How to Incorporate Your “Step-Family” into Your Wedding

As the structure of the American family continues to evolve, it's important for couples to find ways to include and honor the children from previous relationships in their wedding ceremony.
Table of Contents
  1. Intro

How to Incorporate Your “Step-Family” into Your Wedding

Written by: Rob Franklin

Blended families, or stepfamilies, are becoming increasingly common, with an estimated third of all new marriages forming stepfamilies every year. This includes 15% of first marriages. As the structure of the American family continues to evolve, it's important for couples to find ways to include and honor the children from previous relationships in their wedding ceremony.

Make a Statement of Commitment in the Vows

Writing personal vows is a great opportunity for couples to address the role of co-parenting in their relationship. Vows are a time to make a heartfelt promise to your partner, and for many couples, this includes a commitment to nurturing a relationship with their partner's children. These vows can be meaningful not only to your partner, but to the children as well.

Provenance Tip: For more on writing personal vows, click here.

Include Your Step-children with a Unity Ceremony or Ritual

There are many ways to include children in your wedding ceremony. Some couples may ask their children to select and perform a reading, while others may dress their children in colors that match their own. Some couples may also choose to include their children in a formal unity ceremony.

One of our favorites is the Unity Candle ritual, in which each participant takes an individual candle and together light one larger flame, symbolizing coming together into one cohesive and vibrant family unit. For couples with younger children (not ready to be trusted with open flames), alternatives include the Puzzle Ritual, in which participants each add a piece to a wooden puzzle, or a Paint Ritual, in which each paints a canvas with a single brushstroke in a color of their choosing. Each of these offer beautiful keepsakes that couples may choose to keep in their home.

Plan a Family-moon

Now, don’t get it twisted. We’re not suggesting you take the kiddos along on your honeymoon. But after the wedding and traditional honeymoon, couples may also choose to plan a family-moon, or a trip together as a new family unit. This can be a great opportunity for couples to bond with their partner's children and establish open and honest communication. It can also be an exciting event for the children to look forward to after the wedding excitement dies down.

As the structure of the American family continues to evolve, it's important for couples to find ways to include and honor the children from previous relationships in their wedding ceremony.
Write Your VowsGet Started with provenance
Open article
Modern Etiquette

Why You Don't Need a White Wedding Dress

While white remains by far the predominant color for wedding gowns, many modern brides are breaking with tradition. And major luxury wedding designers, like Vera Wang, are taking the cue — ushering in an era in which skipping the white wedding dress doesn’t come at the expense of style.
Open article
Modern Etiquette

Bridesmaid Selection 101: How to Choose Your Supporting Cast with Ease

Planning a wedding can be overwhelming and one of the many decisions you'll make is choosing who will stand by your side as bridesmaids. These ladies play an important role in your big day and selecting them can be a tricky task. To help you make this decision with confidence, we've compiled a list of common questions and tips to guide you through the bridesmaid selection process.
Open article
Modern Etiquette

How Long Is a Wedding Ceremony?

The answer to how long a typical wedding ceremony should be simple. But there are important things to consider, including the venue, guest participation, and the science of human attention.
Open article
Modern Etiquette

How to Avoid Saying The Wrong Thing in a Wedding Speech

“No-Go’s” are tricky. They go beyond the bounds of everyday etiquette, often relating to tensions you’re unaware of. Only the couple (and their closest confidantes) can flag sensitive family dynamics, history between guests, or matters they themselves prefer not to discuss before an audience of everyone they know and love. So having a conversation with them is kind of a no-brainer.
Open article
Modern Etiquette

How to Respectfully Decline a Wedding Invitation

The fact is: there is just no way you can make every wedding. But how do you respectfully decline an invitation? It's harder than one would think.
Open article
Modern Etiquette

How to Save Money on Wedding Flowers

Beautiful floral arrangements are a hallmark of any great wedding. They transform the space, adding an element of natural beauty to indoor venues and enhancing outdoor ones. They help to forge the aesthetic identity of your ceremony.
Accept cookies? View our Privacy Policy for more information.