Nieces, Nephews, and Your Special Event
I’m getting married soon. In itself, that’s not big news. But as the favorite uncle of many nieces and nephews it’s earth-shattering. In fact, as the date gets closer the young people in my life get more excited about the big day and their role in it.
And that’s what this column is about. Specifically, how to involve your nieces and nephews in life events without overshadowing the festivities.
You see, kids warrant your attention. In most situations that’s a good thing. You want to spend time with them, make them feel valued and loved, and help them grow. Where it gets more difficult is when they’re merely a participant or onlooker during big events.
So, my fiancé and I decided to do a few things with nieces and nephews at our wedding because we both feel so strongly about family. Remember, your mileage may vary, you may have different ideas about how involved kids should be in formal events, and you might want to do more than we’ve planned. It’s all up to you.
Also understand what you want from the day. We both love family and aren’t caught up on fanfare. That allowed us to be a little more informal in our plans AND set the stage for involving more little ones in the festivities. Here are the top three things we plan for our wedding and how it will involve our nieces and nephews.
1. Understand children and responsibilities.
For our wedding, we know that a lot of our nieces and nephews are pretty young. Instead of giving them specific roles in the ceremony, we made it possible for them to take part and feel special without handing out “jobs” for them to do. While they’ll each be expected to walk down the aisle, that’s where it ends. They’ve all been allowed to pick out their own clothes – as long as the colors match the wedding colors. And they’ve been given special seating near the front of the room.
2. Think about attention spans.
During the reception, we’ve laid out a photo scavenger hunt for the young ones to participate in. The list of items is long to ensure that everyone will get some of the items in their photos. Further, the wedding venue is a contemporary art museum, so there are lots of fun things to take photos of.
3. Make them feel a little like grown-ups.
As for seating, all the kids at the wedding (only nieces, nephews and the children of the best man are invited) are at their own special tables. This allows them to be energetic and happy without otherwise occupying their parents or taking attention from the bride and me. We have also supplied some games for each table and hired a babysitter for two of the youngest ones.
In all, we want the day to be memorable and positive for everyone involved. We recognize it’s the start of the rest of our life together, but we also know how rich our lives are with these little folks in it. That’s why we choose to include them in our wedding.
Jeff Cutler is a freelance journalist, social media trainer and content specialist who writes regularly for news outlets and businesses all over the world. The best way to see Jeff's world is by going to http://jeffcutler.com or using the social media links at the top of his Website.
Published: August 13, 2013