FAMILY ISSUES

Q: We have several nieces and nephews (they are 2-8) and we want them all to be in the wedding.

We are just having a difficult time figuring out what everyone’s role will be. Any ideas? There are 2 girls and 3 boys. There may be more boys.

A: To be honest, it isn’t typical to have that many children included as part of a wedding, particularly American weddings (I’m not sure where you are writing from, however.) The only time I personally have ever seen that many kids (especially if there are more than three boys) in a wedding is when it’s a royal wedding in Europe. So, my first suggestion would be to limit it to one or two girls and one boy; the girl would be the flower girl and the boy would be the ring bearer. This is the tradition in America, mainly because there really isn’t that much else for the kids to do.

If you must include them all, I just hope most of the boys are a little older, like seven or eight. That way, perhaps you can have them hand out programs at the entrance or read bible passages during the ceremony. Or they could walk relatives to their seats at the beginning.

If that is the case-that some of the boys are older-save these jobs for them and make one of the younger ones a ringbearer. But-and I say this from personal experience-don’t make any of the kids under the age of three a part of the wedding. It won’t work out and will just cause stress. Believe me, their parents won’t even expect them (or necessarily want them) to be invited, much less take part in the ceremony. It’d be better for everyone if they are at home with a sitter.

Q: My friend’s mother is insisting that she wear a long, lacy solid white gown at her daughter’s wedding. Are there any rules of thumb about the attire of the respective mothers?

A: Well, there’s no real rule about this, except of course, for taste, something this woman apparently has very little of. I mean, what mother of the bride would wear a bridal gown to her own daughter’s wedding?

I suppose it would be best to gently remind this woman that traditionally the other women invited to the wedding are supposed to take care not to take away from the bride on her big day, and this includes not wearing a bridal-like gown. You know, say something like “You don’t think that dress is a little too much like the bride’s, do you?” Hopefully, this will work.

If not, there’s not a whole lot that can be done. Let it resolve itself between mother and daughter. It would be a whole lot worse if it were the groom’s mother presenting the problem!

Q: I am getting married in February of next year. My father is deceased and my fianc�’s parents live in Poland and can not afford to attend the wedding. I don’t have a lot of male friends nor relatives. I would like for my nephew to give me away. Would that be ok?

A: That would absolutely be okay. Their age or specific relation to you doesn’t really matter; what’s important is that you are walked down the aisle by someone you care about.

That said, keep in mind that the person who walks you down the aisle doesn’t have to be male. Nowadays, it’s perfectly acceptable–indeed, common–to have your mother do it, or an aunt or sister or friend. Also, remember that many brides opt to walk alone down the aisle, either to symbolize their independence or, perhaps, to emphasize the absence of a missing person, such as a deceased parent.

Anyway, to answer your original question, it would be totally fine to have your nephew walk you down the aisle.

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