Children in Weddings

Celebrants are often faced with the challenge of conducting ceremonies involving small children in the wedding party. These little ones can be quite unpredictable in their behaviour, and although proud parents assure us that a child is capable and confident, when it comes to performing on the big day, young children understandably can be overcome and fail to live up to adult expectations.

This is all part of the challenge celebrants face from time to time, and even the most experienced celebrant faces the possibility that an otherwise well-planned and delivered ceremony may be spoilt or interrupted in some way by the unexpected behaviour of a child.

Quite often the plan is for the bridal party to be led in by a small child, and whilst all may go well at rehearsal, it can be quite different on the wedding day when the child faces a large number of wedding guests watching their every move. It's a big “ask” for most children to carry out this task with confidence and many times I've seen a child suddenly freeze, unsure what to do. There have been numerous occasions where the Roadie has had to act quickly to take the child's hand and lead them in to avert what otherwise may have become a mini-disaster.

All of which brings me to relate a first-time experience recently with a three year old girl involved in the wedding party. The couple were “second time round”, and each brought several children in to their new family. The wedding party included the bride and groom, a bridesmaid and a page boy each about ten years of age, and a little girl of three years (a grand-child of the bride). All dressed beautifully, with the three year old looking very cute in a long white dress, carrying a bouquet of flowers and behaving admirably throughout.

But we were all taken aback when in an otherwise silent moment during the ceremony, the little girl looked up at the bride and loudly asked “What are we doing here Nanny?”

It brought the house down and was the hit of the ceremony. I'm sure this will be long remembered by all who attended, and will surely become part of the family folk-lore in future years!

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Peter Cowden
'The Celebrant’s Roadie'

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