes and possibly wear a floral wreath in their hair. The bride should plan on giving flower girl gifts to the little ones. Traditional flower girl gifts include silver lockets or very dainty pearl pendants.

The ring bearer theoretically carries the wedding bands down the aisle to the altar (I say theoretically because the rings on the pillow are often fakes). If you had two little boys and wanted each to be a ring bearer, they could each carry a small pillow, one with the bride’s wedding band, and one with the groom’s ring (or the facsimiles). When you have a larger number of nephews, they can be pages. This works best when the wedding is a large and formal affair. Pages traditionally help to carry the bride’s train. It is very sweet when the bridal gown features a grand cathedral length train, but would be rather impractical for a little sweep train. In that case, simply have the young men dress all alike and walk down the aisle in a group. Even without a specific task, your nephews can still be a part of the fun.

Older nieces and nephews can be invited to participate in the wedding as junior bridesmaids or groomsmen. This is a bridge position for a child who is too old to be a flower girl or ring bearer, but too young to be a full fledged bridesmaid or groomsmen. The typical age range for junior attendants is around nine to fourteen. Once they are about fifteen or sixteen years old, they are ready to be regular bridesmaids or groomsmen. The junior bridesmaids will wear dresses which are similar in style to the bridesmaids’ dresses, only a more demure and age appropriate. Since mens’ formal wear varies so little, the junior groomsmen can wear the same type of suits as the groomsmen, or they can wear a jacket and trousers instead of a full suit.

Even tiny children can play a role in your wedding as long as you don’t expect things to go perfectly. There is nothing more adorable than a very young niece or nephew riding down the aisle in a fancy wagon or sleigh pulled by an older sibling. I have even seen babies pushed down the aisle in flower bedecked strollers! It is wonderful fun to include as many of your nieces and nephews in your wedding as you like.