This week, Wedding Wednesday is geared towards couples who already have kids and want include them in their wedding. As a wedding photographer, I run into all sorts of different families that are uniting through a wedding. Here's a look at what that process looked like for one family...
Kristina and Andrew got married in September, and wanted to be sure that Kristina's four year old son, Caden, felt included in the process. They were also excited to showcase Kristina's baby bump, as she's pregnant with their newest addition!
As a photographer, my favorite moment of the day was how we were able to include Caden in Kristina & Andrew's first look. Caden lead Andrew, with his eyes covered, in to see his mommy for the first time. He was so proud and excited! I was tearing up as I was shooting it.
I asked Kristina to share a few ways that they were able to include Caden in the entire wedding process and here are 5 tips she came up with, in her own words.
1. Refer to it as "Our Wedding" day. Our meaning the entire family. We all got married that day, so we made sure that Caden knew that this was his day as much as it was ours.
2. Involve them in the planning! For example, take them cake tasting with you. This was Caden's FAVORITE day. When we chose our cupcake flavors we let him pick one. His was the Oreo Cupcake, no surprise there. I also let him help me pick out his clothes. I, of course, made the ultimate decision, and steered him where I wanted him to go, but he felt like such a big boy. We referred to his entire outfit, suit, shirt, tie, shoes, socks, and belt as his "special wedding outfit" so he felt like he was just as important. Caden also helped with the food tasting when we chose our caterer. He got to try everything and we asked him his opinion. Now your average 4 year old might not be into this, but Caden is a bit of a foodie, so he loved tasting everything.
3. Give them a job. Caden was our ring bearer, so we spent a lot of time talking to him about his duties and how important his role was.
4. Make them feel special on the big day! Andrew spent special time with Caden getting him all ready and dressed in his suit. He was surrounded by all the men (which he loves) and dressed with the big guys. He was so excited to show mommy how he looked all dressed up. When he came into the room where I was, it was his big moment. He walked in and all of the women started crying, he was so sweet and so handsome. He loved that attention and feeling like how he looked was just as important as how Andrew and I were dressed.
5. Let them invite a special guest. Caden got to pick 2 friends to invite to the wedding. Luckily, I knew he would probably invite kids of friends of ours that were already attending, and he did. I didn't have any problem explaining to our guests that the only kids allowed were family members and Caden's special guests. They all understood completely. If we had allowed ALL kids we probably would have had an extra 20 people.
5. Make the reception kid friendly. Caden got to pick some of his favorite songs that we made sure the DJ would play. He ruled the dance floor and we let him go crazy. We also chose a venue that he could be free and have fun at. He spent a lot of time running around with his friends outside of our wedding tent, and we didn't have to worry about him at all.
Thank you Kristina (and Andrew and Caden!) for sharing with us about your special day!