A wedding is a magical time where a new family is created. When there are children involved, bringing two families together may take a couple extra steps and considerations. To make sure the transition goes over smoothly, it’s important to keep the children in mind during the planning process, the big day, and what to expect after the wedding. This is an exciting time for everyone!
Incorporating relationship building into your planning process will ensure the family connection will be sealed by the wedding day. Enlisting a professional and attending family counseling classes is a neutral way to discuss the present and future. During the time leading up to the wedding, offer available times for activities, meals, and mutual interests to bond over.
Make sure you listen to your kids! Find out how involved they want to be. Depending on their age, they may be eager to participate or would rather sit out and observe. Let them take it in strides. Inviting your children or spouse-to-be’s children into the ceremony can be a truly special time that unites everyone. On the flip side, if they choose to sit out, make sure you follow up, especially depending on living arrangements. Ask them if they would prefer some one-on-one time before or after the wedding to talk and answer any questions. They may be uncertain of what to expect and it could hold them back, or would rather wait until the celebration is over to talk about what they are feeling. Remember, this is an exciting time for you but may be confusing for them. Opening the lines of communication is key to building your new family.
While we would love all blended families to get along great, sometimes we need to take a step back when dealing with the biological parent. Offer an olive branch and an open invitation to discuss the wedding and family dynamic. They may feel threatened which could cause tension, but clearing up any questions of the biological role will ease any of this energy. Our tip for bringing blended families together: talk it out! Be patient, be willing to communicate, and be happy for any extra family you are gaining out of your engagement. The more the merrier!
Photos: Ron Webb Photography