If you and your partner already have kids together, or you have a precious one from a previous relationship, then it’s a no-brainer that you want them to be part of your wedding entourage. While kid-friendly roles like a flower girl, ring bearer, and coin bearer are simple and always a crowd-pleaser, there are other fun ways you can incorporate your little ones.
For instance, have you ever heard of weddings with a little bride and groom?
Wait – seriously? A little bride and groom at a wedding?
That’s right! While this isn’t really common among weddings in the Philippines, it’s symbolic for a bride to pick up her little bride or groom during the wedding. The little bride and groom represent the children she loves and will guide throughout her life, thus keeping the promises of raising future children in the Catholic faith.
These days, most couples choose to have flower girls and ring or coin bearers instead of having a little bride and groom. But if you have plenty of children in your family, having a little bride and groom in your wedding is a great way to include more kids in the ceremony and make sure no one feels left out.
Who can be a little bride?
To be honest, anyone can be a little bride at a wedding. What matters is that the girl you pick is someone you particularly hold dear. These include your dearest niece, your younger sister, or your daughter.
What is the significance of a little bride at weddings?
While various sources provide different answers, the most popular reason for having a little bride in a wedding is to symbolize the transformation of the bride from a child to an adult. That’s why they don white dresses too, so they can look like a miniature version of the bride. As they walk down the aisle, they symbolize the bride’s innocence fading away and her role as a wife and future mother begins.
The practice of having little brides and flower girls is said to have originally started in Ancient Rome. During that time, the main purpose of marriages was to have children carry on the family name. That’s why young girls would walk down the aisle before the bride, scattering herbs and wheat to bless the couple with fertility and prosperity. Over time, the herbs and wheat were replaced with something a little more aesthetically pleasing, like flower petals.
How old should a little bride be?
On average, most little brides in a wedding fall between 4 and 8 years old. They’re typically at the same age as flower girls. If your daughter is a bit older, you can consider making her a junior or little bridesmaid.
Sometimes, a “mature” two or three-year-old can pull off the little bride role, possibly with an adult escorting her down the aisle. It’s also a good idea to assign an adult to take care of her during the ceremony, in case she gets fussy.
What’s the difference between a flower girl, a little bride, and a little bridesmaid?
It really boils down to their roles. Flower girls scatter petals along the aisle, while a little bride simply walks down the aisle. A little bridesmaid, often called a junior bridesmaid, typically carries similar duties of a bridesmaid. A little bridesmaid can join the pre-wedding parties, join in on dress shopping, and even help out with wedding-related tasks!
Their attires also differ. A junior or little bridesmaid has to wear the same dress or a similar one to the bridesmaids. They also hold bouquets while walking down the aisle. Flower girls have different dresses as well, usually more child-like and in another color. Usually, tea-length white dresses with a satin bow or a bonnet are standard and sweet. Lastly, the little bride wears a dress that’s similar to the bride’s, and sometimes wears a flower crown, a tiara, or a veil.
What about a little groom?
More recently, there have been couples who include a little groom at their wedding to accompany their little bride. He typically wears the same barong or tuxedo as the groom. Although this is kind of untraditional, it’s a great way to add a touch of light-heartedness and fun to the affair. Plus, everyone enjoys seeing adorable kids walk down the aisle in beautiful and dashing attire.
Aside from a little groom, you can also add little groomsmen in your wedding entourage! Your little groomsmen include your coin, ring, and bible bearer.
What are the little bride and little groom duties?
They need to simply act cute.
Just kidding! But that’s a pretty important role on its own.
As mentioned above, they don’t really have any specific duties except to symbolize the bride and groom’s transition to married life. During the wedding march, they usually precede the bride to represent the transition.
Keep in mind that having a little bride and groom at your wedding isn’t a requirement. It’s just a great way to include more children in your wedding entourage, especially if you have a kid of your own already. Since the wedding will also be a momentous occasion in your kid’s life, it’s nice to also give them a meaningful role that will make them feel special.
How to write a little bride and groom in the wedding invitation?
In a previous article, we discussed the parts of a wedding invitation, including a sample format with the details you need to include (names, request lines, venue, etc.). But we didn’t really tackle on how to write the little bride and groom in your wedding invitation.
For your wedding invitation, you can include the names of your little bride and groom in the entourage section. You can put them either before or after your bridesmaids/groomsmen. Just make sure they’re above the flower girls and little groomsmen.
Other ways to include kids in your wedding
If you’re not exactly keen on having a little groom and a little bride in your wedding, there are also many other ways that you can have children play important roles in the celebration. Here are a few:
Ask them to walk you down the aisle
There’s no hard rule that says your parents have to walk you down the aisle unless your parish is strict about traditions. But if they’re lenient and you want to switch things up during your entrance, have one or all of your kids (if you’re already a mother) walk you down the aisle to make the procession extra meaningful. This is an especially great idea if your children are older, say 13 years old and above.
Assign them ceremony jobs
There are many jobs in the ceremony that you can give to little ones so they feel more involved and recognize the importance of the wedding. They don’t necessarily have to be part of the wedding entourage. You can have children do the first or second reading, sing the responsorial psalm, or play an instrument in the choir.
Other jobs children can do, especially the older and more mature ones, include ushering people to their seats, handing out programs, and anything else that will make them feel important and part of the big day.
Have them perform
If the kids in your life are particularly gifted (or ahem — passionate) in singing or dancing, you can ask them to showcase their talents in a special performance during the reception. Allowing kids to have a special moment in the spotlight will mean a lot to them, and it will also make the celebration even more fun and light-hearted.
Ask them to give a toast
Making a toast or giving a speech at the reception is a fantastic way to get older children involved in your celebration. It’s also something they can prepare ahead of time and it can be a very sweet moment for everyone. If your children are too young to give their own speeches, maybe they can say a few words into the microphone or even recite a poem. Or better yet, you can make a toast or give a speech that’s dedicated to them!
Do the first dance with them
If you already have a child of your own, having a separate parent-child dance will melt everyone’s hearts, including your kids.
We all know the first dance as a moment during the reception when the bride and groom share a special dance together. But instead of dancing to the entire song with your partner, why not have your kid/s join you after the first chorus? Depending on your situation, it would be great to have a one-on-one dance or a big family dance with you, your partner, and your kid/s.
There are many ways, big and small, to include children in your wedding, including the roles of little bride and groom. But even if they’re not part of the wedding entourage, you can still make them feel important during the big day. Most children love having a special job and they will be delighted to be included, just make sure the job is appropriate for their age.
Whatever you do, don’t forget to be patient with the children in your bridal party. They may suddenly get nervous or shy during the actual wedding ceremony. But rest assured if they’re comfortable and happy with their roles, their cute and precious selves will make everyone in the venue smile, including you.