It’s no surprise that men and women both are waiting until later in life to tie the knot. With childhoods full of the negative impact of divorce and concerns about the necessity of the institution, millennial families are taking a more unique path to marriage than their parents.
A 2013 study found that the average age for marriage is 27 for women and 29 for men, up 5 years from the average in 1990 and 7 years since 1960. While the age of marriage has consistently increased with time, the age of first child has not, staying stable at 25 years old.
As a result, more and more couples are celebrating their vows alongside their children, giving them a fun story to tell for years to come!
This phenomenon, known as The Great Crossover, is documented by the National Center for Family & Marriage Research. By 30 years old, two thirds of American women have had a child. Of those, forty-eight percent of births are to unmarried women.
Culturally, marriage is delayed for a variety of reasons. Education and the desire for career stability have been seen as several of the predominant reasons couples choose to wait later in life to officially tie the knot. Ultimately the choice of when to marry is a personal one, and there is no wrong time to decide to formally wed.
Thanks to the Great Crossover, when a wedding does occur, there are more and more couples including their children as part of the ceremony. This beautiful trend builds memories for families and captures the young families in stunning photos that they will cherish for a lifetime.
We’ve pulled together a few of our favorite ways to integrate your children into your ceremony when you say I do.
Feature your daughter as flower girl
Flower girls are the icing on the cake, walking just before the bride and draping flowers along the aisle. What better role for your daughter to play, leading you down the aisle.
This beautiful role allows her to dress up like mommy and stay close to mom and dad throughout a busy day.
Share a Daddy Daughter Dance
Tradition dictates you should dance with your own parents on your wedding day, but why not also share a dance with between your daughter and husband!
This is a special moment that they can share today and again later at her own wedding day.
Leave the Altar as a Family
Now that you are formally and legally joined as a family, leaving together makes perfect sense.
Hold hands and sharing with all your guests that you are forever a family.
Integrate your children into the wedding ceremony
Most wedding ceremonies feature a unification type ceremony, symbolizing the new family coming together as one. If you are conducting a sand ceremony, consider providing each child a small vial of sand to add into the family vase.
You could also add vows to the children that are read at the same time vows are shared between you and your spouse.
Include your children in the bridal party
If your kiddos are bigger you can integrate them into the ceremony as a part of the wedding party. As junior bridesmaids (or even full bridesmaids depending on their ages) and groomsmen, your children can be a part of the special day for your family.
This is a great way to honor their role in your life and show that you trust and rely on them always.
We hope these ideas for how to include your children in your wedding inspire you as you plan your wedding ceremony!
Source: Twenty Something Marriage
Photo Credits: Mulberry & Sage Photography, Sam Stroud Photo, Emery Co Photo